This week’s post comes from Barney Wolstenholme, who’s been volunteering on our Olympics Helpdesk. Barney writes:
The Olympics are three weeks away! A few weeks in advance is a perfect time to start telling people about an event, and there are loads of things you could still organise. Here are a few things you can pull off with minimal effort:
Why not throw a sports quiz?
Anyone can hold a sports quiz for the Olympic Games, and you don’t even have to write it! There are two possibilities: the Christians in Sport website provides a DVD of questions, helpful instructions, and – if you want to use it – a short video about Christianity. Alternatively, the London 2012 website has a quiz in the style of ‘A Question of Sport’. Posters and invite cards are all provided with London 2012 branding that you’re able to use, so advertising it is easy, and instantly looks good.
Branding itself is not too much of a minefield, but you will need to read up on it so as not to get caught out. For more details please read this blog article.
Bring-and-share barbecue or picnic lunch
Eating together is a great way to break down barriers and start conversations within your community. If you enjoyed a street party for the Jubilee, this would be a great way to keep those new friendships warm.
You might want to advertise this as a ‘community picnic’, rather than a ‘church picnic’, to emphasize that it’s not just for churchgoers. In terms of increasing local outreach, it’s important not just to throw a party for those you already know – tell your neighbours, your children’s friends’ families, your local shopkeepers. You may be surprised at how many people want to meet some new people.
You could see if any members of your congregation were able to do face painting or organise a football or rounders match at the park. These things can be organised fairly spontaneously and can be lots of fun. Or if you have the capacity (and a TV licence), you could screen coverage of the Games. The weekend of 4-5 August would be ideal for this as there are lots of great events to watch.
A summer to remember
In terms of welcoming visitors, wouldn’t it be great to make a lasting memory of the Games one of community? Make sure to advertise in B&Bs and hotels near you, and ask your congregation to bring any family or friends staying with them.
Even if you aren’t convinced that three weeks leaves enough time to organise something properly, the Opening Ceremony is, of course, just the beginning. The Games last until 9 September, so in reality you have up to two months. You might even find it easier to get something together later in the summer.
It’s not too late…
Ring our helpdesk on 020 7932 1251, contact us (Email: olympicmobiliser [at] london.anglican.org) by email, or drop in to Causton Street if you’d like to discuss your plans. Please keep in touch with stories and photos of what you’re up to, as it’s great to hear what everyone is doing.