Updated: Saturday, 18th November 2017 @ 8:06am

Failsworth schoolgirl rewarded for London 2012 Olympics legacy efforts

Failsworth schoolgirl rewarded for London 2012 Olympics legacy efforts

| By Marios Papaloizou

Failsworth School’s Rebecca Thomson admitted all the hard work was certainly worth it after her extracurricular efforts were rewarded by Olympic gold medallist Tim Baillie.

Thomson was one of the star attractions at Gorton Monastry on Monday evening as over 100 young legacy leaders took centre stage to celebrate and showcase their fantastic work on the Get Set to Make a Change programme since October last year.

The Get Set to Make a Change programme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, saw youngsters keep the spirit of London 2012 alive with Thomson and Failsworth School certainly doing that – fulfilling a pledge to get more youngsters involved in sport.

Their hard work didn’t go unnoticed with canoeist Tim Baillie, who won gold with partner Etienne Stott in the men’s slalom C2 at London 2012, and Paralympic swimming bronze medallist Natalie Waddon handing Thomson an award to commemorate the youngster’s efforts at a red carpet event.

And after coming up close and personal with two stars of British sport, Thomson was left pinching herself as to just how far the Get Set to Make a Change programme had taken her and her classmates.

“We did a multi-sport event for the school and other kids in the area,” she said. “I loved the activities and being a part of carrying on the legacy.

“We all had a lot of fun doing the pledges and I think we learned a lot from it all.

“The athletes have come down to celebrate with us and I think that’s really nice of them.

“They were in London and competed there so they’ve spoken to us and it’s really interesting to listen to what they have to say.”

And Baillie insisted he was more than happy to take time out to celebrate Thomson and Failsworth School’s hard work, revealing that the youngsters are an inspiration.

“It is really cool because I was at the Get Set to Make a Change road shows and so met a lot of these kids before they’d done their pledges,” Baillie said.

“To see that they have followed through with their enthusiasm and actually delivered on the pledges is fantastic.

“The proof is really in the pudding and I think they’ve all shown their commitment to keeping the Olympic legacy going.

“It’s a real privilege to be here and to have the chance to see the hard work that they’ve been putting into it.

“To think we can make a difference to them and help to inspire them to do things like this is great, a real honour.”

Through GSTMC, the British Olympic Foundation, the British Paralympic Association is using the spirit of the London Games to re-inspire young people across the UK. The project is being supported by a £2.5m grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive campaign. http://www.makeachange.org.uk/