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Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Monday, 19 July 2010 13:56 UK
Cultural Olympiad weekend mixes art and exercise
Belly dancers
Belly dancing is just of the ways to help you get fit for the Olympics

The Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are about more than sport.

This year's 2012 Open Weekend in Stoke and Staffordshire is staging a Cultural Olympiad - a series of events to showcase the UK's arts and culture.

During the weekend of 23-25 July people are being urged to 'challenge themselves' and try something new.

In Stoke-on-Trent, for example, the City Council is running a People Dancing scheme to promote good health ahead of the Olympics.

People Dancing

Members of the Stoke-on-Trent public are being encouraged to try out a range of dance art forms from Bhangra to Tea Dance, from Hip Hop to Belly Dancing.

The £90,000 project is aimed at people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

It is being funded by the Legacy Trust, an independent charity that hopes to leave a lasting sporting and cultural legacy from the London 2012 Games.

Councillor Hazel Lyth, cabinet member for economic development and culture, said: "People Dancing is a great project that everyone, of all ages, can take part in.

"It's about getting people fit and healthy, but also about encouraging a real community spirit and togetherness.

"The whole process of the build up to the Olympics really is to try and get as many people across the whole region engaged in sport or leisure activities of some sort or another. Dance is a fantastic means of engagement."

Cultural Olympiad events across Staffordshire

There are over 50 events registered across the West Midlands. A full list can be found on the website: http://www.wmfor2012.com/openweekend

In Stoke-on-Trent, you can join members of staff from the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in a torch-lit Saxon storytelling session and discuss the latest theories about the Staffordshire Hoard - the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found.

But there are lots of other events to choose from around Staffordshire including a giant knitting project in Burton, an It's A Knockout charity event in Stoke and creating art installations in Stafford.

Selected events

Away Pitch - Friday 23rd July 2010

Contact email: rachel.huyton@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk

Phone: 01283 508100 for details

The Brewhouse Arts Centre, Union Street, Burton upon Trent DE14 1EB from 2pm

Away Pitch is a development of last year's exhibition project entitled 'Pitch' that combined art with sport in an exciting visual way to link the two specialisms together to celebrate our local success and expertise. Away Pitch will extend this celebration through the County of Staffordshire involving 12 exhibition sites linking artists and sports representatives to deliver a county-wide visual art experience that will involve the community and live performance. Sports representatives will house artists work in their own homes and the response will culminate in a touring exhibition involving 12 separate launches throughout the year. Away Pitch aims to celebrate the wealth of talent in both sport and art across the county.


Community Games - Saturday 24th July 2010

Contact email: kirsty.smith@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk

Phone: 01283 505917

Queen Street Community Centre, Burton-upon-Trent 1030 - 4pm - you need to fill in an application form first

We have been inspired by Much Wenlock and made it into a more up-to-date version including all the traditional games and some more diverse events including the Rodo bull and knitting competition as they did back in 1850.


Be Part of the Art: Culture Cube project launch - Saturday 24th July 2010

Contact email: carl.johnson@staffordshire.gov.uk

Shire Hall Library, Market Street, Stafford 10am to 2pm

We are asking members of the public to visit Stafford Library and create a work of art! Using images cut from magazines, found objects, photographs or bits of material, we would like you to create a visual statement about the area and the community around you, its diversity and how you feel about it. Each piece of artwok has to fit into a cube 2012mm square.

The finished Assemblage Art Cubes will become part of a larger installation and will also be photographed and recorded for Staffordshire local studies collection.

This ongoing project will be launched on Saturday 24th July to complement Celebrating Staffordshire Arts and Museum's support for the Cultural Olympiad which includes the opening of its new exhibition A Sense of Place and related events taking place in the market square.


Make Some Noise at Cannock Library - Saturday 24th July 2010

Contact email: lisa.dyke@staffordshire.gov.uk

Phone: 01543 510369

Cannock Library, Manor Avenue, Cannock, Staffordshire 1300 - 1500


Enjoy a musical performance by local youngsters followed by a hands-on workshop at Cannock Library. Be inspired to try a range of instruments to celebrate the Cultural Olympiad in the lead up to London 2012.


