Hammersmith children take part in London 2012 Games


Schoolgirls from the Sacred Heart High School were among the 2,000-strong Guard of Honour at the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday.


By Corinna Burrows

Lucky children from a Hammersmith school took part in the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday.

Schoolgirls from the Sacred Heart High School were among the 2,000-strong Guard of Honour, which lined the route the athletes took through the Olympic Park to the Olympic Stadium.

Eight schoolgirls, aged 11-14, held lanterns and the Cambodian flag to show support for their chosen country, as each of the 250 UK schools taking part supported one of the 204 competing teams.

Head Teacher Dr Chris Carpenter said: “I am delighted that so many of Sacred Heart pupils have been able to be involved in the Olympics.  

“This is a once in a lifetime experience and has only been made possible by the generosity of teachers who have given their own time this holiday.”

Elle Harker, Sacred Heart’s physical education teacher, was instrumental in putting together the school’s application.

She said: “I chose Cambodia as I wanted the girls to learn about a south east Asian country – a country that is so different to ours.”

The school was selected through the reward and recognition programme of Get Set, the official London 2012 education programme.

The school was seen to demonstrate a “commitment to living the Olympic and Paralympic values and incorporating them into their school lives and curriculum”.

The schoolchildren also got the exciting chance to tour the Olympic Park and see some of the London 2012 venues.

As well as having children take part in the Guard of Honour, Sacred Heart also had nine pupils selected from more than 24,000 applicants to be Young Games Makers.

The children, all aged 16, will undertake volunteer duties at the Olympic Park Aquatics Centre.

Ross and Jackie Greenwood, teachers at the school, said: “The girls have been to the stadium. Needless to say, they are very excited about the Games starting and the chance to put their training to use, and are looking forward to seeing the athletes up close.”

The Young Games Maker Programme was a drive to find more than 2,000 young volunteers from around the UK to help out during the Olympics.

The children were put through a series of interviews, tests, games and role plays to be selected, and will carry out a wide range of roles from helping out behind the scenes, welcoming visitors and distributing scores.

Councillor Helen Binmore, Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s cabinet member for children’s services said: “This is such an exciting opportunity for Sacred Heart High School and the girls directly involved.

“Not only will they be representing their school, but also Hammersmith & Fulham on a world stage.”

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