Pupils at Priory School are ensuring the London 2012 legacy lives on after rubbing shoulders with Olympic champion Etienne Stott.
Despite the dust having settled on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games more than a year ago, the memories of that unforgettable summer remain fresh at Priory.
A handful of pupils attended a Get Set to Make a Change workshop at Norwich’s The King’s Centre last week, where they were given expert advice from London 2012 canoeing gold medallist Stott and former Paralympic champion Natalie Jones.
They were also offered support and ideas to plan a community project as the scheme bids to encourage people to come together, using the Olympic and Paralympic Games as their inspiration.
Gus Thompson was one of those Priory School pupils and, after meeting Stott and Jones in the flesh, he is now bursting with ideas for their plan to introduce the elderly to new sports within their community.
“The Get Set workshop was brilliant and we learned a lot about how to help our community,” said the 15-year-old. “We played sports like handball and blind football and we also did some dancing while I was very ecstatic to meet the athletes.
“Our idea to help the community is that we want to go into an old people’s home and teach them boccia and curling so they can stay fit and healthy.
“We have decided, because of this workshop, that we will try it out on younger people first before doing it for the elderly.”
The Get Set to Make a Change programme will inspire almost 5,000 teenagers through 23 roadshows in 12 cities across the UK to deliver pledges of support to their community.
And, with his dream London 2012 still fresh, canoe slalom double champion Stott admitted it was an easy decision to throw his weight behind Priory and the innovative new programme.
“The excitement the London Olympics and Paralympics generated was massive and for me it is important it is not confined to that year but leaks into society and brings change and makes a difference to people’s lives for as long as possible,” said Stott.
“I just want to help generate energy and excitement and I really want to just tell people that they can make a difference that not only makes you better, but the people around you better to and that is the great thing about this programme.”
PLEASE LEAVE IN FINAL PAR – Through GSTMC, the British Olympic Foundation, in conjunction with the British Paralympic Association is using the spirit of the London Games to re-inspire young people across the UK.
The project is being supported by a £2.5m grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive campaign.