Olympic Games Celebration Walks
Posted on Thursday 10th May 2012
Students from Aberdare hold a pre-walk rehearsal
Schoolchildren throughout the County Borough will honour the spirit of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games with a series of celebratory walks connecting each of their communities, in an innovative project organised by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.
Through partnership work between secondary schools, Cwm Taff Health Authority and the Council’s own Education and Lifelong Team groups of up to 60 pupils will take part in each of the 10 walks taking place throughout May.
They are being supported by the Council’s Services for Young People and Sports Development team through their 5x60 Officers, Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and E3+ keyworkers.
Taking place over a nine-day period the walks will involve up to 600 young people covering 140km and plenty of sore feet!
Each of the 19 comprehensive schools in Rhondda Cynon Taf are joining forces through their individual Services for Young People Cluster Groups to participate in the celebratory walks which will focus on health and wellbeing, the environment and also the success of local partnership working.
They will also have the opportunity to raise funds for both their own school and for disadvantaged children in developing countries by collecting sponsorship through the Schoolchildren for Children charity.
Each day, a torch, which was specially designed by pupils at Blaengwawr Comprehensive School, will be carried by a group of pupils, comprising of representatives from each school, to the next school via a route taking in the hills and countryside between both sites.
Walking routes have been planned and checked by qualified personnel and the walkers will be accompanied by trained and qualified Rhondda Cynon Taf Council staff and volunteers.
Young Leaders from each school taking part, who are being trained to support their peers on the walks, are achieving the National Navigation Award Scheme Bronze Certificate in the process.
Louise Cook, Head of Services For Young People explained, “It’s no secret how much of a truly momentous occasion the London Olympics 2012 will be and we at Rhondda Cynon Taf are embracing the spirit of the games by holding the series of walks which will literally unite the young people of the whole of the County Borough.
“Our aim is to foster an even closer connection between individual secondary schools and the series of Celebratory Walks will quite literally create stronger links between different groups of pupils, which also encouraging them to exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
”Another of the massive benefits to the project is the fundraising prospects for Schoolchildren for Children, a global charity that does so much for young people in poorer countries.
”We are confident that together we will certainly mark the Olympics in the spirit in which the games themselves were formed, to foster closer relations with others from across the miles.”