PICTURE GALLERY: Norfolk people urged to be inspired by the Olympic Games

People in Norfolk are being urged to get active in the run-up to the 2012 Games as an Olympic-inspired project gains official affiliation with the global sporting event.

Pledge 2012 is one of 91 projects in the east of England to have been awarded the coveted Inspire Mark.

Using the inspiration of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the project hopes to sign up 2,012 people to pledge to take up a sport or activity in 2012.

The project, which is being run by Active Norfolk in partnership with Norfolk County Council and NHS Norfolk, will support participants in reaching their goals whether that is taking up a new sport, getting active, quitting smoking or becoming a sports coach.

Pledge 2012, which will launch in June, is one of nearly 20 Norfolk-based schemes to have gained the Inspire Mark.

James Carswell, cabinet member for cultural services at County Hall, said: 'Norfolk is leading the way with a fantastic spread of Inspire Mark projects, encouraging people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to get involved and be inspired by the Games.

'Pledge 2012 is another example of how we are using the Games as a springboard to help us achieve our ambition of creating aspirational people with a high level of achievement and skills across the county.'

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Pledge 2012 was one of seven projects represented at a tour of the Olympic Park yesterday.

As part of the tour, project leaders were joined by Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards and Stephen Castle, chairman of Nations and Regions in the East of England.

Mr Edwards, deputy chairman of the Nations and Regions Group, said: 'With all the Inspire Mark projects, I have been taken aback by the innovation.

'The Pledge 2012 project captures the Olympic Games and transfers that into what works in the community.'

Just last week, Beat, the Norwich-based national charity for eating disorders, was awarded the coveted mark for its My Personal Best project.

For more information about the London 2012 Inspire programme, go to www.london2012.com