Pupils at Heysham High School are ensuring the London 2012 legacy lives on after rubbing shoulders with an Olympic and Paralympic champion last month.
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 Heysham.
A handful of pupils attended a Get Set to Make a Change workshop at Salford University 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 Games as their inspiration.
Oliver Magill was one of those Heysham High School pupils and, after meeting Stott and Jones, he is now bursting with ideas for their plan to help the disabled within their community.
“We came to the Get Set workshop to get ideas from lots of different people to try and make a change in our community,” the 15-year-old said.
“Our project involves getting disabled people from our community down to our school to do some new sports and just so they can join in with everyone else.
“The main ideas we have picked up from this workshop is probably all about organised and about how to plan things properly and make sure it all goes right,
“It was great meeting Natalie and Etienne to and hearing what they had to say and about how much volunteers made a difference in their lives.”
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 Heysham High School 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. http://www.makeachange.org.uk/