Coca‑Cola blog: Celebrating Future Flames
Katherine Symonds, Head of Sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games at Coca‑Cola Great Britain, explains how we're helping to highlight the best of British youth through London 2012
Coca-Cola is – and always has been – a company that connects brilliantly with young people. As we planned for London 2012, we saw some great opportunities to use our association with the Olympic Movement to bring all kinds of benefits to young people around the country.
Probably the most high-profile of these programmes has been our Future Flames Olympic Torchbearer recruitment campaign. As a Presenting Partner of the Olympic Torch Relay, we chose to help highlight the best of British youth by rewarding those who have made a positive contribution to their local communities and the environment, giving them the once in a lifetime opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame.
This has allowed us to shine a light on the best of British youth by recognising, rewarding and inspiring the young people who use their passions in areas like sport and physical activity, music and dance, and the community and environment to help make Britain burn brighter.
Inside the Olympic Park, we’ve built a dedicated pavilion to continue this story. As well as celebrating the people who carried the Olympic Flame for Coca-Cola, the whole experience has been conceived of and built by Future Flames – emerging talent in fields as diverse as acting, architecture and sound engineering.
Our Future Flames campaign has been supported by its own advertising campaign and a big online presence - but we have been championing British youth in other, quieter ways too. We sponsor the national sports charity StreetGames, allowing it to grow its network of ‘doorstep sport’ projects to 110,000 young people in the most deprived areas of the country. We’ve used our association with London 2012 to encourage and inspire more young people to get involved with this amazing charity in their local areas.
In fact, 45 young people who participate in StreetGames projects have secured some fantastic paid work experience this summer – they will be part of the Coca-Cola Venue Operations team which will work inside the Olympic venues, making sure that athletes, officials and spectators all stay refreshed and adequately hydrated. You can hear about it in their own words here.
We also wanted to take the magic of the Olympic Games out to individual projects. That led us to create a Coca-Cola bursary scheme to allow young athletes – Olympic & Paralympic hopefuls – to set up and champion initiatives that will benefit the projects in their communities.
One example is the swimming lessons set up by the gold medal winning Paralympic swimmer Stephanie Millward. She is personally getting into the pool with young people from her local project, and is helping to teach them how to swim. What an inspirational person to learn from!
Find out more about our Future Flames
- Watch our video and get to know Declan, Terry and Elodie - three inspirational young people who will carry the Olympic Flame for London 2012
- Read our Coca-Cola Future Flames mums' blogs - written by women whose sons and daughters are taking part in the Relay
- See popular band The Wanted surprise several Future Flames with good news on London's Carnaby Street.