Olympic legacy alive and well in Stockport as Darren Campbell celebrates National School Sport Week

By Ben Baker

The Olympics came to Stockport on Tuesday as 2004 Athens gold medallist Darren Campbell helped Werneth School get in the spirit of this year’s National School Sport Week.

Almost a year on from the London 2012 Games, approximately 700 pupils gathered at the school as the shadow of the famous five rings descended on Greater Manchester in the form of a legacy sports day.

Not only were there track and field events going on under the watchful eyes of Campbell and London 2012 Paralympic swimmer Natalie Massey – the children also experienced firsthand the feel good factor around sport and the Olympic Games.

This meant that pupils were athletes but also officials, judges, commentators, performers in an opening ceremony, photographers, media and even scientific researchers for the event.

ON YOUR MARKS: Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week kicks-off in Werneth School, Manchester, with help from Olympic Gold Medallist Darren Campbell and ParalympicGB star Natalie Massey

And as school records tumbled throughout the day in several athletic events, Campbell was amazed by what he was seeing in the name of National School Sport Week, sponsored by Lloyds TSB and delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust.

“I was lucky enough to be at the opening ceremony for London 2012 and the one at Werneth School definitely rivaled it for length and activity – it was great,” said the Youth Sport Trust ambassador who helped hand out the medals throughout the day.

“But it didn’t stop there as all the kids took part in an athletics’ event and I was impressed by what I saw.

“This is the fifth year Lloyds TSB and the Youth Sport Trust have joined in this scheme and they have done a fantastic job and this year looks like being no different.

“The most important thing is that everyone is having fun with it no matter what they are doing because some of them are doing some officiating or are doing interviews and that is great to see.

“Fun is the name of the game for Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week and if that goes on to turn into something more than great.”

LEGACY: Students at Werneth School, Manchester, host a press conference with Darren Campbell and Natalie Massey during Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week

This year’s event will see nearly 6,500 schools and three million young people take part.

And PE teacher Natalie Smith was more than happy for Werneth School to play their part in making it Britain’s biggest school sport event.

“Last year we had 450 competitors and this year there are nearly 700,” she said.

“It just goes to show the children are taking a notice in all the work being done to keep the London 2012 Olympic legacy going.

“They’re really starting to get on board now. It’s about giving it a go – they might not be the best but they’ve gone and they’ve enjoyed it.

“Some of them have won medals and hopefully some of them have been inspired to join next year or to join clubs outside of school.”

And Miss Smith’s sentiments were echoed by Year 10 pupil Faye Whittaker, who was a Sports Ambassador for the day.

“It was unbelievable seeing Darren Campbell. He was really inspiring and his speech about making our dreams possible was really good,” the 15-year-old said.

“It is really important to get everybody involved in days like this, otherwise they are just sitting around and they won’t enjoy it as much.

“And I think if you enjoy it, you are more likely to get involved in sport afterwards. Getting involved is much better than just watching – and we get out of class for the day.”

Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week, Britain’s biggest school sporting event, takes place from 24 – 28 June 2013.

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