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Students celebrate Olympic legacy at national festival

Get Set celebrates the education legacy of London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games at Festival of Education

Posted by Stephanie Broad | July 04, 2016 | Sports & Leisure

With the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games fast approaching, Team GB and ParalympicsGB’s youth engagement programme Get Set is celebrating the positive impact of the Olympic and Paralympic Values across 80% of schools within the UK.

On International Olympic Day, 23 June, the renowned Telegraph Festival of Education experienced a Get Set takeover as athletes, students and senior teachers took to the stage to discuss how the initiative has changed their lives since the end of the London 2012 Games.

The Telegraph Festival of Education also took part in Get Set’s Road to Rio Challenge, where hundreds of educators and students were put through their paces on the grounds of Wellington College. The initiative, funded by the Spirit 2012 Trust, has inspired teams of five to 19 year-olds across the country to travel the full distance of 9,298km from London to Rio, through any physical activity.  

Sarah Winckless, former British Olympic rower and rising star of British sports governance, spoke at the event and praised Get Set’s role in ensuring an education legacy for London 2012.  

She said: “I feel incredibly lucky to have had great experiences through sport. However, the bedrock of my second career in sport has come from the lessons I've learned, the people I've met and the values I live. Get Set gives pupils the opportunity to learn and grow from the Olympic and Paralympic values, making those values their own.”  

Winckless, recently appointed as Team England Chef de Mission for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, was joined by students from Park House School in Newbury, one of the UK’s top-performing state schools.

Those students included Annabel Chaffey, who broke new ground in British women’s winter sports when she became women’s Youth World Bobsleigh Champion at 16. Annabel is now World Number 2 in her sport and is tipped for a spot at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea.

Park House in Newbury is just one example of schools and students benefiting from London 2012’s education legacy. Ally Sheldon, a PE co-ordinator working across 14 schools in Yorkshire, has been a part of Get Set since its inception and is currently taking part in Get Set’s Road to Rio Challenge.

Ally said of her experience with Get Set: “everyone involved feels like they have played a small part in the journey. Our pupils are trying to do more both at school and outside of school in order to achieve their goal…. We want them to be aware that they can succeed by trying new things, improving and working together. I think our pupils are now more aware of their actions and are more willing to try new things.” 

Jan Paterson, CEO of the British Olympic Foundation and Director of Olympic Relations for the British Olympic Association, focused on how Get Set resources and online tools have helped teachers to foster team work, courage and creativity.  

“Sport, especially Olympic sport, can have a uniquely unifying quality,” she said. “The Get Set programme and its resources for teachers have had an extremely positive impact on the lives of young people. We feel the Olympic Values can help to enhance the enjoyment and understanding of education, whilst developing motivation and raising aspirations.” 

Meanwhile Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of the British Paralympic Association, praised Get Set’s values-centred ambition and impact on communities. He commented: “I think the Get Set programme is one of the shining jewels of London 2012.  As an active legacy of the Games it provides young people with a fantastic platform to learn, understand and appreciate more about themselves and how they can positively change the communities and society in which they live – based on the principles of the three Olympic and four Paralympic Values. The BPA is tremendously proud of its association with Get Set”.

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