YOUTH: Wey Valley pupils Get Set with Stott (updated with video)

Dorset Echo: BURSTING WITH IDEAS: Liam Tewkesbury BURSTING WITH IDEAS: Liam Tewkesbury

Video courtesy of Sportsbeat

PUPILS at Wey Valley School & Sports College are ensuring the London 2012 legacy lives on after rubbing shoulders with Olympic canoe slalom champion Etienne Stott in Exeter.

Despite the dust having settled on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games more than a year ago, memories of that unforgettable summer remain fresh at Wey Valley.

A handful of pupils attended a Get Set to Make a Change workshop at Exeter Castle where they were given expert advice from London 2012 gold medallist 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.

Liam Tewkesbury was one of those Wey Valley pupils and, after meeting Stott and Jones in the flesh, he is now bursting with ideas for their plan to inspire their community.

“We went to the Get Set workshop to pick up ideas to take back to our school so that we can help our community,” the 15-year-old said.

“My school has a couple of ideas such as putting up a live screen with lots of different inspirational Olympic and Paralympic sports, and maybe do a cycling thing at our school.

“And the workshop was great because we got to try a couple of sports like goalball and handball, and they taught us how to work together as a team.

“It was great meeting Natalie and Etienne and I got to hold their medals and it was really inspirational listening to them.”

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 Wey Valley and the innovative new programme.

“The excitement the London 2012 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 too, 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 – makeachange.org.uk

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