PUPILS across Gosport got a taster of this summer’s Olympic torch relay when they took part in their own version with the help of gold medal sprinter Darren Campbell.
The real relay will pass through Gosport on July 15, but pupils from Bridgemary School and five of its feeder schools are already getting into the sporting spirit.
The secondary school won the chance to have a visit from Darren, who was part of the Olympic gold medal-winning 4x100m team at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
And to mark the occasion, they organised a relay with the children between Holbrook, Bedenham, Woodcot, Peel Common and Grange primary schools, using a torch designed and built by Bridgemary’s Btec students.
At each school they visited, Bridgemary’s young ambassadors Lloyd Milton, 16, and Annalise Maclellan, 15, gave a presentation about the story behind the torch and what it symbolises, before Darren spoke to the youngsters about the importance of dedication and enthusiasm, showing them his gold and his 200m Olympic silver medal.
Darren said: ‘A lot is being said about legacy and it’s down to what people do, not what they say. Something like this just shows how powerful spending 20 to 30 minutes with the pupils can be in creating that legacy.
‘This is about trying to inspire that next generation.
‘For these young people it doesn’t matter who I am, but for them to have the opportunity to see and feel a gold medal is when it hits home and becomes real for them.
‘This has been a really fun day. It’s not often you get to spend so much time with such young people and if I have managed to inspire even one or two, then that will make it worthwhile.’
Annalise said: ‘Doing these assemblies, it makes you feel like you’re inspiring people and promoting London 2012. Being picked to be a young ambassador was a real privilege.’
Lloyd added: ‘Darren is a legend, he’s got so much energy.
‘Taking part in this gives you a real sense of pride and you can feel like you’re making a difference.’
Pupils at the primary schools were also invited to take part in two competitions, to design their own Olympic torches, and to create designs for a mural to go in Bridgemary’s Olympic legacy outdoor gym.
Bridgemary’s partnership development manager Scott Sivier said: ‘Legacy can be one of those throw-away words, so it will be nice to have something visual to show what it means.’
Darren visited the schools in his role as an ambassador for Sky Sports’ Living for Sport.