Rochdale schoolkids use community spirit, not sport, to learn true Olympic values

Pupils at a Rochdale school are counting down to this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games by immersing themselves within the local community.

Students at Redwood Secondary School are working hard ahead of launching a local project as part of the Get Set for Community Action Programme.

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.

And pupils at Redwood plan to do just that by collecting food donations in school, before lending a hand at their local food bank in May and helping those that are less fortunate than themselves.

PE and Sport assistant James Fallows is coordinating the project, and admits he has been thrilled with his students’ dedication to implementing their idea.

“We have eight young leaders on the team and it is all up to them, they are doing all the organising and the planning,” he said.

“They don’t really know much about the other way of living that unfortunately other people have to go through, so by going down to the food bank and helping these people it will give them a boost in understanding what goes on in their community.

“It will really boost their confidence and their maturity, and I am hoping that they will come back with a desire to help out more in school and in the community again.

“I think taking the project away from sport, which is what they normally want to do, will really help them to focus more on their community, and really give them another way of thinking how they can use their skills elsewhere.”

Redwood was one of more than 65 specially selected champion schools attended a national training day at Villa Park in Birmingham last year.

With less than six months to go until the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio, plans are underway at the school to decide how they are going to mark the event and its values.

“We haven’t decided what we’re going to be doing to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Games when they are on, but we will certainly be doing something as a PE department alongside our young leaders,” added Mr Fallows.

“We have our sports awards coming up in July and I think we are planning on having a whole school competition day to build excitement ahead of the Games in August.”

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:

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