Olympic and Paralympic Values: Courage week

Key Points

  • Email worldclass@bbc.co.uk with your thoughts on 'courage'
  • DEBATE POINT: Is it possible to push your courage too far?
  • DEBATE POINT: Why is courage a Paralympic Value?

Join the discussion


    Thanks to everyone who took part in today's discussion, we had an amazing response and some really interesting debates.

    If you would like to find out more about polio then visit the British Polio Fellowship website.

    Join us again next week for our discussion on Excellence!


    James Crisp is a Team GB Paralympian and he has shared his views on courage with us too:

    "For me courage is never giving in to the fear of failure. To confront whatever faces you, no matter how impossible it may seem.

    "To live your own life the way you want to by following your own dreams with determination and confidence whilst not allowing other people's thoughts and opinions to have a negative influence.

    "To face whatever the future holds with fearlessness. Courage has got me where I am today."

    We think that's a great thought to end today's debate on!


    And some more answers from our guests -

    Suzana, Lucy, Laura, Lyn and Emma from Upton-by-Chester High School ask: "Do you think the courage you have gained through your experience will help you in future life? What advice would you give to people suffering from Polio to help them?"

    Reg and Sheila: "Yes, and especially to help and encourage others. In answer to the second question we believe you should be positive at all times, life will go on and things will get easier as you come to accept your goals."

    Jess, also from Upton-By-Chester, asked: "What motivated you to keep trying and not give up? Even if it was the easiest option?"

    Reg and Sheila: "We would never consider giving up at any time there is no such thing as an easy option."


    Our guests, Reg and Sheila, have answered some more of your questions. Laeisha asked: "Why are the Paralympics important to you and how do you think that this has changed the way disability is seen around the world?"

    They say: "The Payalympics have been of the greatest importance to all because it has brought to light that disabled people are cabable of competing as well as able-bodied people."


    As we approach the end of the debate, a couple more highlights from Bedford Academy's Q&A with Alex (star of the 'Life after polio' video available on the right).

    Nahima: "I have watched your assembly and am amazed and inspired at the courage you show everyday just to get to school. In the assembly it says that you gave up school, what made you go back?"

    Alex: "Mr Okadie, my principal, helped me rejoin school through financial support and advice. He is more than just my principal. He is more of a parent to me."

    Shamima: "Do you think courage is important to be an Olympic athlete?"

    Alex: "Yes, courage is important to an Olympic athlete because it makes one take on fellow competitors without fear."


    Laura and Lyn from Upton-By-Chester High School

    C-courage lies in everyone

    O-only by showing braveness can you conquer your fears

    U-unbearable tasks become possible

    R-remember, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams

    A-ability to accomplish anything

    G-gaining knowledge, skills and experience

    E-everybody has courage, you just need to find it in yourself



    We're nearing the end of today's Courage debate. We've had some amazing responses so thank you for taking part! However, there's still 15 minutes to share your views.


    Joe from St Mary's says, "Sometimes when I attempt something hard I build up big, bad thoughts about things that might go wrong and need courage to overcome them and carry on."

    Good plan Joe!


    The children at St Mary's CEP School Folkestone have written in to wish Anne all the best for getting into the Paralympics next week. Good luck!


    Beth from St Mary's thinks that courage is an act of determination and braveness which mixed together makes courage.

    We like your thoughts Beth!


    Here are the pupils at Upton-by-Chester!

    Hello to you all!

    Upton-By-Chester pupils Upton-By-Chester pupils

    A nice anecdote from Mariam from Colegrave Primary School about courage:

    "Josh Vander Vies is a boccia Paralympic star. I know him because he came to my school and when he came to our assembly he told us to shout out "YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT I CAN DO!"

    "He said that's what he would say in his life when people told him he couldn't do something because he had no arms and legs.

    "If he never had courage I don't think he would have made it this far; he would not have been in the Paralympic Games."

    Thanks Mariam!


    Anne has commented on Oscar Pistorius' qualification for the able-bodied relay team (1453).

    "I am delighted that Oscar has been selected for the Olympic Games because it creates more awareness of disability sport and it shows that inclusion is possible.

    "Athletes with disabilities are just differently able and given the opportunity and support we can achieve success."

    On her own prospect of making Team GB for London 2012 she adds:

    "I don't know if I've made the team until next week. What I do know is that I have the qualifying time."

