Hackney and Winchester Link to Celebrate the Olympic Games

With just under 550 days to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, children from Winchester were given the chance to take part in a special ‘personal bests’ event at the Winchester Sports Stadium alongside a group of school children from one of London’s host borough’s for the games, Hackney. The new link between St Bedes Primary School, Winchester and St John of Jerusalem Primary School, Hackney saw around 80 children involved in a variety of individual Olympic based athletic events including 20 metre hop 12 metre sprint, shuttle run, discus, javelin, speed bounce, long jump and many more. Each event was run by local young leaders from Sparsholt College who integrated the groups and lead them through the activities to show cross cultural learning through sport.

The main aim of the day was for children to record their individual scores in the lead up to both Hackney & Winchester’s Personal Bests Finals Days in the Summer Term, where at both authorities events children will attempt to beat their own personal bests to become the overall most improved champions. With every child competing against themselves and trying to constantly better their previous scores, determination and grit from both schools and each school child was constantly witnessed in each event. Once all the scores had been collated there was just enough time to sit those involved down and ask them to find a new buddy or friend from their new partnered school. Each student that took part managed to come away with some new friends and the feeling of inspiration, ready to set out and achieve for the rest of the day showing the value of such an inspirational visit!

The Winchester District Sport and Physical Activity Alliance (SPAA) and Hackney Borough Council co-ordinated this event as part of their own ongoing partnership in the build up to the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games. It is hoped to repeat this event again to provide young school children from Winchester the opportunity to get active, learn more about different cultures and enjoy the countdown to the Olympics.

The event is one of a number that the SPAA are planning in the build up to the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games. For more information on all the activities that are being run please visit www.winchester2012.co.uk.

Stuart Barlow, Chair of the Winchester District SPAA said “One of the SPAA’s main objectives in the build up to the 2012 Olympics is to provide the community with a schools event. The Personal Bests programme has been employed through our partnership with Hackney Borough Council who have developed this programme. The scheme has really helped to improve experiences for young people in Winchester, not only through sports participation but through further cultural opportunities. This programme shows our commitment to raising the aspirations of young people and providing them with a platform to achieve.”

Cllr Dominic Hiscock, Winchester City Council Portfolio Holder said “The event has been brilliant as a further development in this new partnership between Hackney & Winchester. Young people from St Bedes have been able to come along and try to achieve their own very best scores alongside their new friends from St John of Jerusalem. The fact that we have 80 young children from all different backgrounds here already being inspired by 2012 to pursue their dreams shows how the Olympics will affect every community. Well done to all the children who took part!”

For more information contact Chris Peach, Sports Development Officer 01962 848 532 or cpeach@winchester.gov.uk