Active schools with support from Edinburgh Leisure are taking a group of 16 young people from Edinburgh Schools to volunteer as Young Games Makers at the Paralympics in London from 24 August to 9 September 2012.
The Young Games Makers will be performing the prestigious role of Courtside Assistants at the Sitting Volleyball event in the Excel arena for the duration of the games
The S5 and S6 pupils from 10 schools across Edinburgh attended an interview at the LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) headquarters in December last year and were selected as the only group of volunteers to represent Scotland, in a group of over 2000 Young Games Makers
The individuals were selected from a team of 50 Young Ambassadors for sport, who take on the voluntary role in their secondary schools and are mentored by their Active School Co-ordinators. The role of a Young Ambassador involves increasing participation in sport, promoting active and healthy lifestyles and spreading the word of the Olympic and Paralympic values, through assemblies and sports events. Young Ambassadors have a pivotal role within their school and wider community acting as advocates, role models and leaders for other young people
In the build up to the games, the team undertook their training assessment at the Men’s GB indoor Volleyball Olympic preparation matches against Belgium which took place at Edinburgh University next to the Scottish Volleyball offices over 3 days in June
The team have been working extremely hard to raise funds through raffles, sponsorship, fundraising nights and bike rides, and have managed to reach their target of a minimum of £1000 per pupil to cover the costs
Sean McPhee, one of the Young Games Makers, an S6 pupil at Firhill HS said: “This is a once in a life time opportunity as the Games are on home soil. It is also a fantastic leadership experience which we hope we can share with our own schools and communities to inspire other young people to get involved as voluntary young leaders too. I can’t wait to get down there.”
One of the group leaders Heather Darling, Active School Co-ordinator said: “The young people and the leaders are really looking forward to heading off on this exciting adventure on Friday! We’ve all been working together to do the fundraising and we would like to thank Scottish Volleyball along with the other sponsors for their financial support to help us to cover the cost of the trip”
Councillor Paul Godzik, City of Edinburgh Council Children and Families Convener said: “This trip is the result of a lot of hard work on behalf of the children, their parents and the Group Leaders. I’d like to wish them all the best of luck and I’ll be looking forward to hearing how they get on in London. Everyone is so impressed by what the Olympics has delivered I imagine the Paralympics will only accentuate this further; this truly is a fantastic opportunity for our young people.”
The pupils from 10 schools across the city have four training days and will then be working 8 out of the 10 competition days and have the opportunity to view other sports at the games and do some sight-seeing on their days off.