    I think it's safe to say that everyone who has taken part today will be keeping your fingers crossed for her!


    Joe from St Mary's says: "I find I have to have courage when I take a taekwondo grading as I am worried something is going to go wrong."

    Tell us when you have to have courage.


    Upton-by-Chester High School, UK, are using Twitter to tell us their thoughts too: #worldclassvalues Emma & Lucy (Yr 10) say "optimism is the foundation of courage." Do you agree?


    Anisa in 6W from Colegrave Primary's School Council thinks:

    "Alex has courage because he knows people are supporting him, which helps him build up his courage. Alex has a lot of courage, nothing ever stops him especially the fact that he has polio. His courage builds up even more when the head teacher lets him attend school for free and lets him stay there. He does not have many possessions but all of them are to do with his school, which I think is good because he wants to do well in school and make use of being able to attend school for free".

    You can view our latest film on Alex here.

    Alex is set to leave school this year Alex is set to leave school this year

    Lydia from Upton-by-Chester High School, has replied to Sheila (see 1407):

    "I can't imagine what that must have been like for you, as a dancer myself I would hate to go through that.

    "It's great that you've been able to take up so many other sports though and do so well in them! I truly admire your determination to not let anything stop you from achieving high."


    Victoria from Bedford Academy has a response to Sergio, Pablo and Edson (1441):

    "Using the adreneline from scary situations can help you to perform your best. Maybe it is not about ignoring the fear but using it to your advantage?"

    An interesting debate unfolding there!


    South Africa's Paralympic superstar Oscar Pistorious has just been chosen to represent his country at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He will be the first amputee to run alongside abled-bodied athletes at an Olympic Games.

    What Olympic or Paralympic value do you think best represents Oscar's achievements?


    Anne replies to James (1429) who asked her about her teaching experiences. She says: "I don't teach here in the UK but when I was in Kenya it was difficult moving from class to class.

    "The students became supportive but at first one or two tried to take advantage but I soon put them in their place!

    "I told them I was the teacher and as such I had a big role to play in shaping their future."


    Sergio, Pablo and Edson from Colegio Newland in Mexico want to ask Victoria in response to 1431: "How can we ignore fear? We agree it is a way to be couragous, but we think it is not easy at all."


    Our special guests Sheila and Reg have answered the question: "Do you think you are couragous?"

    "We don't consider ourselves as being courageous. Polio has made us much stronger people.

    "We never see ourselves as being disabled nor do the family. Our children were never deprived because of our disability. The children followed their own hobbies, with the girls doing Irish Dancing, Brownies, Girl Guides. The boys in the Scouts, Air Training Corp, football etc.

    "We did everything that normal people do, such as going camping, travelling and holidaying.

    "Life has its difficulties. When you are disabled you get over the obstacles but you just carry on."


    Victoria from Bedford Academy says, "Courage is the ability to do something that frightens you it is a sense of confidence, a sense of being fearless no matter the outcome, an ability to deal with rejection, it's ignoring fear! What really frightens you and how would you face this courageously?"


    James at Upton-By-Chester has a question specifically for Anne, who is a teacher as well as an athlete.

    He asks: "What's it like teaching - is it hard for you, or are the pupils really helpful and supportive? Has it taken courage to start teaching?"


    Natasha from Bedford Academy asks the guests: "Sometimes having belief in yourself and the support from others can help you to succeed no matter what.

    "What other support is available to you outside of your friends and family? Is medical care easily available to you?"


    More from St Mary Magdalene Academy in London, UK, who answer why they think Courage is a Paralympic value.

    "Each of the athletes participating in the Paralympic games has had to show courage, because when you have a life changing injury or disability no one is expecting, or supporting you to become an athlete, you, as a Paralympic athlete, have to show courage in order to become the athlete that they want to be.

    "You have to show individuality in order to overcome your disability."


    Students from Bedford Academy are back too!

    They say: "Courage isn't being stronger or bigger than someone, its standing up for yourself and others, and overcoming hurdles in life".


    Anne has an answer for Jess (1412):

    "When you don't give up no matter what the odds are, and keep trying that is when you are successful.

    I don't count success in how many medals I've won, or how famous I may be. Success is undertaking the journey with a focussed mind."


