Westbourne pupils move a step closer to the main event

PUPILS from Westbourne Sports College caught the Olympic bug last week as they sampled the brand-new Olympic Stadium, as part of the preparations for their roles as on-track assistants at the forthcoming Paralympics.

They will be known as Field of Play Team Members as part of the Young Games Maker Scheme for London 2012 and took part in the Paralympic test event where they were given a taste of what to expect come the real thing in September.

The students, led by PE teachers Stuart Moore and Mark Ismay could end up rubbing shoulders with Paralympians such as Oscar Pistorius and 100m star Hannah Cockcroft.

Pupil Simon Vale enjoyed the experience and said the test event gave the pupils a glimpse of what was to come.

“It was an amazing experience and even in front of just 4,000 spectators it was quite scary,” he said.

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“There will be 70-80,000 people in the stadium when the main event begins and there will be millions watching on TV too.”

The pupils got to see Paralympic legend Tanni-Grey Thompson at the event as well as wheelchair basketball star Ade Adepitan, one of the stars of a BBC advert.

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But the real stars were the athletes that the Westbourne pupils assisted, and it proved to be a humbling experience for them all.

“The blind athletes were a real inspiration they were amazing, they showed so much control to remain in their tramlines and were very quick at the same time,” said Chelsea Dann. It was a privilege to be in the stadium as some people are not going to get that opportunity.”

“It’s a lifetime achievement, added Simon, it is not something we will get to do again.”

Such are their schedules, the pupils will be finishing one night at 11pm and beginning the next day at 8am, meaning they will have to find accomodation overnight.

“The buzz of the atmosphere was fantastic and once we were there, any complaints we had about having to get up early disappeared,” concluded 16-year-old Sam Turner.

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