The London 2012 mascots will continue their journey across the UK inspiring young people to choose sport by visiting the sports days of schools in Wadebridge, Burnham, Southwark, Cleveland, South Lanarkshire, Sheffield, Wrexham, Chesterfield, Leigh-on-Sea, Oldham and Coventry following the competition run through the London 2012 education programme ‘Get Set’.
The initiative called ‘Get Set to make your mascot’ invited primary schools to undertake a project to find out about their local area and change Wenlock or Mandeville to represent something
that is special about their community.
Hundreds of primary schools entered the competition and 23 were shortlisted to spend a day in London and attend the national final. The finalists got the opportunity see the Olympic Park and meet Diving Olympic silver medallist Leon Taylor and three times Wheelchair Basketball Paralympian Clare Strange, who were also on the panel of judges choosing the winning projects.
The finalists then showcased their presentation skills as they pitched their mascot designs to the panel and shared them with the other schools. Following this they took part in a question and answer session with the panel where they spoke about the how they use the Olympic and Paralympic Values throughout their school lives as well as describing what was special to them about their local area in a bid to win the exciting prize.
London 2012 Chair, Seb Coe said: ‘The Get Set programme is a way schools and school children all over the UK can make the most of London 2012 and the opportunities it offers – and this initiative has proved just how successful it is. These young people have been able to embrace the Olympic and Paralympic Values and have used them to be creative and work as a team and the results have been immensely impressive.’
Diving Olympic silver medallist, Leon Taylor said: ‘I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being on the judging panel today – it’s great to see school children from across the UK getting involved with the London 2012 mascots and benefiting from the Olympic and Paralympic Games.’
Wheelchair Basketball Paralympian, Clare Strange: ‘The children have worked so hard on their designs. It’s so exciting to see how passionate they are about their local areas and communities and how proud they are that the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are taking place in the UK.’
11 winners – one from each of the English regions, Scotland and Wales were announced at the end of the day. The winners are:
South West – Wadebridge, Cornwall St Breock Primary School
Mandeville will visit on 14 June
Pupils from St Breock Primary School said: ‘We were nervous and quietly confident at the same time. When we got to London we decided to do our very best for the rest of our school. We were sparkling with excitement at this once in a life time opportunity’.
South East – Burnham, South Buckinghamshire Lent Rise Combined School
Wenlock will visit on 19 July
Pupils from Lent Rise Combined School said: ‘I really liked doing our presentation at the national final in London, even though there were lots of people so it was quite scary! The mascot visiting will be amazing because it will encourage us to practise more and try our best on sports day.
Brenda Bigland CBE, Headteacher said: ‘We are delighted to have participated and won as this competition in particular allowed the children to look at our own area and make creative links to London 2012 which endorsed the fact that we are part of a national picture. It has helped to generate pride in school, pride in our local community and pride in being a part of the national picture for London 2012.’
London – Southwark St John’s Catholic Primary School
Wenlock will visit this summer
Pupils from St John’s Catholic Primary School said: ‘It was a pleasure coming to Stratford to show our project. It was a great experience and it was wonderful that we won as every school was good and deserved to win! We want to say thanks for everything and we look forward to Wenlock visiting our school.’
North East – Cleveland, Guisborough Highcliffe Primary School
Wenlock will visit on 30 June
Pupils from Highcliffe Primary School said: ‘We really enjoyed our day out, it was a once in a lifetime experience – apart from the very early start!’
Scotland – South Lanarkshire, Glasgow Fernhill Primary School
Mandeville will visit on 11 June
Pupils from Fernhill Primary School said: ‘ We really enjoyed meeting the Wenlock and Mandeville and then Clare Strange and Leon Taylor. Overall it was a great experience.’
Yorkshire – Sheffield Emmaus Catholic and Church of England Primary School
Mandeville will visit on 30 June
Craig Malkin, School Sports Co-ordinator and Wendy McLaren, Class Teacher and P.E. Co-ordinator from Emmaus Catholic and Church of England Primary School said: ‘It was extremely moving to see the children on the stage showing so much enthusiasm for the Olympic Games and their home city. The children were so proud of their achievements on the day and are so excited about one of the mascots coming to Emmaus Primary School.’
Wales – Wrexham Gwenfro Primary School
Wenlock will visit on 23 June
Pupils from Gwenfro Primary School said: ‘We had a wonderful day and a brilliant surprise to win. Looking over to the Olympic Stadium was cool – it is massive.’
East Midlands – Chesterfield, Derbyshire Walton Holymoorside Primary School
Mandeville will visit on 21 June
Pupils from Walton Holymoorside Primary School said: ‘It was a fantastic, once in a lifetime experience for all of us & we loved meeting the mascots and athletes.’
East of England – Leigh-on-Sea, Essex Heycroft Primary School
Wenlock will visit on 28 June
Lucy Easkin, Art Teacher from Heycroft Primary School said: ‘This has been a great experience for the school. We are very proud of the way the children worked together and involved everyone in the school.
The day in London was very special and exciting for us all and one which the children will never forget – they were treated like VIPS! We are looking forward to our visit from Wenlock in June’.
North West – Oldham Coppice Primary School
Wenlock will visit this summer
Pupils from Coppice Primary School said: ‘Meeting the athletes was so inspirational for us and the Olympic Stadium looks superb. The whole day was exciting and a first for us all.’
West Midlands – Coventry Edgewick Primary School
Mandeville will visit on 22 June
Pupils from Edgewick Primary School said: ‘We were proud to represent our school and liked meeting the judges. The whole of Edgewick school are really excited because Mandeville is going to visit us.’
Get Set is the official London 2012 education programme for schools and colleges across the UK. It provides free learning resources for 3-19 year olds to find out more about the Games and explore the Olympic Values of friendship, excellence and respect and the Paralympic Values of determination, inspiration, courage and equality.
Over 16,500 schools and colleges across the UK have already registered with the ‘Get Set’ programme to find resources, ideas and opportunities to help them make the most of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Schools and colleges that demonstrate a commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic values by using the Games to add value to the life of the school or college can apply to join the Get Set network. Being part of the Get Set network enables schools and colleges to gain access to exclusive rewards and opportunities from London 2012 including a plaque and a certificate and the right to use the London 2012 Education logo on the school or college sign, headed paper, website and newsletter.
As a member of the Get Set network schools and colleges also receive access to great opportunities like exclusive Olympic Park tours, some members have already met Archbishop Desmund Tutu, had visits from Olympians and Paralympians, taken the chance to take part in the pilot of brand new London 2012 initiatives and entered into prize draws to win goodies from London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games sponsors, like digital cameras.