UK Schools Go Global and Show Support for Olympic and Paralympic Teams Across the World
London 2012 have launched an initiative to encourage schools across the UK to support Olympic and Paralympic teams around the world in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer.
The scheme will help students prepare for the arrival of athletes and visitors from around the world to their towns, cities and communities ahead of the Games.
Launched to coincide with International Education Week, the new initiative called ‘Support a Team’ is a major new strand of Get Set goes global’, part of the official London 2012 education programme which aims to help students explore and demonstrate how sport brings the world together.
Schools will be encouraged to learn about the athletes and cultures of their chosen teams, along with Team GB and ParalympicsGB, in the lead-up to the London 2012 Games.
All schools can access free learning resources at www.london2012.com/getsetgoesglobal to help them to select their teams. Resources designed to help young people get behind the athletes competing for Team GB and ParalympicsGB will be available via the ‘Get Set’ website in the new year.
Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), launched the scheme today at Perryfields Primary School in Oldbury, Sandwell, near Birmingham. The school has chosen to support the Ethiopian Olympic team because they have been inspired by the achievements and values of Haile Gebrselassie, the long-distance track and road running athlete.
They have also chosen to support the Zambian Paralympic team because they have a link with a Zambian school and would like to use this to build on the learning they have done about the Paralympic Games.
They are starting their learning through a number of different activities including researching Ethiopia’s and Zambia’s previous performance at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, their athletes, and their languages. The pupils will also create banners and flags to help them to show their support for the teams.
There will be up to 204 Olympic teams and 170 Paralympic teams competing at London 2012 and there are many ways a school can select a team. Schools could choose a team their school or community already has a link with or that speaks a language spoken in their school. They may choose a team training near them at a Pre Games Training Camp or by using the ‘team selector tool’ on the interactive map, available on the ‘Get Set goes global’ website www.london2012.com/getsetgoesglobal
Other schools that have already chosen their teams include:
St Catherine’s College in Northern Ireland who are supporting the Olympic and Paralympic teams from Suriname after learning about Surinamese international swimmer and Olympic gold medallist Anthony Nesty.
Lasswade High School in Midlothian, Scotland have chosen to support China and South Africa because of existing links with schools in those countries. They are particularly interested in the Chinese Gymnastics team and following South African Paralympian, Oscar Pistorius’, preparations for the Games.
Heolddu Comprehensive School in Wales who are supporting the Australian teams as the Australian Paralympic team is training in their local community. The school has also been linked with Warialda High School in New South Wales to develop their learning
Culloden Primary School in Tower Hamlets is supporting the Bangladesh Olympic team and the Jamaican Paralympic team because they have large numbers of students from both nations.
LOCOG Chair, Seb Coe said:
‘We have always said that we want every Olympic and Paralympic team to feel welcome on their arrival in the UK, while celebrating the multiculturalism and diversity of the UK. This is a fantastic example of how we plan to do that. The Get Set programme continues to inspire and engage young people across the UK and I am delighted to think that, through ‘Support a Team’, we will have a knowledgeable, interested and excited group of young supporters to welcome our athletes in 2012. I would urge all schools to select their teams now’.
Haile Gebrselassie, Olympic gold medal winning athlete said:
‘I am delighted to hear that young people will be learning about and supporting my fellow Ethiopian athletes in the lead-up to the London 2012 Games. Knowing that there are young people following your preparations and cheering you on is hugely motivational for an athlete. Thank you to the young people at Perryfields Primary School, and to all of the other young people planning to follow Ethiopia, for your support.’
President of the Zambian Paralympic Committee, Lango Sinkamba said:
‘The 'Support a Team' initiative sounds a great way for young people in the UK to learn about Zambia, our athletes and our culture. We hope all participating schools and in particular the young people at Perryfields Primary School enjoy learning about our nation and following the preparations of our team, and other teams, in the lead-up to the London 2012 Games and we thank you for your enthusiasm.'
Schools will also get the chance to showcase what they have learned about their teams and to celebrate the athletes, cultures and sports of the world on Monday 25 June 2012 as part of London 2012 World Sport Day, presented by Lloyds TSB www.london2012.com/worldsportday
Get Set is the official London 2012 education programme for schools and colleges across the UK. More than 20,500 schools have already registered with the programme. It provides students and teachers with access to free resources including films, activity and fact sheets to support young people to explore the Olympic and Paralympic Values and play their part in the London 2012 Games. .
Over 8,000 have gone one step further to join the Get Set network reward and recognition scheme by demonstrating their commitment to living the Olympic and Paralympic Values.
Schools that join the ‘Get Set network’ reward and recognition scheme before Friday 16 December 2011 will also secure an allocation of tickets to the Games for students aged 10-18 at no cost through the London 2012 Ticketshare initiative, as well as other exclusive rewards and opportunities.