Monday, November 14, 2011

Schools should sign up, says Olympic medallist

Two-times Olympic medallist, swimmer David Davies, explains why he thinks schools should sign up to the Get Set network:
I’ve had two amazing experiences of Olympic Games. I competed well, was successful and managing to bring home medals. The best thing for me was standing on the medal rostrum and realising that all the hard work had paid off and I’ve got something to show for it.
David Davies greets crowds in Wales after winning a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics.

It’s two weeks of everything you wanted to do and what you trained for.
If schools are able to tap into just 1% of the feeling that I had as I stood on that podium – then it’s all worth it.

Get Set – the official London 2012 education programme for schools, colleges and local authority education providers – gives schools the chance to get involved!

Sport is a fantastic thing for young people to develop not only sporting aspirations but people skills as well. Sport definitely develops you as a person. Get Set can encourage kids to adopt healthy, active lifestyles and to do something with their lives.
I remember watching the 1992 Olympics. I wasn’t even watching the swimming, I saw Linford Christie win his 100m and Sally Gunnell win the 400m hurdles. And that – for me – was a massive deal. I thought , ‘I want to do sport.’ I wasn’t thinking of competing in an Olympics but it propelled me to want to give it a good go.
If kids are going to be watching it next year, role models will be built over night – especially as it’s a home Games. We’ll host fantastic sporting events on our doorstep and thousands and thousands of kids might want to give it a go. And even if they don’t make it to the Olympics, it can still develop you as a person – not just as a sportsperson.
The Get Set programme is providing opportunities to have visits from athletes and London 2012 mascots. I remember Ben Evans the rugby player coming to my school and I loved it! If you have children who don’t have sporty families or who don’t see much sport at home, this might be the only chance they get to see role models.
Signing up to Get Set will mean that you find out more about the Olympic and Paralympic values (respect, excellence, friendship, courage, determination, inspiration and equality).
Get Set is built around this and provides children with the chance to prove that they too can reflect the values in everyday life.
And, if you’re part of Get Set, you might even get a share of tickets for your school! If you’re going along, make sure you take lots of Welsh flags with you – it’s really motivating to see lots of home support in the stands!
Wales' Olympians arrive home in Wales

So if you’re a teacher, please, please think about signing your school up to the Network. If you’re a student or parent – ask if your school has signed up. If not, why not? There’s nothing to lose! Do it today here...