London legacy lives on through inspirational youngsters

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Sharnbrook Upper School’s Bethany Perry admitted all the hard work was certainly worth it after her extracurricular efforts were rewarded by London 2012 bronze medallist Beth Tweddle.

Perry was one of the star attractions at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening as more than 100 young legacy leaders took centre stage to celebrate and showcase their fantastic work on the Get Set to Make a Change programme.

The scheme – funded by the Big Lottery Fund – saw youngsters keep the spirit of London 2012 alive, with 13-year-old Perry and Sharnbrook certainly doing that; fulfilling a pledge to inspire the younger generation to take up new sports.

Their hard work didn’t go unnoticed, with gymnast Tweddle and double Paralympic equestrian gold medallist Natasha Baker handing Sharnbrook Upper School 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, Perry 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 key stage two festival that included goalball, tag rugby and things like orienteering,” Perry said.

“From Get Set to Make a Change I learned how to teach and approach younger children and make them feel inspired and determined about their new sports.

“It helped me with leadership and I could see how to approach different sports in different ways.

“It’s really nice to meet people that have inspired us and then we can pass that on.

“I’m a gymnast so meeting Beth Tweddle was a big inspiration for me and now I know what it takes to inspire the younger children.

“We are going to do a fun run now to help raise money for charity and we will try and work with disabled children as well.”

And Tweddle insisted she was more than happy to take time out to celebrate Perry and Sharnbrook Upper School’s hard work.

“London 2012 was such a special moment not just for the athletes but for the whole of the UK and the fact that the legacy is still living on is amazing,” said Tweddle.

“You can see the excitement in the legacy leaders here and the stuff that they have been doing for their communities is unbelievable.”

She added: “You can really see the enthusiasm when you’re talking to these legacy leaders and they can tell you exactly where they were when certain people won their medals.

“I think any legacy programme is really important and these legacy leaders are going out there and inspiring another generation.”

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. See www.makeachange.org.uk