Wales

London 2012: Pupils form athletes; guard of honour

Llangynfelyn and Talybont primary school pupils
Image caption Llangynfelyn and Talybont primary school pupils who will form the guard of honour

More than 50 school children from throughout Wales helped form a guard of honour for athletes at the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

A total of 2,000 pupils from 250 schools in the UK took part.

They lined the route as the competitors made their way through the Olympic Park to the Olympic Stadium.

Seven schools in Wales sent eight children each to form the guard of honour. The opening ceremony is on Friday.

Among the schools which took part from Wales were: Heolddu Comprehensive School from Bargoed, Caerphilly County, Blackwood Comprehensive School, Springwood Primary School in Llanedeyrn, Cardiff, Llangynfelyn Primary School, near Aberystwyth, Ysgol John Bright in Llandudno, Ysgol Esgob Morgan in St Asaph, Denbighshire, and Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen of Bethesda, Gwynedd.

The children lining the route held lanterns and banners they created to support each of the 204 competing teams.

The 250 UK schools are part of the Get Set Network, and have been working on projects for the Olympics.

They have demonstrated a "commitment to living the Olympic and Paralympic values and incorporating them into their school lives and curriculum".

The London 2012 organisers said for many of the 10,500 athletes the guard of honour would be their first experience of the games.

Llangynfelyn Primary School, near Aberystwyth, is supporting Denmark during the games. Four pupils from Llangynfelyn and four from its sister school in Talybont travelled to London on Friday.

Image caption Llangynfelyn and Talybont primary school pupils making their Denmark banner

Assistant head Rhian Nelmes said the children had been learning about Denmark and had a link with a school in the country.

Mrs Nelmes said: "We were sent a blank banner and the children have written Denmark on it and drawn things associated with the country such as Hans Christian Andersen, Little Mermaid, fjords and the shape of the country."

Richard Hatwood of Ysgol Esgob Morgan in St Asaph said beforehand that the children were "ecstatic" and could not wait to take part.

"We have been working with St Ignatius school on the Cayman Islands, and they've sent the children here official Cayman Islands t-shirts, hats and pin badges and in return we've sent them t-shirts, badges, Welsh flags and maps."

Chariots of Fire

Mr Hatwood said the names of the pupils forming the guard of honour from the school were drawn out of a hat, and had to be aged 10 or over.

Springwood Primary School in Llanedeyrn, Cardiff, is linked with a school in Hungary.

It has been working on projects for the Get Set Network, including one about Olympic history.

It recently held a Europe week where children drew flags from other countries and paraded them around the school before its sports day, with the theme from the film Chariots of Fire playing in the background.

Deputy head Pat Hoffer said: "Children and teachers from Hungary have been to our school and I'm taking a group of children there during half-term in October."

Lord Coe, chair of London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, said beforehand that the guard of honour would provide a stunning welcome to the games and a perfect curtain raiser for the athletes' parade.

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