    St Mary Magdalene Academy in London, UK have also been in touch this afternoon. They say that courage "means doing something that no one else would do, showing strength, determination and not giving up.

    "Courage means standing up for something you strongly believe in and to achieve your dreams.

    "Courage means showing everyone else that you can be who you want to be without being affected by everyone else.

    "Individuality is courage."

    Some excellent points there. What do you think? Don't forget you can have your say by emailing us at worldclass@bbc.co.uk, posting a message on our Facebook page, or tweet us using #worldclassvalues


    Here's some questions for the special guests from pupils at St Mary's CEP School Folkestone, UK!

    Rachael asks: "How did you react when you first knew you had polio?"

    Emily asks: "How hard was it when you found out you couldn't do the the sports you wanted?"


    Now a question from Hamish at Pilton Community College. "I have a question for the guests: have you ever been bullied, if so, how did you fix the problem?"

    Anne: "I have never been bullied but people stare at me and sometimes they have spoken down to me."

    Sheila and Reg: "No, not us personally."


    A pupil from Pilton Community College in Devon, UK has been in touch. Hamish, 14 had polio and wants to answer this morning's question, Does having Polio affect you much emotionally? If so, how do you keep mentally strong?

    "I'm not going to lie, I have really bad days sometimes. It normally is the realization that I can't do things all my friends do, such as, football, rock climbing even diving. But I believe friends and family are the most important things any one can have, these are the people that will support me, no matter what."

    Thank you, Hamish.


    Pupils at Barnes Farm Junior School, Chelmsford, UK, have been discussing courage. They were inspired by former Olympic athlete Derek Redmond, who finished his race at the 1992 Olympic Games despite collapsing with an injury.

    They also say one their pupils was inspired by the courage of "the people who have to clean the Gherkin and go up to great heights to do it," while another pupil talked about how their mum had the courage to apply for a job that they werent sure they could do....and got the job!


    Michael and William, from St. Cedd's School in Chelmsford, Essex, ask our special guests: "What's the hardest thing you've ever done since you've had polio?"

    Anne: "It is difficult when there is no accessibility for someone with a disability such as mine because you feel marginalised."

    Sheila: "The hardest thing I've done since contracting Polio was moving away from home. I started a new life in England and moved away from my family aged 21, to be totally independent."

    Reg: "To be told by the Headmaster that my mother had died, I was only 14-years-old at the time."


    Colegio Newland, Queretaro, México has been in touch:

    "In the Olympics you must have the courage to know thay can compete at a high level and face any opposition to triumph and to win a medal in the event you are best at. You need this courage to become the best athlete in the world and this opportunity only comes for a few individuals every four years and for others once in a lifetime.

    "Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength".

    Pupils in Mexico Pupils in Mexico

    Ellen from St John's School, Cyprus, asked "Does having Polio effect you much emotionally? If so, how do you keep mentally strong?"

    Reg and Sheila: "Emotionally? Not for us. We believe it makes you a stronger person."

    Anne has a different take: "When you have any different condition that affects how you live your life it can affect you emotionally.

    You have to be courageous to face each day with a positive attitude. And to me, being positive is looking fear right in the eye and saying, 'Get out of my way - I have things to do.'"


    Sheila and Reg also have an answer to Lydia's question (see 1403)

    Sheila: "I had to give up sports for many years, was never able to run after getting polio and found walking very difficult. Also, having enjoyed Irish Dancing from the age of 7-to-12-years-old, I was never able to do it again."

    Reg: "I contracted polio when I was just two, but I found it difficult not being able to join in sport activities with friends."


    Anne Strike has answered a question from Lydia at Upton-by-Chester, who asked: "Hello, we were wondering how polio has changed your life, did you have to give up anything to be able to get through the day?"

    Anne says: "Every day brings different challanges to me as a polio survivor. Anyone can give up but I tell myself to be strong and take courage and I know every one faces different challanges in life, but the way we deal with the challanges makes us different.

    "We are not courageous people, we just love life - and life is beautiful whether you have a disability or not."


    Here are some more thoughts on courage from St Mary's CEP School Folkestone pupils:

    Beth: "I had to have courage when I moved from Ireland to England and swapped to an English school".

    Emily: "You need courage to do everyday things like going out in to town and standing up in front of people in class and assemblies."

    Joe: "If you are over-confident and set your goals too high then you might not practice enough for a sport or an event and make a mistake."


