Olympic honour for youngsters

Excited: Pupils with staff from the St Andrews School, Dronfield, who will be watched by a world wide TV audience at the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
Excited: Pupils with staff from the St Andrews School, Dronfield, who will be watched by a world wide TV audience at the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
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EXCITED youngsters are to proudly form a guard of honour at the Olympic opening ceremony and be part of the first scenes greeting international athletes.

Eight pupils from St Andrew’s CE Methodist Church in Dronfield are to take part in the spectacular launch of the games, to be watched by billions.

They will wave flags for Palestinian competitors and join 2,000 children in the honour of cheering on 10,000 athletes.

For many stars parading from the Olympic village to the stadium, this will be their first experience of the London contest.

Headteacher John Clapham said: “Every single athlete taking part will walk past the guard of honour which our students are taking part in.

“It will be the first thing they see.

“The children are very excited and see it very much as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Staff, parents and children know this is a very great honour for the school.”

The guard of honour lines the route from the Olympic park to the Olympic stadium.

Billions globally will see the opening ceremony - which also includes performances and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron - on Friday, July 27.

St Andrews is one of 250 schools taking part as they are in the Olympic Get Set network education programme.

Each school represents a different country.

Pupils have learned about the cultures and athletes of the Palestinian team.

They will also have the chance to go behind the scenes at Olympic venues before performing their duties.

Mr Clapham added: “We have many international links as a school, and partner a cluster of schools in Palestine, which is why we are supporting their team as well as our own.

“I know the name Usain Bolt has come up as an athlete the pupils are excited about seeing, as well as Jessica Ennis and Rebecca Adlington.”

Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of London 2012, said: “The presence of so many young people at the start of the opening ceremony will continue to show London 2012’s commitment to put young people at the heart of the games.

“For athletes, the guard of honour will provide a stunning welcome to the games and the perfect curtain raiser for the athletes’ parade.”