Olympic legacy inspires Uckfield

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, in four volumes
Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, in four volumes
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Students at Uckfield Community Technology College are ensuring the London 2012 legacy lives on after rubbing shoulders with an Olympic and Paralympic champion last week.

Despite the dust having settled on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games a year ago, memories of that unforgettable summer remain fresh at Uckfield.

Uckfield Community Technology College

Uckfield Community Technology College

A handful of students attended a Get Set to Make a Change workshop at Canterbury College where they received expert advice from Olympic gold medallist Tim Baillie and Paralympic champion Natalie Jones. They were also offered support and ideas to plan a community project as the scheme bids to encourage people to come together, using the Olympic Games as inspiration.

After rubbing shoulders with Baillie and Jones, Millie Burgess, 17, is bursting with ideas for a school event on November 30. She said: “We aim to put on an event called Christmas Indulgent, so a few of us thought it would be good to go to the workshop and pick up some ideas. It was inspirational, meeting people like Tim and Natalie, holding their gold medals and hearing memories of London 2012. London 2012 was sensational and I saw some tennis and some cycling at Box Hill live while everything on TV was brilliant too, so to carry that on is a great idea. At the workshop we tried things we had never done before like handball and disability football and that is something we want to take to our events and help the community try new things.”

The Get Set to Make a Change programme will inspire almost 5,000 teenagers through 23 roadshows in 12 cities across the UK to deliver pledges of support to their community.

With his dream London 2012 still fresh, canoe slalom double champion Tim Baillie admitted it was an easy decision to throw his weight behind Uckfield and the innovative new programme.

He said: “The Olympics and Paralympics were a massive success and really cool from my point of view but also for the country as a whole. As Britons we are tremendously proud of our values and we all saw that last summer with the nation being a really positive place – and we need to keep that going as much as possible.”

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 http://www.makeachange.org.uk/