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Devonish helps launch schools programme for European Indoors

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Marlon Devonish

Olympic Gold medallist Marlon Devonish visited Acocks Green Primary School on Tuesday 7 November to help launch the schools programme for the 2007 European Athletics Indoor Championships.

 

The schools programme has been launched so that young people in Birmingham can be part of this major event, which is happening on their doorstep.

 

The programme includes four different elements, a design a postcard competition, composing a piece of music, a journalism competition and a challenge to organise an athletics festival.

 

Acocks Green Primary School are entering the design a postcard competition and Marlon who, as well as being a World Class athlete, is an artist in his spare time, encouraged the children to be creative and helped them with their designs.

 

Devonish said: "The schools programme for the European Athletics Indoor Championships is a great way of getting local children involved in the event and taking part in this scheme will hopefully inspire them. I've always had an interest in art and loved to draw and paint from an early age so it is great to help encourage Birmingham school children to be creative too. "

 

Marlon also talked about the benefits of competing in a major championship on home soil, a subject which he can talk about with authority having won a gold medal in the 200m at the World Indoor Athletics Championships which was held at Birmingham's NIA in 2003.

 

He said: "I know from my own experience at the World Indoor Athletics Championships what a great feeling it is to compete in a major championships on home soil as the crowd really gets behind you.”

 

Packs detailing the schools programme have already been sent to every primary, secondary and special school in Birmingham and the schools are also being given an opportunity to apply for free tickets to attend the Friday of the Championships.

 

There are also some exciting prizes for the winners of all four of the competitions. Four winning postcard designs will be selected and these will be used to create real postcards which will be given to all the athletes who compete at the event. The winners of the musical composition will see their entry performed at the event and one winner of the journalism competition will be invited to attend an official press conference.

 

Every school that enters one or more of the competitions will receive a certificate and a selection of pupils from schools that have entered any of the four competitions will be invited to take part in the official opening ceremony for the event.

 

For more information about the programme schools can call 0121 464 6002.To find out more about the European Athletics Indoor Championships log onto www.birminghamathletics2007.com or call 0870 739 2007.

 

To find out more about Marlon Devonish and to see examples of his drawings and paintings visit www.marlondevonish.co.uk

 

The European Athletics Indoor Championships will be part funded by UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Events Programme, which aims to secure events of strategic importance that deliver a range of lasting benefits.