London, May 11, 2012
It’s now just a few short months before the start of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and though London is busy preparing to invite the world for the occasion, the city has already been host this week to a very special group of guests from all corners of the world.
Young members of International Inspiration projects, the official international legacy programme of London 2012, were on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the capital having been chosen to volunteer at last week’s School Games in London.
The group, who have been taking advantage of leadership skills training in their respective countries, were benefiting from a British Council led initiative.
Young Leaders aged 14-17 from countries including Brazil, Ghana and Tanzania were selected to volunteer at the School Games and enjoyed an incredible array of responsibilities that pushed their training to the limit. This included recording scores at fencing competitions, assisting athletes at the Olympic Park, volunteering amongst the awe-inspiring surroundings of the Olympic Stadium and even assisting with awarding medals to the winning competitors.
Passionate about developing their leadership skills, the group also benefited from a range of training sessions that truly exemplified the inspiring Olympic and Paralympic values ; coming together in this rare opportunity, they were all very excited to learn new things from people of very different cultural backgrounds.
Two of these special young leaders were Jonathan, 16, and Rabia, 15, who made the ten hour flight to London from a Laureus-supported International Inspiration project in Tanzania.
Jonathan said: “This has been a great experience and I will take back [to Tanzania] the knowledge and skills that I’ve learnt, especially teamwork, communication and cooperation. But I will miss the people of London, who have shown much charity.”
The week of sport and learning was topped off for Johnathan and Rabia, along with some of their new friends from around the world, with a visit to the Laureus-supported Track Academy project in North London.
Here they learnt some technical running skills and also took part in teamwork building exercises, which, much to everyone’s surprise, even made use of a military grade parachute (see below).
Young members of the Track Academy project also took the time to talk to their visitors about how the project has used sport to change their lives for the better.
Johnathan and Rabia were keen to express how the trip had exceeded their expectations, but there is one thing they both agreed they wouldn't miss once they arrived back home.
Talking on their way back from Track Academy, they told Laureus.com: "We won't miss the weather!"