More than 650 children from five Bristol schools are setting off on the road to Rio this week (June 20-24). The starting gun for ‘Olympics Week’ at CGS Trust will be fired by sprinter Jason Gardener, a gold medal winner at the Athens Games in 1984 – but it won’t just be a dash to the finishing line. The students, aged four to 16, are in it for the long haul – 9,168km or 5,697 miles to be precise.
The aim is for CGS Trust children to cover the distance from Bristol to the Brazilian capital by taking part in a range of Olympic sports during the week, including athletics, archery, tennis, martial arts, basketball, cricket and dance. Activities reach their finale with a carnival-themed danceathon in which students from all CGS Trust schools – Bannerman Road Community Academy, The Kingfisher School, The Dolphin School, Fairlawn School and Colston’s Girls’ School – will take to the dancefloor at the same time, sharing the fun and excitement via a video link.
Participation in each sport is converted to a distance as part of the Road to Rio Challenge run by Get Set, the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association’s campaign to inspire and inform young people about the Games and to encourage them to be more active.
All classes across the four CGS Trust primaries are timetabled to take part in one hour of Olympic sport every day of the special week and all children will receive Road to Rio t-shirts, paid for by the Trust’s endowment fund.
The schools have enlisted support from experts and from the community. Jason Gardener, president of UK Athletics, will bring his ‘Team Superschools’ sports activity session to Kingfisher and Bannerman Road primaries, while Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, Bristol Central Tennis Club, Gordano Archers, Bigfoot Arts Education and MOJO Active will also be involved in the project, along with junior sports leaders from Oasis Academy Brislington, who will support activities at The Kingfisher School and Colston’s Girls’ School dance leaders, who will be on site at Fairlawn School and The Dolphin School.
St Monica Trust is joining in the fun by giving The Dolphin School use of its facilities for sports day, thus providing an intergenerational learning opportunity.
The primary schools are carrying over the Rio theme into other lessons too, by researching some of the countries competing at the Games and solving maths and science problems related to Olympic sports.
Rachel Cockcroft, who leads on PE for CGS Trust, said: “This will be a truly inspirational week for all of us. We have planned an inclusive programme, with something to enthuse everyone about the Olympics and the importance of being active.”