The Olympic Stadium
I, and some of my colleagues, took 45 kids to the Olympic Aquatic Centre today and quite impressive it is too, more from the inside to be honest, I'm not keen on the exterior view.
This week has seen the 2012 School Games with school children from all the UK getting the chance to compete in some of the Olympic arenas, how good must that be to a teenager !
A 6.30am coach departure from Milton Keynes saw us arrive there at 8.55am......a long journey when one considers I usually do it to the Valley in about 75 minutes on a Saturday.
We parked in the coach park but it took a further hour walking to the Aquatic Centre, negotiating security, 45 kids plus 5 adults taking comfort breaks and then taking our seats. The swimming started at 8.45am so we missed a fair bit. Below are some pics from inside.
We were in Row 58 ! It's quite high up don't you know !
I so wanted to dive into the diving pool.
I would have loved a swim in the main pool but you never know if there are any whalers about. This was taken during the 400m relay........I do so hope all the swimmers had 20p for the locker !
I was very impressed with the standard of the swimmers especially those who competed in the 1500m freestyle, 30 lengths of the pool at that pace was quite something. However, the thing that caught my and the children's imaginations the most was a wheelchair bound backstroke swimmer.........how good was he ! He came 6th out of 8 in a very strong field. He left a mark on the kids and I hope they remember his effort and what he achieved for a very long time.
In the lead upto the Olympics and courtesy of my involvement via the school I've been so impressed by the paralympians that I've met and listened too. There's no trace of self-pity or animosity, instead there's resolute good humour allied to powerful determination. Clearly they've decided not to just accept their fate but have sought out new challenges and to make the most of their talent. These are some of the most inspirational people you could ever wish to meet. It is a very, very humbling yet uplifting experience.
I can tell you that I see evidence of those values and beliefs every day in most of the children I teach. Despite what the " popular press " might say or have you believe today's kids are by and large a decent bunch with a positive outlook and desire to do well and be the best they can be.
I hope that the nation's children can draw inspiration from and will be enthused by both the Olympics and Paralympics because whatever your views on the rights and wrongs of what it's costing, it truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we have to hope that the legacy that Seb Coe has always sought comes to fruition.