Paralympics 2012: School Report covers the opening ceremony

Putting sporting dreams to music

The Paralympic Games will get off to a spectacular start on Wednesday with the opening ceremony picking up where the Olympics left off just two weeks ago!

The opening ceremony - masterminded by co-artistic directors Jenny Sealey and Bradley Hemmings - gets under way at 20:30 BST, with a cast of more than 3,000 volunteers, rehabilitating soldiers, children and professionals.

Just like the Olympics, the Paralympic Games will help to "inspire a generation" of young people to follow their dreams - whether that's in sport or other areas - and the pupils at Greenvale School in Lewisham have certainly taken note.

School Reporters have been speaking to some of the biggest names in Paralympic sport, including Sir Philip Craven, the president of the International Paralympic Committee, who will give a speech at the opening ceremony.

And 13-year-old School Reporter Charlie, from Hastings High School, has sent in the first of his daily diary pieces about the Games, and his perspective on it as a young wheelchair athlete and sports fan himself.


Image copyright School Report
Image caption School Reporters Charlie and David grab a word with Sir Philip Craven

Reporters Charlie and David from Thorden School interviewed Sir Philip Craven, the president of the International Paralympic Committee when he came to London to mark International Paralympic Day.

"We want to have a great sporting event," Craven told the School Reporters.

Paralympics boss vows spectators 'will be blown away'

"We'll have 4,200 athletes from 160 nations and it's going to be sport like people have never seen before - people may have a positive perception of Paralympic athletes but when they actually see it they'll be blown away."

Craven, a former captain of the Great Britain wheelchair basketball team admitted the sport was still his "passion" but insisted that he could not choose a favourite from the 21 different events on show in London.


Image copyright School Report
Image caption The students went into a recording studio to record their song

Inspired by the summer of sport taking place in the UK, the students from Greenvale School in Lewisham have made a special video to showcase their perspective on London 2012 and the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Pupils at the school for young people with severe learning difficulties got the chance to record a song - called Olympic Dreams and written by teacher Craig Ashby and his students - in a studio.

It sums up their feeling about the Games and how they have inspired the pupils to achieve their dreams.

You can see - and listen to - their song by clicking on the video at the top of the page or on this link.

Thoughts on the Paralympic Games from Skinners School in Kent.

And another school to have been inspired by the Paralympic Games is The Skinners School in Kent, who have explained what they are most looking forward to about the event in this short radio package.

They managed to gain access to a press conference at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in London, and interviewed some of the ParalympicsGB stars.


Image copyright School Report
Image caption The gloves take getting used to - but Charlie loves wheelchair racing

Charlie is a keen sportsman and has previously reported for BBC News School Report about his passion for wheelchair tennis and has recently got involved in wheelchair athletics too.

Writing from the perspective of a young wheelchair athlete and passionate sports fan, he will be writing about the Paralympics on the School Report website throughout the Games.

And on the day the Paralympics really takes centre stage, Charlie has sent in his first diary piece telling us all a bit more about himself and his hopes for the Games.

"I am really looking forward to watching the Paralympics this year because of the different sports and the effort put in by all the athletes to achieve," writes Charlie.

"I can appreciate the commitment needed to make it to the top."


Meanwhile, School Reporters from Lasswade High School have reported on one character who is sure to be one of the most visible parts of the Games: Paralympic mascot Mandeville.

Image copyright Olympic Delivery Authority
Image caption London 2012 mascot Mandeville will be one of the "faces" of the Games!

Scott and Kinza reported on Mandeville's appearance at their school as a part of a link-up with a South African school.

"They looked like creatures from space and there is a story about them each being forged from a piece of steel," wrote the School Reporters.

"Mandeville represents the Paralympic ideals of courage and endeavour. He is a modern representation of the 2012 games.

"The visit was part of our friendship agreement with Phahama Senior Secondary School in South Africa. Our school has linked with a South African school to promote international sport for the 2012 Olympics in London."

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