    We've got a quote from Oscar Pistorius about his selection for the Olympic games: "Today is truly one of the proudest days of my life.

    "To have been selected to represent Team South Africa at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the individual 400m and the 4x400m relay is a real honour and I am so pleased that years of hard work, determination and sacrifice have all come together."

    Oscar Pistorius Oscar Pistorius will the first amputee to run in an Olympic Games!

    Just 15 minutes to go before we resume our live discussion on the Paralympic value of Courage.

    Over the course of the next hour or so, we're going to hear from some inspiring people. Paralympic athlete Anne Wafula Strike will be on hand to answer any questions, while polio survivors Reg and Sheila Sargeant will also be joining us.

    As ever, your school can get in touch in a variety of ways to contribute to the debate. Email us at worldclass@bbc.co.uk, post on our Facebook page, or tweet using #worldclassvalues - it's up to you!


    Pupils at Bedford Academy have been thinking about our debate point about whether courage can be pushed too far.

    Harry thinks that there is a fine line between courage and stupidity and Victoria says the trick is to find that line.


    Nikki and Jess from Upton-By-Chester High School want to ask the special guests, "What does courage means to you? What is your own definition of 'courage'?"

    Sheila and Reg have offered some thoughts along this line in response to another question - see 1434 for their thoughts.


    Ife from Colegrave Primary School says, "I think courage means that you have to believe that you can achieve your goals."


    Another reply from Anne Strike in response to Natasha (1429).

    "Because I live in the UK, medical help is easy, but when I lived in Kenya it was difficult because doctors have to be paid for.

    I had no wheelchair in Kenya and had to get around using heavy callipers and steel crutches."

    A great question from Natasha - thanks!


    Here's Lakeisha with a question for our special guests: "The Paralympic athletes are an inspiration to everyone, disabled or not.

    "Why are the Paralympics important to you and how do you think that this has changed the way disability is seen around the world?"


    Our afternoon debade on courage is in full swing and we've heard from schools in Mexico, the UK, Cyprus, Kenya and Nepal, during today's discussions.

    If you would like to get involved you can email worldclass@bbc.co.uk, log on to our facebook page or tweet us via #worldclassvalues.

    Join the debate across the globe!


    Anne has responded to Emily (1427). She says: "Growing up in Kenya, playing disability sport was never an option.

    "I had to sit on my own in a corner whilst my friends played sport because they didn't know what to do with me."


    Anne has a reply for Rachael (1427). She tells us:

    "I was only two-and-a-half when I got polio, so I can't remember - but my parents were devastated, and it was worse when we were chased from our village because they thought I had been bewitched and cursed by God."


    Joe from St Mary's School in Folkstone thinks, "if you are over confident and set your goals too high then you might not practice enough for a sport or an event and make a mistake."

    Emily thinks, "if you are overconfident you could try and climb a difficult mountain without doing the right training before hand and then fail and be disappointed."


    Upton-By-Chester in Cheshire are back... this time with a group of 32 year 9 students!

    "We are looking forward to the discussions!"

    Good to have you with us!


    Colegio Newland, Queretaro, México say: "We agree with the pupils of Kenton School in Kenya, the courage not to be confused with arrogance, just because we could feel superior and instead make the best of ourselves, we make the worst.

    "We must be brave and not to forget our dreams."

    Pupils in Mexico debate courage Pupils in Mexico debate courage

    Jess from Upton-By-Chester has a question for Reg, Sheila and Anne!

    She asks: "What motivated you to keep trying and not give up? Even if it was the easiest option?"


    Do you have any questions for Reg, Sheila and Anne? Email worldclass@bbc.co.uk!

    Use the 'Special Guest' tab at the top of the page to find out more about them if you need inspiration.


    Welcome to the second of our Courage debates.

    In this morning's session, many schools commented on how courage could be pushed too far leading to foolishness.

    Do you think courage can be pushed too far?

    Email worldclass@bbc.co.uk log on to our facebook page or tweet via#worldclassvalues

    Get involved!


    And that's a wrap!

    Thanks to all who got involved in or live debate on courage!

    We will be back from 1400-1500 BST with our special guests - Reg, Sheila and Anne. You can find out more about them and their amazing stories here.

