Sit down to get inspired: Rochdale schoolkids catch the sit-ski bug at Manchester’s Chill Factore

Rochdale teenager Kallum Roberts insists he is more inspired than ever to get involved in sport after he took part in a sit-ski masterclass.

Roberts and his Redwood School classmates travelled to the Chill Factore in Manchester last week to sit-ski down the 590ft high snow slope with the help of the venue’s staff.

It was a reward for successfully fulfilling a Get Set to Make a Change pledge to encourage, promote, inspire and motivate their community by running projects to include everyone.

Redwood School pledged to Make a Change by running an inclusive multi-sport festival in their local community, which they did earlier this with more than 200 children with special education needs aged between 11 and 19 taking part in an Olympic Winter Games themed festival complete with ice-rink, new age curling and snowball skittles amongst many of the activities.

And 16-year-old Roberts admits that the day will live long in his memory and he is more desperate than ever to give sport a go.

“The sit-ski masterclass has definitely inspired me to get up more and do more sport, and looking around I think it’s encouraged other people to do more sport as well,” he said.

“It was a lot of fun going down the slope, we were going pretty fast as well which was great.

“It felt really weird to go down the ski slope,” added classmate Gary Oliver, also 16.

“Obviously instead of standing up, we’re sitting down and having to turn by leaning left and right and it’s just not something that you get to do every day.”

The Get Set to Make a Change programme inspired almost 5,000 teenagers through 23 roadshows in 12 cities across the UK last year, encouraging them to deliver pledges of support to their community.

And Redwood School Sport and PE assistant James Fallows was delighted to have been able to get his pupils involved.

“Get Set to Make a Change is a fantastic scheme. It gets guys involved in the planning and delivering of local community sports, which helps to get more children involved,” Fallows said.

“None of our guys have skied before so to come and do a new sport like Sit Ski is great. Everyone came down with massive smiles on their faces and it’s something that they’ll take away with them.

“The scheme has helped our students to self evaluate themselves and it shows the rest of the programme what we’re doing to improve sport in our community.”

Through GSTMC, the British Olympic Foundation, in conjunction with 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.

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