International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, today met school children in Greenwich who are benefiting from a ground-breaking international legacy programme for the London 2012 Games.
The visit to St Ursula’s Convent School took place after Prime Minister David Cameron hosted the first Cabinet meeting of the year at the Olympic Park, reflecting the huge importance the Government places on making the most of the Games and its legacy.
St Ursula’s Convent School was one of the first to sign up to International Inspiration, the official international legacy programme for the London 2012 Games. The school is located on the edge of Greenwich Park where the 2012 equestrian events will take place.
Harnessing the power of physical education and sport to inspire a brighter future, International Inspiration will benefit 12 million children and young people in 20 countries around the world.
Through the programme, St Ursula’s Convent School was twinned with a school in Mozambique. Pupils in both schools are now benefiting from youth sport leadership training which develops valuable life skills including leadership and presentation skills.
Year 10 St Ursula’s pupils who had been disengaged from sport were specifically targeted with the sport leadership training with outstanding results - the number of pupils taking GCSE P.E doubled.
The partnership has also enabled pupils to explore and understand each other’s cultures. Pupils have learned how sport is helping to keep girls in Mozambique in school so they can become less reliant on foreign aid in the future.
St Ursula’s Mozambique partner school has also benefited from the programme gaining access to the internet for the first time which means they can email St Ursula’s teachers to ask advice on teaching practices and resources.
Andrew Mitchell said:
“Hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is a tremendous honour for Britain and it is fitting that school children like those I met today at St Ursula’s are benefiting as a result. Through the International Inspiration programme this benefit is being shared with children around the world by using sport to keep them in education and give them a fair chance in life.”
Seb Coe, Former Olympic Champion and Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee said: “Our vision is to use the power of the London 2012 Games to inspire lasting change. We took a very clear promise to Singapore - to encourage the youth of the world to choose sport - and this is another key step towards delivering that promise. Sport can be a great force for good, and the International Inspiration programme will play a real role in improving the lives of young people around the world through sport.”
With 200 days to go until the start of Olympics, the Prime Minister wants the whole Cabinet to focus on how we can make 2012 the best Games ever and secure the maximum benefit from this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Following the Cabinet meeting at the Olympic Park, Ministers will be visiting businesses, sports facilities, schools and organisations all around the UK and seeing at first hand how the Olympic and Paralympic Games will benefit the whole country.