Olympic guard of honour for Uckfield students

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UCKFIELD students can look forward to a headline-hitting summer. The town’s Community College has been chosen to field a guard of honour at the opening ceremony of he 2012 London Olymnpics. And now UCTC has also been invited to host the prestigious BBC Radio 4 ‘Any Questions’ live, hosted by Jonathan Dimbleby.

Teenagers from year nine will join youngsters from only 249 other UK schools to make up a 2,000-strong guard of honour at the Olympic Games. The guard will line the route as athletes make their way through the Olympic Park into the Olympic Stadium for a sensational and dramatic opening ceremony.

The Uckfield students have been chosen to support athletes from the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. College deputy principal Helena Read said: “This is a brilliant opportunity. They have been learning about the culture and doing presentations and research on the islands as part of their personal development programme. They have also been studying Olympic values. We are part of the Get Set network and one of the rewards is this involvement.”

On the day students and two members of staff will travel by minibus to Ebbsfleet station and then on to the Olympic village, and from the village to the stadium. They will carry lanterns and banners.

Helena Read went on: “Sadly a trip to the South Pacific is not on the curriculum – but we have thoroughly enjoyed learning about this beautiful part of the world.”

The work they have done also feeds into celebrations for London 2012 World Sport Day on June 25. This day, presented by Lloyds TSB, sees schools across the UK join forces to celebrate how sport can bring world cultures together.

Olympic organisers say the College has been chosen through the reward and recognition programme of the Get Set network, the official London 2012 education programme. Uckfield students have successfully demonstrated a commitment to living the Olympic and Paralympic values and incorporating them into their school lives.

Jack Meacher, year nine student at UCTC added: “I am very excited to have this opportunity and proud to represent UCTC in its support of the Solomon Islands.”

As well as having the opportunity to cheer on the world’s best athletes and be part of a global moment, the children will also get the chance to tour the Olympic Park and see some of the London 2012 venues before the world turns its attention to Danny Boyle’s Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium later that day.

And after a win in the BBC School’s Question Time competition by the college’s students of politics, philosophy and critical thinking, UCTC has been invited to host Any Questions live on Friday, July 13. The evening begins at 6.30pm and members of the audience are asked to put questions to the panel, hosted by famous Dimbleby brother, Jonathan. Topics are of the moment and a high profile panel will engage in lively debate. The event is open to all parents and carers and students over the age of 14. Tickets are free and allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Tickets for members of the public are available between 6-8pm on June 26 in the College’s sixth form study centre.