London 2012 athletes inspire pupils to plan sports sessions for their own communities


Burntwood Academy pupils attended a Get Set to Make a Change workshop.


Pupils at Burntwood Academy are ensuring the London 2012 legacy lives on after rubbing shoulders with an Olympic and Paralympic champion.
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 Burntwood.
A handful of pupils attended a Get Set to Make a Change workshop at Three Mills Studios, a stone’s throw from the Olympic Park, where they were given expert advice from London 2012 gold medallist Etienne 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.
Rebecca Morgan-Phillips was one of those Burntwood pupils and, after meeting Stott and Jones, she is now bursting with ideas for their plan to host sports taster session for their local community.
“The Get Set to Make a Change workshop was great and we leant about developing our teamwork skills and got ideas that we can do in our community to help different types of people of all ages,” the 15-year-old said.
“We want to look at all age groups and introduce them to different sports to help them stay fit and healthy.
“Our school have very large facilities with a big sports hall, swimming pool and fitness gym. We are very lucky to have it all and we want other people to use it too so to do that we will put on sport taster sessions.
“I learnt how to motivate people at the workshop and make our plan a success and hopefully it will be a good experience for the community.”

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 Burntwood 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,” Stott said.
“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.”
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
Photo courtesy of eppingforestdc, with thanks.
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