Thousands of Get Set schools and local communities across the UK are showing how they are ready to welcome the world to the London 2012 Games this summer by taking part in activities to celebrate the athletes and cultures of the world as part of London 2012 World Sport Day, presented by Lloyds TSB in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust.
London 2012 World Sport Day marks the start of Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week, an annual five day celebration of PE, sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, also run in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust.
Highlights of the day include schools and colleges staging their own World Sport Day opening ceremonies, showcasing the flags of the chosen teams they are celebrating, and profiling the sports, music, dance, languages, and food of the world.
Alongside these UK-wide celebrations Burntwood School, in London, played host to a day of activities attended by double Olympic champion Jonathan Edwards and international recording artist Lemar, who highlighted the importance of welcoming the world to London this summer. Wenlock and Mandeville were also there and led the students in performing the London 2012 Mascot Dance.
Other highlights of the day saw Year 9 students from Burntwood School join primary aged pupils from local schools, Belleville Primary School, Earlsfield Primary School and High View Primary School in celebrating the school's links with Barbados and internationalism by wearing traditional international costumes, holding a 'Parade of Athletes' featuring flags from all over the world, and taking part in various sporting activities.
LOCOG Chair, Seb Coe also took part in the World Sport Day festivities by visiting his old secondary school, Tapton School in Sheffield, as it hosted an Olympic Games-inspired sporting event for local partner primary schools, Lydgate, Hallam and Netherthorpe with over 260 pupils taking part in an athlete and flag parade and joining a session with two GB volleyball players.
Seb Coe, London 2012 Chair, said: 'With the Games almost here, World Sport Day presented by Lloyds TSB has given young people across the UK a real taste of what is to come this summer. The day has been a huge success and has seen whole communities coming together to celebrate athletes' nations and cultures from all over the world.'
Sally Hancock, Director, 2012 Partnership and Group Sponsorship at Lloyds Banking Group said: 'When we became the first Proud Partner of the London 2012 Games in 2007, our vision was to bring the Games closer to the communities in which we operate. For the past four years National School Sport Week has enabled Lloyds to motivate more than eight million children from 19,000 schools with the values of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and inspire them to participate in more sport. In this Olympic year we're excited that London 2012 World Sport Day kick starts the week as children welcome the world to the UK.'
Helen Dorfman, Head Teacher Burntwood School said: 'Burntwood School is delighted to be taking part in London 2012 World Sport Day and Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week. We value the importance of diversity all year round but this gives us a real opportunity to work with local schools and the community to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Values, be inspired and motivated by sport and mark the start of what will be a very special summer in London and across the UK.'
Schools all over the UK have prepared for London 2012 World Sport Day in a variety of ways including learning about their selected countries through teleconferences with international partner schools, holding international lunches and trying sports from around the world. They have also been working with their local communities to plan activities such as designing Olympic torches, creating whole school medal tables and preparing for mini-Olympics, with pupils given roles from athletes to reporting journalists.
In addition, World Sport Day events were also held at 13 London 2012 Live Sites across the country in each of the Nations and regions: Middlesbrough, Norwich, Edinburgh, Dover, Belfast, Bradford, Manchester, Derby, Bristol, Coventry, Swansea and in London, Waltham and Woolwich. Each site saw local schools taking part in activities including an opening ceremony followed by fun with flags, a global showcase, traditional games and the London 2012 Mascot dance.
London 2012 World Sport Day is part of the London 2012 Education programme, Get Set, through which over 20,000 schools and colleges have been recognised and rewarded for their commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic Values. Since 2009, more than eight million school children and 19,000 schools have participated in National School Sport Week.