    Get in touch via worldclass@bbc.co.uk tweet us via #worldclassvalues or access our facebook page


    Another question for our special guests from Lydia at Upton-by-Chester: "Hello, we were wondering how polio has changed your life, did you have to give up anything to be able to get through the day?"

    Upton-By-Chester students in front of the World Class live discussion page!  Amazing work! Upton-By-Chester students in front of the World Class live discussion page! Amazing work!
    Anne Wafula Strike Anne in action (right)

    Not long to go until we wrap up this morning's discussion on courage. Don't despiar though, we'll be back at 1400 BST with some very special guests. Anne Wafula Strike is a Paralympic wheelchair racer, hoping to compete for Team GB at this year's Paralympic Games in London.

    Would you like to ask Anne a question? Email us at worldclass@bbc.co.uk and we'll put your questions straight to Anne!

    We'll also be joined by Reg and Sheila Sargeant, two polio survivors with a fascinating story. You can read more about them here


    Here's Vanda from Bedford Academy responding to James' message about his Dad (see 1009)

    "Thanks James! We also rely on role models to give us courage. My parents give me courage because they are making a living in England after moving from Portugal. They are an inspiration to me."

    Does anyone else out there have a role model who showed courage?


    In response to Upton-By-Chester (0947), Gyanodaya Residential School, Nepal has been in touch saying "I don't think courage can be taken too far. Courage is one of the most important values in the world. There can never be too much of courage and courageous people."

    What do you think?


    Megan at St Johns School, Cyprus says day to day situations that need courage are things like fears. People have different fears and then have to over come them. It could be something as simple as worrying about an exam to something like going into a public place knowing that you might be bullied.

    Thanks, Megan!


    Jess at Upton by Chester has tweeted us saying "smaller everyday situations need courage e.g. standing by beliefs; taking responsibility; commitment"

    Jess "continues on day to day courage - standing up for a friend in need; admitting when you are wrong."


    Here's a question from Ellen from St John's School, Cyprus, for our special guests due at 1400 BST.

    She aks: "Does having Polio affect you much emotionally? If so, how do you keep mentally strong?"


    Upasana from Gyanodaya Residential School in Nepal thinks that, "Paralympians need courage to participate in the Paralympics.

    "They need courage to not let their disabities get in the way but rather be proud of inspiring all the people of the world."


    Michael from Bedford Academy has this to say about Harry, who is attempting to row the English Channel (see video, right).

    "Both of Harry and his brother's challenges were different but their courage came from good mental attitude.

    "Sometimes the mental battle is the hardest part, whether that is competing in a race or fighting against a disease, or standing up for your beliefs."

    A good point, and one that been touched on by a few of you today - it seems that courage may not always just be about big, dramatic actions.


    Bedford Academy have replied to Jess at Upton-By-Chester via twitter already saying: "Thanks Jess, courage is also being yourself, striving to overcome obstacles and doing what is right."


    Here's a good question from Lakieshas from Bedford Academy, UK.

    She says, "I have a teddy bear that makes me feel courageous. Do you have any lucky charms and what do other people say about them?"


    We've had a terrific email from James from Upton-By-Chester, who is inspired by the courage shown by his father, Robert.

    Robert has been representing his country in various Paralympic events for over 20 years. He took bronze in the 100m final of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games, in which all three medallists broke the world record.

    After competing in the pentathlon and breaking numerous European records along the way, Robert is now captain of the GB sitting volleyball team, who are hoping for success in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

    James says: "I admire my dad for his courageous efforts and he has shown me that many good things come out something that's not so good."

    A big thanks for sharing this with us, James!

    Robert in action in the long jump! Robert in action in the long jump!

    Hello to Hillcrest International School in Kenya!

    Elizabeth says Courage means:

    • You should believe in yourself,
    • Stand up for your opinions,
    • Never give up on yourself,
    • Never listen to the negative,
    • Always get back up.

    We say we need more, but we have to think about people like Alex who is disabled but he is still very grateful for what he has.

    Hillcrest School pupils in Kenya Hillcrest School pupils in Kenya

    Thanks for all your thoughts, questions, responses so far! We're going to keep the debate open for a further 30 minutes so get in touch to let us know what you think.

    Email worldclass@bbc.co.uk, post a comment on our Facebook page, or tweet us using #worldclassvalues


    Benjamin from Hillcrest School in Kenya has been watching Harry's story 'Crossing the divide' (see video, right), and he believes Harry is a good example of courage.

