Youngsters get a taste of Olympic gold

South Wales Guardian: GOLDEN SHOT: Rebecca Dalling, a swimmer who was chosen to represent Team GB at July’s European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht was one of the Ysgol Cwmtawe pupils who rubbed shoulders with Olympic canoe slalom champion Tim Baillie in Cardiff. GOLDEN SHOT: Rebecca Dalling, a swimmer who was chosen to represent Team GB at July’s European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht was one of the Ysgol Cwmtawe pupils who rubbed shoulders with Olympic canoe slalom champion Tim Baillie in Cardiff.

PUPILS at Cwmtawe Community School are ensuring the London 2012 legacy lives on after rubbing shoulders with Olympic canoe slalom champion Tim Baillie in Cardiff.

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 Cwmtawe.

A handful of pupils attended a Get Set to Make a Change workshop at Wales Millennium Centre where they were given expert advice from Olympic gold medallist Baillie and former Paralympic swimming 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 Dalling, a swimmer who was chosen to represent Team GB at July’s European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht was one of those Cwmtawe pupils in attendance and she is now bursting with ideas for their plan to help inspire their local community.

“We went to the Get Set workshop to learn about the different Olympic and Paralympic values so that we can take them back to our local communities so we can teach them to others,” the 14-year-old said.

“We picked up lots of ideas about what we could do and it has definitely given us loads to think about. And for me personally, meeting Natalie Jones was great because I am a swimmer and she has made it to four Paralympics.

“I just asked her a couple of things that might help me in the future and it was great to be able to be able to do that.”

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 Baillie admitted it was an easy decision to throw his weight behind Cwmtawe and the innovative new programme.

“The Olympics and Paralympics were a massive success and really cool from my point of view but also for the country as a whole,” said Baillie.

“As Britons we are tremendously proud of our values and we all saw that last summer with the nation being a really positive place – and we need to keep that going as much as possible.”

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.

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