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Posted on 12th March 2013 | GeneralNews

St. Mary’s Grammar School enjoyed a visit to the London games as the culmination of four years of Olympic legacy.

Since 2008, St. Mary’s Grammar school in Co. Derry has hosted visits from some of the world’s top athletes, received UK recognition for its collaborative post primary work and been applauded by both British and south African sporting bodies for its student peace - building emphasis.

John mc Elholm, head of P.E. said “It has afforded our students such breadth of opportunity. They have had the privilege of meeting Olympic athletes and they have experienced new sports and residential programmes.”

The project began after John and Magherafelt High School PE teacher Mr Geoff Burns came together to discuss involving pupils in the Olympic build up.

John added “we got pupils from both our schools to utilise sport as a way of enhancing peace and reconciliation and enjoyed many exciting opportunities. The work that we have done has been affirmed by the London Organising committee and the British Olympic Association. They had a recent delegation that went to South Africa about how the British Olympic association is using the games for peace and reconciliation. They presented two case studies to the South African Olympic association. One of these cases was ours.”

On the theme of sports St. Mary’s students filmed a series of shorts for the London organising committee of the London games (LOGOF). One of the films called ‘we are sport’ has now been entered into a national competition on the Film Nation website.

John added “all the credits at the end name our pupils. They held the cameras, directed it, held the boom, and set the whole thing up. It’s their film and it highlights what 14 and 15 year-olds are capable of doing when given the opportunity.”

Earlier this year LOGOF named St. Mary’s as school of the month, recognising the groups work on diversity and friendship. The four year sporting legacy ended with a visit to the Olympics itself.

“We went there for four nights spending most of our time around the Olympic village of park. We secured our tickets for a broad range of events. But the best thing was being in the middle of it. They eyes of the world were on London and we were there.” John added.

“All the credits at the end name our pupils. They held the cameras, directed it, held the boom, and set the whole thing up. It’s their film and it highlights what they are capable of doing”