Celebrating Staffordshire - Saturday 24th July 2010

Contact email: jackie.bradbury@staffordshire.gov.uk

Phone: 01785 278170

Shire Hall Gallery, Market Square, Stafford

10am to 4pm


Join us in the Market Square where we will be celebrating all things Staffordshire. Get creative with artists and musicians, enjoy live music and dance - or find out more about the BBC's History of the World and join in with some of our larts and historical activities.


Wildflower Meadow Safari - Sunday 25th July 2010

Contact email: paul.shires@stoke.gov.uk

Phone: 01782 331 889 to book your place

Park Hall Country Park and Hulme Quarry National Nature Reserve, Hulme Road, Weston Coyney, Stoke-on-Trent from 1.30-3.30pm

This fun family activity will introduce you to some of the wildlife that can be found in and around the beautiful wildflower meadows at Park Hall Country Park and Hulme Quarry National Nature Reserve. Do you know what hay rattle is? Have you ever seen a small skipper? Join us and find out more about the wonderful wildlife that lives around us.


Closer to home - 23 July 2010 @ 13:00

Circular Walks events at Burslem Park. A short health walk in Burslem Park, everyone welcome ? children under 16 to be accompanied by a responsible adult

Walk, get fit and have fun with our led walking group. Check out their website: www.closertohomewalks.co.uk

We provide short led health walks in and around Stoke-on-Trent, for people to come out and enjoy the city's pleasant parks and greenways whilst getting fit and having fun. All walks are between 45 and 60 minutes and people can walk at a pace that suits their ability.

Free event... no tickets required.


A Charity 'It's a Knockout Competition' - 25 July 2010

Michelin Sports & Leisure, Rosetree Avenue, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 6NL

Enjoy the It's a Knockout Challenge whilst raising funds for your chosen charity. The event is open to individuals, charities, groups, organizations to take part in fun way that also encourages healthy exercise.

Money is raised by 1. Paying a nominal registration fee to take part. 2. Getting people to sponsor you for participating. The money raised from sponsorship can be donated to the work of Arch or to any other charity of you choice. Why not bring along the family and a Picnic and make it a truly 'Family Fun Day'.

Enjoy the challenge whilst raising funds for your chosen charity. Admission is 50p per person. Registration is £2.00 per person. Registrater from 12.30pm, competition starts at 2.00pm.

Visit their website: www.archnorthstaffs.org.uk for more info.


Take the Challenge Open Weekend - 24 July 2010

Tamworth Youth Centre, Spinning School Lane, Tamworth from 10.00-16.00.

Get higher than your friends on the climbing wall; Take the Robo?Pong Challenge; Take the Wii Challenge; Join us for the Tug of War; and Make your own Medal

We're opening our doors to the public -adults, families, children and young people and encourage them to try something new or different. Try out the Climbing Wall, artistic challenges (make your own medal), Fun Sports, silly games, and much more. Food & Refreshments will be available throughout the day at a small cost. Full use will be made of both the indoor & outdoor Sports Areas,

Free entry. Go to their website: www.tamyouth.org.uk for further details.


The Newcastle-under-Lyme Triathlon Challenge - 25 July 2010

The task to every participant is to swim, run or cycle a mile or more towards the collective aim of completing the distance from the Borough of Newcastle to the London Olympic stadium. Participants of the event are invited to record the distance that they have achieved on a map which will be broken down in to blocks of miles. On completion, participants will be rewarded with a certificate badge or shirt for their efforts.

Runners and cyclists are invited to make their contribution between Friday 23 and Sunday 25 July at the centre. The Swimamile will take place at Jubilee Pool on Sunday, 25 July from 6pm onwards. Contact centre on 01782 616606


Journey to London - 23 July 2010 ?25 July 2010

Join us on our journey from North Staffordshire to the site of the 2012 games in London. The aim is to cover the distance from the centres to London without leaving North Staffordshire creating a link with 2012 games.

Kidsgrove Sports Centre, Forth Avenue, Stoke-on-Trent . Contact Wendy Blantford ? wendy.blantford@newcastle-staffs.gov.uk

Cultural Olympiad plans unveiled
04 Sep 08 |  Entertainment
Why we have a Cultural Olympiad
04 Sep 08 |  Entertainment


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