Welwyn Garden City pupils welcome overseas students

A THREE year project to help children in a deprived South African school culminated in a visit from some of the foreign students.

Sir Frederic Osborn, in WGC, hosted 10 ‘sports leaders’ from Lephola, Free State, as part of National School Sports Week.

Students worked together to plan a sports festival with activities including rafting in Stanborough Lakes (some of the Lephola students have never been in open water and don’t swim), a flight on the London Eye and attending the Hertfordshire School Games at the University of Hertfordshire.

Sarah Mitcherson, director of the sports college at the Herns Lane school, said: “To put the visit into context, some of the leaders have never been out of Welkom, Free State as they live in the Black township and 70 per cent of students from Lephola have lost their mother, father or both to HIV and AIDS – so this was an amazing opportunity for them.

“The sports leaders from SFO and Lephola epitomised the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect and fulfilled Lord Coe’s legacy of young people from across the globe working together and learning through PE and sport.”

The coalition was set up as part of International Inspiration, which aims to transform the lives of millions of children of all abilities, in schools and communities across the world, through the power of high quality and inclusive physical education, sport and play.

It has been participated by 600 schools in 20 countries.

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Sue Lewis, headteacher, said: “This international partnership has helped educate students in our school and some partner primary schools about life in a very different culture and environment, significantly promoting global citizenship.”