    "Courage is when you are brave. Harry is really brave. Harry is really confident. Harry believes in himself."


    Jasmine at St Cedd's in UK, says, "It's really good to believe in yourself. If you never give up, you will definitely achieve high standards. But sometimes you can achieve so much, you want more than the best you can do. You expect too much of yourself, and you push yourself too far. So then, I think you can be courageous and foolish at the same time."

    Very insightful Jasmine!


    Megan, also from St Johns School in Cyprus, has a question for one of our afternoon guests.

    She asks Reg: "Do you mind if I ask how you coped with being in plaster for three years? I personally can't imagine how you got through it."

    You can read more about Reg's story and our other special guests here.


    Pheobe from St John's School, Cyprus, has a question for our special guests who will be joining us later.

    She asks: "If any of you that are involved in this discussion have polio, what is it like and how do you cope with the difficulties of it?"


    Bedford Academy tweet: Saying that you have courage is one thing, but it does not compare to a true act of courage! ‪#worldclassvalues‬

    Interesting! Who has done a true act of courage? Come on, be honest!


    Here's Upton-By-Chester with another thought on courage not necessarily being about doing dangerous things.

    "What courage mean to us is being brave - either putting someone else's life before yours or something you overcome or find difficulty doing. This could be a small thing or a large thing!"


    Upton-By-Chester School in the UK say they agree with Kenton College in Kenya (0920): "People who do have courage may take their courage a little too far, resulting in pushing yourself too far, upsetting others - this is foolishness."

    Interesting thoughts - do you think courage can be taken too far?


    Bedford Academy have joined us this morning on Twitter! They tweet: How important is the support of friends and family to your courage and therfore your success? #worldclassvalues

    What do you think? Email us your thoughts to worldclass@bbc.co.uk, post a comment on our Facebook Page, or tweet us using #worldclassvalues


    Here's Victoria and Vanda from Bedford Academy, UK. They say that "Being courageous is about being in difficult situations.

    "Where we live there are lots of facilities to help us, such as: transport, paved roads and free education. What type of situations do you think we are courageous in?"

    An interesting point - what are the smaller, day-to-day situations that need courage?


    More on the courageousness/foolishness debate from Charlotte from St John's School, Cyprus.

    She thinks that, "Some people think the soldiers that go to war are foolish when they risk their life to save their friends, but I think they are courageous for wanting to help someone so much that you would risk your life.

    When someone risks their life to help another, they are being foolish and courageous at the same time."

    St John's School pupils in Cyprus, with the World Class live discussion in the background!  Great work guys! St John's School pupils in Cyprus, with the World Class live discussion in the background! Great work guys!

    Kenton College in Kenya respond to the debate point: why is courage is a Paralympic value?

    Rayaan says: "People may think you are foolish for attempting to compete in the Paralympics and it takes courage to overcome these ideas."

    Shiv, Philip and Esinam tell us: "You are at a disadvantage to able-bodied athletes and face different challenges to them."

    And Jenah says: "You may suffer more pain when training and you need to work through the pain."


    Later we'll be joined by some special guests - Reg, Sheila and Anne have all survived polio and they will be on hand in this afternoon's discussion to answer your questions. You can read more about their amazing stories here.

    Pupils from St. Cedd's School in Chelmsford, Essex has already sent us some questions - Have people ever bullied you because you have polio? asks Delani, while Michael and William ask: What's the hardest thing you've ever done since you've had polio?

    Great questions, we'll put this to our guests and you can see their responses from 1400 BST!

    What would you like to ask them? Email us at worldclass@bbc.co.uk, get in touch using our Facebook page, or tweet us using #worldclassvalues


    A response to Jasmine (see 0924) from Charlotte at Upton-by-Chester, who says: "I agree with you! I think the Paralympians are fantastic role models for both able-bodied and disabled people.

    They are representing their country as well as themselves!"


    The debate on the Paralympic value of courage is well under way.

    So far we've heard from schools in Cyprus, Nepal, Kenya and the UK.

    You can get involved too!

    Email Worldclass@bbc.co.uk, log on to our facebook page or tweet us #worldclassvalues

    Go on, have the courage to get involved!


    Ishan, Amrit, Denisha, and Upasana from Gyanodaya International Residential School have something to add to the courageousness/foolishness debate.

