I visited Perryfields Primary School in Oldbury, Birmingham last week to see the launch of 'Support a team', part of our Get Set goes global programme for UK schools and colleges.
Pupils at Perryfields have chosen to support the Ethiopian Olympic team. They selected this team because they have been inspired by the achievements and values of Haile Gebrselassie, the Ethiopian long-distance track and road running legend. He is one of the greatest athletes of the last 50 years, so a fine choice!
They are also supporting the Zambian Paralympic team as they have a link with a Zambian school and wanted to connect this to what they have already learnt about the Paralympic Games. Pupils were quick to tell me that they would also be supporting Team GB and ParalympicsGB, of course!
The classrooms of Perryfields
were abuzz at the launch, with children making flags and banners and using our
new Get Set goes global resources to research athletes from Ethiopia and Zambia.
Some pupils were also lucky enough to take part in a teleconference with David
Pearce, the Deputy High Commissioner for the
UK out in Zambia, and ask him about sport in their chosen country!
Sport uniting the world
Schools and colleges can pick their teams any way they choose – it could be based on what languages are spoken amongst students and staff, they could think about which teams are training near them, or it could be simply because they don’t know anything about that team and want to use ‘Support a team’ as an excuse to start learning about them.
The Get Set goes global programme is all about encouraging children and young people to explore and demonstrate how sport brings the world together. As an athlete, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and competing against athletes from around the world.
One of the unique things about the Olympic and Paralympic Games is that it brings together people from hundreds of nations around the world, something that few other organisations or events in the world do. And, as a multi-cultural nation and Host City that won the Games on the strength of its commitment to use the power of the Games to inspire young people, it’s great to know that they will be right at the heart of our celebrations in welcoming the world next summer.
I want every school in the UK to get involved in ‘Support a team’ and to embrace the diversity of the visitors we will host next year. Which teams will your school support?