Paralympics closing ceremony: A 'weird and wonderful' night

A mechanical Fish circles the arena during the closing ceremony It was a strange evening for Tasnim - she had to run inside a mechanical fish!

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It was a long day as we got to the Olympic Park at 11am and I got home at midnight, but it was worth it!

I thought more people would be involved since there were 30 from my school, but in total there were only 120 young people who all came from schools in East London - it was great to meet new people and make new friends.

We'd already done two weeks of rehearsals - first in Three Mills Studios and then in a bigger space in Dagenham where we practiced with Coldplay and lots of the other performers.

Some of the rehearsals were really really tiring, especially the maypole dance which in the end we didn't get to do as there was a technical hitch with the wires or something, which was a bit disappointing.

We did a proper technical rehearsal in the stadium on Sunday afternoon.

What we had to do was all quite weird - like holding onto hub caps and running into a giant fish then running out carrying an insect! I had a big centipede on a pole with lights on!

Keeping a secret

The closing ceremony was all about the different seasons - we were part of spring. It was more running around than dancing really!

We knew about Coldplay but only found out that Rihanna and Jay-Z would be performing on the day of the ceremony.

One of the lovely hairstylists secretly told my friends and I - we were shocked! But we kept the secret and didn't tell anyone else.

The costumes were ridiculous. When I first saw mine I really laughed my head off!

Young performers backstage at the Paralympic Closing Ceremony Tasnim and fellow performer and Morpeth School pupil Nadera backstage at the Closing Ceremony

Although the top was quite normal it was covered in tape everywhere and what looked like fish scales! The skirt was black and I had shiny blue leggings and boots with sand on. My hair was also real crazy as I had an red Mohican with green in it!

Everyone had very, very different costumes. We get to keep it all but I doubt I'll be wearing any of it again though!


Backstage, when we weren't part of the show we had radios connected to the speakers in the stadium so we could hear what was going on.

We could hear the crowd - it sounded like a huge lion roaring! And we could hear the crowd cheering Coldplay.

Some people had stage fright when they heard it. After I had my make-up done and they said we had 10 minutes to go my legs were really shaking, but then when we were just about to go on I just wanted to get out there and get started!

We could see people's faces in the bottom seats but then it was all just blurry. But people were shouting and screaming for us and when we finished and were going back in we doing high-fives with the crowd!


We had got to see most of it in the technical rehearsal, and we were given a book to keep afterwards all about the show.

My family were all watching at home on the TV - my cousins and a friend too all squashed in one room, but they weren't able to spot me. My mum thinks she saw the girl in front of me though as I described her costume too.

Anjuma, Mafuza and Tasneem from Morpeth School Tasnim's peers at Morpeth School are very proud of her involvement in the Paralympics

While everyone else didn't want the Games to end, I did as I wanted to perform but now I want to be able to do it again! Going on stage was so wonderful - I didn't want it to end!

Two whole weeks of rehearsal led to just two minutes, but I'll never forget them!

It is great to think I was part of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and really good for my future hopefully - I will put it on my CV but I still don't think people will believe me!

Tomorrow, I'm going back to school and I know everyone is going to have questions - some of my friends have already phoned me today and last night - I'm going to be very popular for a day I think!

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