Mayesbrook Park PE teacher Hannah Whitfield and her student volunteers can’t wait until life after lockdown so they can help out again at the London Youth Games. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2021’s games, have gone virtual.
Hannah has taken student volunteers to the games for a number of years. In 2020, a group of Year 11s from the Girls Leadership And Marketing Squad (a national initiative encouraging students to promote sport and exercise among their peers) went along to run the media centre for the dance finals in the Olympic Park’s Copper Box Arena.
'Volunteering has shown my students, especially the girls, that there are routes into sport they didn’t think were possible,' Hannah explains.
'We compete at table tennis, but volunteering is where we shine. The students get to see inside a sports stadium, witness a citywide event and take control of an entire area. They also have the opportunity to experience responsibility, something they were never allowed to do at their previous schools because of their behaviour. We get invited back every year to more and more events, and we can’t wait for the next live games.'
Founded in 1977, the London Youth Games uses the power of competitive sport to create life-changing opportunities for young Londoners. Every year 20,000 young people from every London borough compete in 30 sports – ranging from angling to water polo – with the winning borough picking up the trophy.