The UK School Games were held in Newcastle at the start of this month. As well as attracting top sporting talent from schools across the country, children from around the world came to volunteer as part of International Inspiration.
This provided a unique opportunity for the children to make new friends and learn about each other's cultures, while developing key skills and learning new sports to take back to their home countries.
Here's a few words from students at St Machar Academy, Scotland, recent winner of the London 2012 Education team's 'School of the Month' award:
'From the 1-6 September 2010, the two Young Ambassadors from our school, Patrick and Esther, were in Newcastle volunteering at the UK School Games. They went as part of the International Inspiration programme and stayed and worked with a group of around 45 young people who represented 10 different countries, as well as the UK.
'The role of a volunteer was varied and some of the things they got up to included wiping floors, carrying equipment and marshalling sports such as volleyball, athletics and cycling. This was only half the story, though, as all of the time they were doing these things, they had the opportunity to get to know some amazing people from all around the world.
'One such person was 17-year-old Luther from Cultura High School in South Africa. It was a real privilege for the Young Ambassadors to get to know a pupil from their link school. Everyone felt that he was one of the most fantastic people they had ever met and his unfailing enthusiasm was a real inspiration to all he came in contact with. The link between St Machar and Cultura can only become stronger through meetings between pupils, and everybody involved would love for these events to become as frequent as possible.
'Overall, the event was an amazing opportunity and a steep learning curve. It was a real eye opener in terms of realising the huge amounts of organisation, planning and practical tasks required to stage a sporting event of this size.
'For the athletes (one of whom was St Machar's own Sam Somers), it was a taster of large-scale sporting events, including life in an athletes' village and competing with young people as talented as themselves. Most of all, for everyone who was there, it was an amazing experience which will be remembered for a long time to come.'