An Oympic honour for youngsters

Pupils from St Gabriel's Catholic Primary School, Higher Folds, Leigh, who will be in the guard of honour for the Athletes' Walk before the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, with the flag of their 'adopted' country, Iran
Pupils from St Gabriel's Catholic Primary School, Higher Folds, Leigh, who will be in the guard of honour for the Athletes' Walk before the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, with the flag of their 'adopted' country, Iran

A GROUP of Leigh schoolchildren will play a key role in one of the world’s biggest sporting events.

Just 16 pupils from two local primaries in the borough - one Leigh, one Wigan - have been chosen to take part in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games in Stratford.

The lucky youngsters, from Higher Folds St Gabriel’s RC School and Beech Hill Primary School, will join fellow pupils from more than 200 schools across the country.

And together they will form the Guard of Honour which will line the route between the Athletes’ Village and the Olympic Stadium on July 27.

The pupils, from Years 5 and 6, will welcome athletes from more than 200 nations as they make their way into the stadium.

The two schools got the once-in-a-lifetime chance through the Get Set Network, the Games’ official network for education.

The network encourages pupils across the country to get involved with Olympic-themed activities, and the Leigh youngsters cannot wait for their trip to the capital.

St Gabriel’s PE co-ordinator Jennifer Fox said: “When they said we’d been picked it was amazing. We weren’t allowed to tell anyone at first, it was a big secret.

“The children understand what it means and are really excited about it, especially as most of them have never been to London before.”

The schools were picked as a reward for their efforts in organising Get Set events, with St Gabriel’s running a blog showing everything the school community is doing to follow Olympic values and Beech Hill running a Virtual Challenges event for 27 schools.

Both schools have been given a country to support, with St Gabriel’s giving their backing to Iran and Beech Hill to San Marino.