“I think it’s the most exciting event in the world” (J Dwyer)

Best alternative logo (according to BBC website users) by Chris and Richard Voysey

The 2012 Games have prominently featured in the media since 2005, when London was chosen to host them. We’ve heard from Lord Coe’s committee, politicians, athletes, and the general public, but a group of people we haven’t heard as much from are Britain’s youth.

“I am very excited that this is happening in the place where I live” (Bunjaku).

Yesterday’s Evening Standard printed mini-interviews with 6 schoolchildren who took a tour around the Olympics site.  Bardhi Bunjaku, 12, Kion James, 13, Mwamba Bokula, 12, Juann Dwyer, 13, Mahdi Ahmed, 12, and Tia Lewis, 14, of Burlington Danes Academy in Hammersmith, talked about their expectations for the Games, and what they would mean for London.

6 schoolchldren from Burlington Danes Academy in Hammersmith (Evening Standard)

Who are you looking forward to seeing compete? “Usain Bolt because he is my inspiration. I do 100m sprint training twice a week an I hope that one day I will be in his shoes” (Bokula).

The country is full of youngsters who are inspired and fascinated by the Olympics, and the athletes taking part. Trips like the one arranged by Burlington Danes Academy are a great way of exposing young people to what’s going on in the run-up to the Games, and getting them excited! Budding athletes like Mwamba Bokula might even have the potential to compete in the International Children’s Games for ages 12-15, or the Youth Olympic Games for ages 14-18.

What’s your favourite sport? Mine would have to be badminton. I’ve played for years and get a huge buzz when I manage to land an inch-perfect smash against a tough opponent. I was lucky enough to get tickets to the Olympics, so knowing that I’ll soon see the best players on the planet compete on the court is a mind-blowing thought.

People from any background or culture can be uniquely united through sport. The rules don’t change. There are no language barriers. The Olympics is the king of all sports tournaments, and in 2008 it attracted participants from 204 countries. It is truly a colossal event, one that will go down in London’s history. For London’s youth, it presents an opportunity to be part of a legacy that will be remembered for generations. Kids who can say ‘I was there’ or ‘I saw that race’ or ‘I volunteered at London 2012’ will hopefully keep those memories with them forever.

“In the past, east London was known for all its crime. Holding the Olympics here means people will forget about its old reputation and will remember it for holding one of the most exciting events in the world” (Lewis).

Did you get Olympic tickets? Which sports are you most looking forward to watching? Do you have any other ideas on how youth can get more involved in the Games?

A mind once stretched by a new

idea never regains its original



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