    "Being courageous doesn't only mean to be brave or bold.

    If an person thinks that he/she is courageous and goes into doing something that can't be done then he/she is said to be courageous and foolish at the same time."

    Nicely put!


    Hello to Bedford Academy!

    Chelsea in year 9 says, "I think that it must take a lot of determination to do what Alex does every day. We sometimes see courage a risk taking."

    You can see Alex in our film 'Life after Polio'. Tell us what you think.


    Mind you, the courageousness/foolishness conundrum is not the only debate point flying around today.

    Why do you think courage is an Olympic Value? Ellen from St John's School, Cyprus, has sent us a fantastic email on this.

    "I go to a Forces school so am constantly surrounded by the effects of war and from what I have seen, when the soldiers are injured they have to have an immense sense of courage to get through their bad experience.

    This includes going through all the medical treatment, losing friends and family and also being strong for your community. You need courage to do all of that.

    That sort of courage can relate to Paralympics, especially as they do share the same experiences in some cases."

    Thanks very much for that Ellen - a really interesting comment. If any of you can relate to Ellen's experiences let us know.


    More thoughts on whether it's possible to be courageous and foolish at the same time from Upton-By-Chester, UK!

    They say: "Skydiving has no meaning but at the same time you have to be courageous to do it. Therefore you can be both at the same time!"

    A great perspective... any thoughts on that?


    Jasmine from St. Cedd's in Chelmsford says Paralympians need courage to believe in themselves. She thinks things in life won't work out well unless they do. Paralympians shouldn't feel downhearted if they're disabled, they are special because they are in the Olympics. They should aim to do whatever they want to do.

    Very inspiring Jasmine!


    Here's Ellen, who's joining us from St. John's School in Cypus!

    She's also been thinking about our debate points. She tells us "I think it is possible to be courageous and foolish at the same time.

    "This is because in some situations, such as someone being in trouble, you may need to be courageous to help them but you could also be foolish in putting yourself through danger also."


    Good morning to Kenton College from Kenya!

    They've been discussing a World Class debate point (see top of page).

    "We think it is possible to be foolish as well as courageous because when you are pushing yourself to succeed you may become over confident and arrogant."

    "You may train so hard and push yourself too much and this could result in an injury. You may start to think you are better than you are."

    Great points! What do you think?


    Hello to Michael, Delani, Jasmine and William who are getting involved at St Cedd's School in Chelmsford, Essex.

    Here they are ready for action!

    St Cedd's School St Cedd's School

    Bedford Academy in Bedfordshire, UK, have been sending some questions to Alex about 'courage'.

    Alex features in our 'Life after polio' film that you can watch on the right.

    Fatema from Year 9 asked: "Alex, what does courage mean to you?" Alex said that "Courage to me means facing difficult situations with determination and without giving up".

    Do you agree? What does courage mean to you?

    Alex Alex

    A warm welcome to Gyanodaya International Residential School in Nepal they say that courage is a word that gives us the time to think, act and finally win our main goal. It is the golden key that opens our mind and lets our inner self out into the world.


    We're delighted to announce that we'll be joined in our afternoon session (1400 BST) by some very special guests!

    Reg, Sheila and Anne will all be online to answer any questions you may have for them.

    Reg and Sheila met through the Polio Fellowship in London in the 1950s and have been together ever since.

    They'll be online to discuss their experiences with living with polio and in Sheila's case, just missing out on Paralympic Games qualification.

    Anne is a wheelchair racer who represented Kenya at the 2004 Paralympic Games.

    You can read more about their amazing stories here.


    You can get involved by emailing worldclass@bbc.co.uk you can access our facebook page or you can tweet us using #worldclassvalues

    Get involved!


    Hello, good morning and welcome to this live debate on the Paralympic value of courage!

    We are starting off by debating whether it is possible to be courageous and foolish at the same time?

    Also, tell us why you think courage a Paralympic Value?

    We look forward to hearing from you!



    We're getting ever-closer to the fourth live debate in our Olympic Values series, and today the theme of our two sessions from 0900-1000 and 1400-1500 will be the Paralympic Value of 'courage'.

    As ever, your school can get in touch in a variety of ways to contribute to the debate. Email us at worldclass@bbc.co.uk, post on our Facebook page, or tweet using #worldclassvalues - it's up to you!


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