Updated: Tuesday, 18th September 2018 @ 4:23pm

Manchester school Our Lady boosts pupils' confidence with Olympic and Paralympic day fast approaching

Manchester school Our Lady boosts pupils' confidence with Olympic and Paralympic day fast approaching

| By Ross Lawson

Pupils at a Manchester school are counting down to this summer’s 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games by throwing themselves into helping the local community.

Students at Our Lady's RC Sports College have already taken part in a variety of activities as part of the Get Set for Community Action programme as they look to make a difference in their local area.

Created by the British Olympic Foundation and British Paralympic Association, and made possible due to the Big Lottery Fund, the UK-wide Get Set for Community Action programme aims to help thousands of 14-19 years old to strengthen relationships between young people and their communities.

Several students have taken up roles as sport and health ambassadors within Our Lady, connecting with local primary schools in a range of activities, with an Olympic and Paralympic day set for Friday June 24.

Up to 200 primary school children will take part in a wide array of fun activities at Manchester’s Sport City, all led by Our Lady students from across the age-ranges.

And School Games organiser Paul Schofield has been impressed by the enthusiasm the youngsters have shown so far.

“There’ll be a whole afternoon of sporting activities to celebrate the end of School Sports week, with some wheelchair events for people to have a go at too,” he said.

“It’s fantastic for the youngsters to be able to get that experience of something they’ve never done before, something that they wouldn’t really get a chance to do outside of the programme.

“The scheme has worked really well as a whole; it’s enabled students who wouldn’t normally associate themselves with sport to give things a go and participate which is huge.

“It teaches them so much, and they really get the benefit of taking on the responsibility, seeing a task through to the very end and then being able to see the rewards of it when it turns out successfully.

“It’s been a real big confidence boost for a lot of the kids.”

With the Olympic and Paralympic Games now less than 60 days away, excitement is building at Our Lady as they prepare for a busy sporting summer.

But the athletics day is not the first event the school has hosted following a Health and Wellbeing day for the benefit of primary schools, again led mostly by the students, back in February.

And Paul has been able to see firsthand the benefits of the Get Set for Community Action scheme on his pupils.

“We have a number of students in the school who are health champions, aspiring to work in the health industry in some form who study once a week for a Youth Sport Trust award,” he added.

“We had 220 primary school students come along for free activities in sports and dance as well as healthy eating education, all led by student sports, technology and dance leaders.

“Dance is very strong at Our Lady, 50 students do it as an extra-curricular activity and they’ve won National Championships for it.

“We wanted to try and consolidate that and work with the UK Cheerleading Authority, and 20 of our dancers have now completed a Level 1 award and are getting in coaching, so the benefits have been for everyone so far.”

Get Set for Community Action is a new UK-wide programme for young people and their communities created by the British Olympic Foundation and British Paralympic Association and made possible thanks to the Big Lottery Fund. To find out more visit: www.getsetaction.org.uk