Liverpool Backs London 2012’s Olympic Bid
Leaders and schoolchildren from Liverpool – the European Capital of Culture in 2008 – met youngsters from London at the Tate Modern to herald the start of FriendShip Week.
Liverpool’s maritime heritage lies at the heart of their Capital of Culture plans, and the city offers a dynamic link to London 2012’s FriendShip project through a FriendShip programme already in operation in Liverpool’s schools as a means of promoting tolerance through culture. Sir Bob Scott, Director of International Affairs at the Liverpool Culture Company, was on hand to accompany local youngsters in a symbolic endorsement of London’s FriendShip project.
The Olympic FriendShip – an ocean-going clipper that would be launched at the 2008 Beijing Games – is the centrepiece of London’s proposed cultural programme for the 2012 Games.
The ship would embark on a four-year voyage of discovery before arriving in London at the start of the 2012 Games. Crewed by young artists, scientists and students, the FriendShip would make a four-year global voyage of discovery and cultural exchange, carrying a ‘cargo of ideas’ reflecting the richness of our cultural life.
Sir Bob and Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, Patron of Sea Liverpool 2005, extended the hand of Friendship to London 2012. Five schoolchildren from the Gilmour Junior School in Liverpool, who have already experienced the FriendShip culture project, met five London schoolchildren from the Islington Arts and Media School in London in a ceremony involving the passing on of a baton and the exchange of FriendShip flags.
“Liverpool is delighted to be passing on the baton of FriendShip to London in 2008” said Sir Bob Scott, Director, International Affairs. “Liverpool has long been recognised as one of the most creative and friendly cities in the UK and through the Friendship project Liverpool is extending the hand of friendship across the UK, and through the London 2012 Bid, to the rest of the world.”
“I am very excited by the FriendShip plans” said London 2012 Ambassador and Athens 2004 sailing gold medallist Sarah Webb. “If London is chosen to host the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, the spirit of international friendship will be brought to life through the global journey of Olympic FriendShip. As a sailor I can’t think of a better way to get people involved in a voyage of discovery and cultural exchange.”
Jude Kelly, Chair of London 2012’s Arts, Culture and Education Committee, said that FriendShip week would showcase the UK’s unrivalled cultural vibrancy. “The events of FriendShip Week, from sports tournaments to arts festivals and international forums to schools celebrations, all reinforce the message that the UK shares a real commitment to Olympic ideals. FriendShip week demonstrates the cultural diversity and dynamism of our country.”
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