In a country with diverse race, creed and ethnicity, yet cultural and racial cohesion remains a scarce commodity. A sense of community among the people of London needs improvement just like many of the major cities in the world.
The Olympic rings rise up during the opening ceremony in London
The 2012 London Olympic Games offered churches in Tooting, South East of London the perfect opportunity to enhance cultural integration and edify the sense of community. This gave birth to the Open Crowd Festival which took place the day after the Games’ Opening Ceremony.
Led by Tooting Junction Baptist Church, the Pastor, Osoba Otaigbe told 2K Plus International Sports Media: “In London we have multi-cultural people and communities around but they don’t talk to each other. Right here in Tooting we want multi-cultural group that would talk to each other, connect with each other, do things with each other socially, spiritually, physically and be part of what we are all doing.”
The festival brought diverse people from different cultures, religion, gender and ages to spend community time together on the grounds of Figges Marsh. With many opportunities to have fun children and parents attended in hundreds. The entertainment included a live band, free barbeque, Zumba dance, face painting, bouncy castle and a slide.
Zumba dancer and facilitator Anjoli Rider said, “We just try to encourage people to be fit, happy and to exercise also. This country is one of the biggest in obesity because of the weather where a lot of people just spend time indoors on their sofa.”
“It is important to see the community come together in the spirit of the Olympic Games but most importantly coming together to share the love of Christ,” added Pastor Otaigbe.
Now that the London Olympic Games is on, churches, ministries, NGOs and mission organisation and definitely on the creative side as they seek to create a city which overflows with love and a sense of community even after the Olympic Games.
Note: 2K Plus International Sports Media has reported from major sporting events with a Christian perspective since 1991. During the 2012 London Olympic Games 2K Plus is serving over 1500 radio stations in four languages as well as offering print, video, online and social media services. See www.2kplus.org.uk and www.planetsport.tv. Contact Adrian Barnard: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: +44-7986-362487.
Solomon Izang Ashoms is editor and publisher of Parable magazine in South Africa. He has worked in TV and radio and has reported from many major sports events including the Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games, two FIFA [Soccer] World Cups and World Athletics Championships. Originally from Nigeria he is now based in Johannesburg