Families are flooding to the Mascot House, one of the recent additions to Olympic Park, to meet and play with Olympic and Paralympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville.
The new attraction offers a number of activities from colouring, word-searches and sports puzzles to an electronic games zone which gives children and adults to play the online mascot games including Swim Wenlock Swim, where the Olympic mascot swims all the way from London to Loch Ness. Visitors can also watch the mascots final film ‘Rainbow to the Games’, a 15 minute feature film narrated by Stephen Fry at the Mascot Cinema - and have their photo taken with the mascot statues.
Gabrielle, 8, and Maddie, 11, from Greenhithe, Kent came with their parents as they wanted to enjoy the atmosphere of the park and get a feel for the Games experience. Gabrielle said ‘Maddie likes Wenlock and Mandeville, I like Mandeville best.’ They’ve also enjoyed seeing the different sports, especially the Swimming.
By the Olympic Stadium is the Great British Garden. It features young people aged 14 – 18 from the Get Set programme, London 2012 education programme, who are helping young visitors enjoy the educational activities on offer. The project is designed to get young people excited and inspired by the Games, providing them with personal, thinking, life and leadership skills through the seven Olympic and Paralympic Values of friendship, excellence, respect, courage, determination, inspiration and equality.
Volunteers from a number of schools including Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Kent and Steven Perse Foundation School in Cambridge are helping visitors to participate in the bronze, silver and gold sections which are separated by arches of intertwined plants full of good luck messages from children to athletes competing in the Games.
The spaces include well-known favourites such as face painting, hula-hoop dancing, obstacle courses, and skipping games alongside less well known games such as Mundo, a hopping game from Mozambique.
Elsewhere in the Park, international visitors have been making the most of the good weather to see as much sport as they can. The German Paralympic Youth Camp is a group of 30 athletes from across Germany, some with disabilities such as dwarfism, impaired vision and mobility issues as well as able-bodied peers. The group plan to see as much Paralympic sport as they can over the 11 days, as well as enjoying some cultural activities and sightseeing in the capital.
Fencing students from Württemberg, are part of the Camp and have so far seen Wheelchair Basketball, Goalball, Sitting Volleyball and Athletics. Valerie, 17, says: ‘I’ve enjoyed the Sitting Volleyball, but the boys really like Goalball.’