Last week I met London 2012 chair Seb Coe and Olympian Jonathan Edwards CBE at a reception in Parliament to hear more about the 50 ways people can join in and get involved with the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.
Following the great community spirit displayed in the recent Jubilee celebrations, and the hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets to welcome the Olympic Flame, the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games wants to ensure that no one misses the opportunity of a lifetime to be part of London 2012.
As we reach the final straight to the Games, it’s time for everybody to start thinking how they can play their part and celebrate what is going to be an incredible summer. The list of 50 ways to get involved has some great ideas. There is something in it for everyone, from making flame hats and shakers for children to the Join In App for mobile phones. I hope that everyone in Airdrie and Shotts can join in with the celebrations this summer and make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity.
The list of 50 ways to ‘Join In’ is as follows:
1. Line the streets and dress up your area to celebrate the Olympic Torch Relay.
2. Follow the Olympic Flame and watch the Relay live as it journeys around the UK, giving inspirational Torchbearers their moment to shine.
3. Garden for the Games: Run window boxes down your street in red, white and blue. Plant golden marigolds or get the neighbours talking and plant the Olympic Rings.
4. Hold a sports quiz with your friends and family to find the brains of the Games. You can download everything you need to get started, including quizzes and answer sheets, when you sign up as a Local Leader.
5. Gather friends and family to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony on 27 July. Sign up to be a Local Leader for everything you need to get you started – including party invites, recipes and Opening Night In party games.
6. Host a Super Saturday party on 4 August, when 25 gold medals will be won. A perfect day to host an Olympic BBQ. Sign up to be a Local Leader for everything you need to get you started including invites, recipes and party games.
7. Grab a bell and ring it on the morning of the opening day of the London 2012 Olympic Games for ‘Work No.1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes’ by Turner Prize-winning artist and musician Martin Creed. The UK is invited to ring thousands of bells at the same time, whether schools bells, church bells, town hall bells, bicycle bells or door bells.
8. Join Our Greatest Team – send a message of support to Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
9. Download the Official London 2012 Join In App – a mobile guide to help you plan, enjoy and share your Games experience.
10. Get a ticket to watch the Olympic Football Tournament around the UK. Tickets from £20 for adults, with special prices for young people and seniors.
11. Buy Olympic tickets, with prices starting from £20, at the London 2012 ticketing website
12. Join in the free Big Dance – the UK’s biggest ever celebration of dance. Thousands of events will take place in all sorts of locations and in all dance styles, open to absolutely anyone.
13. Buy Paralympic Games tickets and witness sport like never before. Tickets from £10 for adults, £5 for young people and seniors.
14. Make sure your local school celebrates the athletes and cultures of the world on London 2012 World Sport Day on 25 June.
17. Get your school to enter the ‘Get Set for Team GB and ParalympicsGB’ schools competition, pledging their support to our greatest team as they prepare for the Games
18. Attend one of the Paralympic Games ‘Light a Lantern’ events.
19. Plan Paralympic Games activities for the start of the new school year in September.
20. Download the final mascot film from the Get Set website and host a special school assembly to see how their journey ends.
21. Bake a Mount Olympus Pudding for your Olympic celebrations, an dessert of Olympic ambitions created by the Baker Brothers. Download the recipe from the Local Leaders website
22. Watch all the sport and enjoy other entertainment at Live Sites with giant screens around the UK.
23. Go and get your photo taken with the giant Olympic Rings situated around the UK including including London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast and Birmingham.
24. Try a new Olympic sport. Learn all about the sports on the London 2012 programme
25. Sign up to receive advice about attending one of the nine free road events during the Games, including the Marathon and Cycling Road Race.
26. Find out about athletes born in your area hoping to compete at London 2012. Find out about their sport and get ready to follow their journey.
27. Learn more about the nations and cultures of the athletes who will be based at a Pre-Games Training Camp near you.
28. Buy your flags and banners to line the streets for Olympic Torch Relay from £5 from the Online Shop and in the official London 2012 Shop at John Lewis.
29. Find out how to train to become a referee, official or coach in a sport that interests you.
30. Take part in the London 2012 Festival – over 10 million free opportunities for a huge range of arts and culture events.
31. Enjoy The Big Concert – Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, on 21 June, broadcast live from Stirling on BBC Four and at 22 London 2012 Live Sites across the UK.
32. Join the 100,000 people on Hackney Marshes by listening to the BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and on BBC Three.
33. Get tickets to your local Picturehouse cinema for the simultaneous broadcast of film premieres and a director Q&A event from the Hackney Picturehouse. It’s showing four new films commissioned for the London 2012 Festival by BBC Films and Film4: Mike Leigh’s A Running Jump, Lynne Ramsay’s The Swimmer, Asif Kapadia’s The Odyssey and WHAT IF by Max and Dania of StreetDance 3D fame and starring Noel Clarke.
34. Tune into the world-famous BBC Proms – a London 2012 Festival highlight. From Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to specially-filmed new Wallace and Gromit animations and the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ celebrations. If you can’t make it to the Royal Albert Hall you can enjoy the performances for free on BBC Radio 3, and many will also be screened on BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four.
35. Visit some of the Olympic Host Cities and towns given their moment to shine during the Torch Relay. Get 20.12% discount off top attractions along with other fantastic offers.
36. Make your own mascot and play games with Wenlock and Mandeville.
37. Buy your Team GB scarf to support our greatest team.
38. Tune into BBC coverage of the Olympic Games.
39. Follow @London2012 on Twitter and Like the London 2012 Facebook page for all the latest info, photos, competitions and more.
40. Follow @iamWenlock & @iamMandeville on Twitter and Like Wenlock and Mandeville’s pages on Facebook.
41. Log on to the London 2012 website from your computer or mobile phone for results, news and information.
42. Download the official results app to keep up with the action – coming soon!
45. Have tickets to a London 2012 Olympic or Paralympic event? Go to the Spectator Guide and start planning your journey.
46. Scour the online schedule to make sure you know when your favourite sport is on.
47. Buy your Team GB replica kit from the London 2012 Shop and cheer on our greatest team.
48. Sign up to ‘Join in’ emails giving you news, videos and exclusive competitions from now right through the Games.
49. Be part of the UK-wide art project ‘Peace Camp’: glowing encampments at some of the most beautiful and remote coastal locations, from County Antrim to the tip of Cornwall. Explore the artwork live and contribute online.
50. Join A Hansel of Film – Shetland to Southampton and back: a celebration of films made by the public and shown on big screens, curated by film critics Mark Kermode and Linda Ruth Williams.