Young people in Kent are getting involved in the build-up to the London Games...

PUBLISHED: 00:16 25 February 2011 | UPDATED: 18:57 20 February 2013

Pass the Passsion

Pass the Passsion

Young people in Kent are getting involved in the build-up to the London Games...

One of the ambitions behind London being chosen to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics was to inspire young people. Getting them involved in the excitement of the Games was the challenge set out by Seb Coe and his team, who were determined the London Games would be an opportunity for young people to make a difference in their own lives as well as for those in their local communities.

Pass the Passion is the campaign launched in 2008 by Kent County Council with Vista Leisure to work alongside Dover, Deal and Sandwich schools to show how the Olympic torch arrived at Dover in 1948 and was carried through Kent for that years Games and how history might just repeat itself in 2012.

Since 2008, all 52 local schools have been working together to recreate their own Torch relay across East Kent, design a welcome mural for visitors arriving at the Docks, perform a play and write their own song.

Behind the Games are strong values around personal excellence, respect and friendship, inspiration, determination and courage and equality. Kent schools and teachers have been working hard to bring the Olympics and Paralympics into the classroom and involve the children in activities based around what the Games mean to them.

More Kent schools have signed up to the London 2012 Get Set education programme than any other in the country and have subsequently had the opportunity to meet the official mascots Mandeville and Wenlock, win tours of the Olympic park and show parents and the local community that they are playing their part in the 2012 Games.

During the final countdown to the Games KCC, working closely with school teaching staff, has developed Go For It, which will be launching this month. Linking in with Get Set, all Kents 600 schools will be able to take the Go For It challenge.

Having activities included in their curriculum, children will get to know about the Games and their values, be creative, compete in sports activities and competitions, get involved in leadership, lead healthier lifestyles and create a lasting memento to record their own and their schools experiences and memories of London 2012.

Some 30,000 young people in Kent have experienced for themselves the adrenaline of being part of their own Olympic and Paralympic competition by their involvement in the biennial Kent School Games.

The first of its kind, and now being replicated nationally, the Kent School Games give competitors aged four to 16 the chance to feel the excitement of heats and trials to battle it out to hopefully make the finals and be crowned champions. They take part in nearly 40 different sports, including disability sports.

The Kent School Games next year will be extra special because from January to December it will be the Kent Year of Sport 2012 to inspire and encourage events and activities for the public to enjoy.

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