Thursday, 10 November 2011

Reaching for the Olympic Dream

Chris Scott centre with Mayor, Head and
two pupils
Barrow Hills School reports:
On Thursday 20th October, pupils and teachers at Barrow Hills School in Witley celebrated as they were officially welcomed in to London 2012’s Get Set network, in recognition of their commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic Values. Barrow Hills is delighted to have this award and is the first school in the area to receive this accreditation.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) awarded Barrow Hills School a plaque and certificate to acknowledge their involvement in the London 2012 education programme. They are now a part of an active London 2012 community of schools and colleges across the UK– the Get Set network - and will receive access to exclusive competitions and 2012 Games related opportunities over the coming years.

Barrow Hills School has raised funds for Linden Lodge School for the Blind for several years now and is also raising funds for a resource centre for the blind at St Benedict’s School in Burkina Faso, Africa. Pupils from Barrow Hills will be staging their own Paralympics, alongside Linden Lodge, in February next year, exactly six months before the opening of the London Paralympics. This exciting event will be part of the School’s Lent fundraising appeal and they are hoping to top this year’s total of £3000 and raise £5000 next year. Already they are practising and taking part in events such as Goalball, Boccia and Blind football during Skills for Life lessons. The aim is to raise awareness of the special talents these gifted athletes have, and the struggles they must face to compete at such a high level within their disciplines.

Chris Scott, Great Britain discus thrower, who presented the school with the plaque and certificate, said: ‘Pupils at Barrow Hills are excellent examples of how London 2012 is helping to spark young people’s imagination and inspiring them to get involved and make a difference. They have clearly demonstrated that London 2012’s education programme extends far beyond PE and sport and I hope they will motivate other young people to join their journey.’

The whole school gathered, along with the Mayor of Haslemere, Mr Jim Edwards, to watch the unveiling of the plaque. It was wonderful to see the children so excited, and the volume was deafening as they joined in with a rousing ‘three cheers’ for the Olympics, waving their mascots at the same time. It was made even more special as they were kindly lent an original Olympic torch from the 1948 Games; the year they were last held in London. This was the very first time that a Paralympic event was held alongside the Olympics and was for the servicemen injured during the Second World War. It was a great honour for the Barrow Hills’ Games Captains, Sophie and William to be able to hold this torch aloft and for all the pupils to see this piece of Olympic history.

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