Invited to take part in Cirencester Kingshill's International Inspiration India celebration day, I was about to find out..
On the 0738 from Paddington I checked my speech – a few words about school partnerships being at the heart of International Inspiration, sharing good practice between schools overseas and schools in the UK to inspire young people around the world. Nice.
However, after a confident introductory speech by Young Leader Georgia (a Year 9 student at Kingshill) and faced with a crowd of 84 excited Year 7 pupils (London 2012 mascot Wenlock had just arrived), the wordy speech I'd carefully prepared went out of the window.
In its place I rattled on about how excited and proud we all were to be witnessing the Young Leaders running their own event in celebration of their Indian partner school. And the example was right there - from Georgia's clear and articulate introductory speech to the smooth-running of the tournaments, the Young Leaders had it covered.
Watching Kingshill's Young Leaders mastermind the tournaments between seven different secondary schools of kho-kho and kabaddi games that they’d learnt from their Indian link school was impressive.
It was clear that their International Inspiration link with India has developed their confidence, leadership and organisational skills, as well as enhancing their cultural awareness of India.
In turn this has strengthened the school's link with their Indian partner school, as Kinghill's Young Leaders now have the capacity and motivation to drive the work forward in partnership with their peers in the Indian school. Links between other schools in the area have also developed as the Young Leaders have taught students from the other schools how to play the Indian games.
Owen Green, link teacher of Kingshill summed it up: 'The link with our Indian partner school has developed an understanding of Indian culture. It's really important for us in the Cotswolds to develop our students' wider understanding, as they wouldn’t otherwise have this exposure to people from other backgrounds.'
Wenlock also joined in the Indian dancing:
What impressed and inspired me most of all about the entire day was the attitude of the Young Leaders. Not just their confidence in talking to adults about the work they were doing, but also their determination: this was their project and every single one of them was 100% committed to work hard to make it a success.
Reflecting on the day, Georgia told me: 'It’s been really tough but successful thankfully! It’s opened my eyes to different things - now I know how to organise something and what to do to make it successful.'
As for how the whole school and wider community has benefitted, she said: 'Younger children are more united and there's a bigger enthusiasm from all schools to join together in sports that they might not have otherwise tried. Indian sports like kho-kho are unique and have helped to make Kingshill an exciting place to be.'
Good luck to other schools next year - this year's kho-kho and khabbadi champions of Kingshill look set to be serious competition..