You could feel the anticipation and excitement in the air as the children gathered on their school playground. Reporters and camera crews milled around waiting for the doors to open. Then a cheer went up from the children as a door swung open and their heroes walked towards them.
Gearing up for the Muller Anniversary Games
It was 2012 and my new baby was just eight weeks old. We bundled her into a baby carrier and packed so many items of baby equipment you could have been forgiven for thinking we were going away for a month.
We’d been lucky enough to get tickets for the water polo at the London 2012 Olympics. The matches we watched were incredible, you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife. As water polo players, we were delighted to see people getting so into it because it’s a minority sport here in the UK. And yet, we couldn’t help feeling we were missing out a little bit because the main event was going on in the athletics stadium next door.
Super Saturday and the athletics surrounding it were a moment of clarity for so many people. Seeing British athletes competing on the world stage and absolutely nailing it. The realisation that these were people who lived in your area, perhaps even on your street. And they were winning gold medals with millions watching on television.
If only you could bottle that level of inspiration and feed it annually to the athletes of the future. And that is exactly what the Muller Anniversary Games has done. Every year in July, international athletes gather in London to try to replicate what their heroes did in 2012. It is the perfect family day out and the ideal way to get children truly excited about sport.
Launching the Muller Anniversary Games
Last week, Lia and I headed to London for the Muller Anniversary Games launch event. It was held at Park Primary School in Stratford, located not far from the stadium where the games will take place. The heroes the children greeted with such enthusiasm were World T44 long jump champion Stef Reid and British 100m champion Reece Prescod.
Reece grew up less than five miles away from the school and is now competing on the world stage. I chatted to him about the inspiration he drew from London 2012 and how the next generation of athletes would be inspired by the Muller Anniversary Games. He explained that in 2012, he was competing at county level. Seeing international athletics in his home town gave him the inspiration he needed to realise he could take his own sport to the next level.
For Stef, the games are a great opportunity to showcase para sport and see how far it has come since London 2012. She loves being able to show children that there are no barriers when it comes to getting active. Joining a local athletics club and even competing on the world stage is possible, whoever you are.
I loved seeing the school children so enthused and inspired about sport. We’ll be going to the games in July and the girls are so excited about it! We’ve taken them to watch athletics before and it’s the perfect family day out with an incredible atmosphere and inspiration in abundance. If your family would love it too, tickets are available on the British Athletics website. Ticket prices start at just £10!