School children from Curwen Primary School in Newham today welcomed Xavi Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Curwen Primary School is a member of the Get Set network, the London 2012 reward and recognition scheme for schools and colleges that are demonstrating their commitment to living the Olympic and Paralympic Values.
As part of the visit, Xavi Gonzalez met with students from the school and was shown how they have been inspired by the Paralympic Games and are incorporating the Paralympic values in their everyday school activities.
Xavi Gonzalez also witnessed a range of activities including a performance of a dance inspired by Paralympic sports and a reading of a Paralympic-inspired poem. Around 30 students from three local schools also showcased the Paralympic sports they have been learning about, including Boccia and Wheelchair Basketball.
Xavi Gonzalez was joined on the visit by Chris Holmes, Director of Paralympic Integration at the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). They took part in a question and answer session where they were quizzed by students on all aspects of the Paralympic Games including their experiences so far, the history of the Games and the different sports.
Xavi and Chris also presented the school with the first Paralympic-specific certificate from the IPC and the British Paralympic Association which rewards schools in the Get Set network undertaking interesting and inspiring Paralympic-specific activity.
Curwen Primary School has been a member of the Get Set network since April 2010. Since joining the network, students have been learning about Paralympic sports in their PE lessons, taken part in the Hackney Paralympic School Championships and learnt about the history of the Paralympic Games and Paralympians.
Seb Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: ‘This visit was a great opportunity to show the IPC how young people in London are being inspired by the London 2012 Paralympic Games and are passionate about using the Paralympic values in their day-to-day life. We want to use the power of the Games to inspire lasting change and today’s event showed we have a real opportunity to help change people’s attitudes to disability and give everyone the chance to take part in sport.’
Xavi Gonzalez, IPC Chief Executive Officer said: ‘It was fantastic to visit a school that through the Get Set project now live and breathe the values of the Paralympic Movement.
‘The students really impressed me with their knowledge of the Paralympic Games and our athletes. This project is one example of how the London 2012 Games will leave a lasting legacy.
‘These pupils are just a handful of thousands who now have a greater understanding of the Movement and what our athletes can and will achieve in just over 18 months time in London.’
Akira, a student at Curwen Primary School said: ‘I think the Paralympic Games are inspirational to young disabled people because it shows that no matter who you are you can achieve your sporting goal.’