Seb Coe Launches London 2012 Open Weekend 2009
Hundreds of exciting events, from family sport days to circus skills and exploring hidden archives, are to be part of London 2012 Open Weekend (24 - 26 July 2009) - a series of events across the country enabling access to excellence in the arts, culture and sport and celebrating three years to go until the London 2012 Olympic Games.
London 2012 Open Weekend enables everyone to share in the excitement of the Games, be inspired, get involved, unleash creativity and try something new. Join the celebrations, plan your weekend: www.london2012.com/openweekend
The London 2012 Open Weekend, created by London 2012, is supported by BP, the Premier Partner of the Cultural Olympiad. London 2012 Open Weekend will take place every year in July.
Example events include Body in Action tours at the National Gallery, learning to sing on the Singing Bus in Belfast, carnival and public theatre in Wales, family dance workshops led by disabled and non-disabled dancers and sporting opportunities across the country. [National highlights below].
This year’s London 2012 Open Weekend follows the success of last year’s event which launched the Cultural Olympiad and enabled over 700,000 people to become part of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe said: ”We’ve always been clear that London 2012 is about more than just sport, we want to create a Games for the Nation and Games that are accessible to everyone. We created Open Weekend as part of the Cultural Olympiad, to enable people to share in the countdown celebrations towards London 2012 but also be inspired by the Games to discover new interests and develop their talents.
“Open Weekend is part of our vision for the Games to inspire lasting change. The fantastic range of Open Weekend events provide opportunities for everyone to access excellence across sport, art and culture and try something new. The Games are thriving across the UK and we are grateful to the organisations that have partnered with us to make Open Weekend happen.”
Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said: “Open Weekend is a great way for people inspired by the Olympics to get involved and this year there is a wider range of activities than ever before. Whether you love culture or are sport mad there’s something for you to do in your region. This is just one way we are delivering a lasting legacy across the country from the 2012 Games.”
London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “In the summer of 2012 the whole country will come together to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The London 2012 Open Weekend is about gearing us up for this incredible moment and encouraging everyone to get involved in sports and culture. I wish all the participating organisations great success.”
Peter Mather, Head of BP in the UK said: “BP is delighted to become the Premier Partner of the Cultural Olympiad. We have an excellent track record for supporting the arts in the UK and we want to help build further synergies between sports and the arts in the run up to the 2012 Games. We are already working closely with LOCOG on our plans as the official Tier 1 oil and gas partner and adding the cultural arm to these activities is something to which we are looking forward.”
Be inspired at London 2012 Open Weekend
Many events recognised through the London 2012 Inspire programme are also involved in Open Weekend. The London 2012 Inspire programme recognises exceptional mass participation projects and events inspired by London 2012 and contributing to its wider legacy. Example Inspire events taking place over the London 2012 Open Weekend include:
- Hip Hop Shakespeare, London, Southbank Centre: Public performance of a medley of reinterpreted scenes from Shakespeare plays by undiscovered young artists, MOBO award winning artist Akala and VERY special guests - audience participation guaranteed!
- Electric Field, Halifax, uses sports and arts to explore our perception of how we move through the world, involving young people, sporting and other community groups as well as using performance, live and taped especially composed music and visual arts installations.
- Fighters and Writers, Omagh, Northern Ireland: Explores the history of Irish Boxing and how the sport has provided men with promises of travel, fortune and fame. Some have made it to the top of the amateur and paid ranks, while others were unlucky and have left us their stories. John McNally, Ireland’s first ever Olympic medalist, who took Silver at Helsinki in 1952 will talk about his memories of the glory days of boxing in the 1950s.
- Summer Shorts, Woking: A day of dance from morning through to tea-time as Woking Dance Festival bring performances from professional dance companies and local communities, each one inexplicitly linked with the rhythms of going about our daily business. Saturday shoppers will become unexpected audience members as they find performances unravelling before them in cosy coffee shops, the bustling town square and shopping malls. As the afternoon winds up into early evening Dance Theatre Ireland’s ‘Block Party’ will unfurl as the Summer Shorts grand finale.
- The Lyric Lounge, Leicester: A seven-day festival to enable people to explore and enjoy the power of live literature. The event at the Y Theatre is being held as part of the cultural programme for the Special Olympics, Lounge events are expected to attract hundreds of artists, athletes, local families and literature fans alike.
- A Century of Olympic Posters, The Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead. The show, on tour from the V&A Museum, explores the representation of the Olympic Games through the intensely visual medium of the poster. Marking the Beijing Olympic Games of 2008 and the build-up to London 2012.
- Streetstyle, Sportstyle 89/09, Leicester University, is an exhibition exploring what people in the East Midlands were wearing in 1989 and what they choose to wear in 2009. The exhibition will include everyday and sports clothes loaned by local people as well as designer and high street clothes preserved by museums around the East Midlands.
- Our Sporting Life, at the World Rugby Museum, Richmond upon Thames. As part of Our Sporting Life, WRM will be inviting members of the public to share their personal, family and community sporting memories. The Museum will also be opening up its archives to explore Rugby’s connections with the Olympics. Did you know that the USA are the reigning Olympic rugby champions? Or that Cornwall competed in the 1908 Olympic rugby final?
- Medley Mix-Up, Southampton: A rare open to all opportuntiy for people to take part in in dressing Southampton’s most famous landmark-The Bargate. Volunteers will attend free workshops led by a professional artist to create a display that will dress the Bargate throughout London 2012 Open Weekend. The display will be made out of recycled materials from Southampton Scrapstore and will represent a mix of various cultures to celebrate the Cultural Olympiad.
- Journey to Olympus, East Horsely: Inspired by the Olympic Games coming to London, six dances from The Freewheelers Theatre Company, follow the history and celebration of the Games including: Ancient Games, Journey, Victory, Trust, Colours (inspired by the Olympic flag) and Celebration (a dance of joy, achievement and celebration). Freewheelers consists of people from many culturally diverse backgrounds and is made up of disabled and non-disabled artists.
- Step up Bradford, Bradford, dance all weekend! The programme begins with an open air-tea dance with professional dancers and anyone who wants to have a go. Stepping up the beat, dancing will continue into the evening and on Saturday with a vibrant mix of musical styles and sounds. Performances from Circus, Aerial, Bicycle Ballet and a host of other activity will delight and entertain. Internationally renowned Strange Fruit from Melbourne will perform both nights, fusing circus, dance and theatre including seven performers perched on Giant illuminated orbs.
The Inspire programme and Open Weekend are examples of how London 2012 is enabling people and communities right across the UK to benefit from the Games, encouraging participation and recognising the contribution people, places and projects are making to the success of the 2012 Games.
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