Charters 2012 Young Games Maker Team
Written by Ben Russell, 12HCF
March 2012 was the start of our London 2012 journey, when we were all given the fantastic news that we had been chosen by Mr Deacon and Mr Devine to represent the school, and the country as Young Games Makers at the London 2012 Paralympic games.
We had been given the opportunity to be part of the Table Tennis Field of Play team at ExCel. Our role comprised of meeting Athletes and Coaches in the Call-Room before their match, walking them onto the field of play, and assisting wheelchair athletes on court during the match. The Charters team comprised of: Team Leaders Mr Deacon and Mr Devine, and YGMs Ben Russell, Tom O’Doherty, Alice Moore, Sasha Mahal, Kate Deans and Hayley Scholefield.
After selection, we submitted our details for LOCOG to process ready for initial training at Hackney Community College, where we had a crash course in International Table Tennis. This day comprised of having the scoring system and the basics of competition at Olympic Level ‘explained’. The next stage came in August: Uniform collection and accreditation at the UDAC (Uniform Distribution and Accreditation Centre). We were ready…
Before we knew it, it was time for venue specific training at ExCel where we could finally see the inside of the venue and try out what our role would be like in competition. Then, just two days after seeing the venue for the first time, we were up in London (very early) for the first day of competition.
We had a wide variety of matches over the competition period, and this included every member of our team assisting with a Team GB match, along with a medal match in the closing stages. On one of our final days, we were lucky enough to meet the GB men’s team (Will Bayley, Ross Wilson and Aaron McKibbin) before their bronze medal match which they went on to win in straight sets. On the same day, we also met the GB team of Sara Head and Jane Campbell who also clinched Bronze for Britain in the women’s team event.
The two weeks of top international competition were an experience that I am sure myself and the team will never forget. All we can do is say a huge Thank you to Mr Deacon and Mr Devine and Charters school for this opportunity.
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