The London 2016 LEN European Aquatics Championships has today officially launched its schools programme after an unprecedented and overwhelming response from children across the capital to watch the historic event in May.
The European Aquatics Championships are returning to London for the first time since 1938 and little less than four years after the stunning 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games inspired the nation.
Over 500 schools applied for 28,000 free tickets across the ten weekday morning sessions of the European Aquatics Championships in May, which was a truly unprecedented response.
A ballot has taken place to choose the lucky schools that will now attend the Championships, with more than 100 successful from right across London and further free tickets to be made available.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “The iconic London Aquatics Centre will be buzzing with excitement as the capital welcomes back Europe’s best swimmers, divers and synchronised swimmers for the first time since 2012.
“London continues to attract the biggest events in world sport, which is testament to the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and it’s fantastic so many young Londoners will get to see top-class athletes first-hand.”
The European Aquatics Championships run from May 9-22 and are the biggest event to be held at the iconic London Aquatics Centre since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Laura Ings, PE Coordinator at Plumcroft Primary School in Plumstead, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to take our pupils to see swimming at the highest level. It will be a really inspirational day out and will hopefully show our children just what can be achieved when you have a passion for it and work hard. To be able to see such high quality sport live is rare and I know our pupils will really enjoy the day.”
Rob Elliott, PE Coordinator at Dersingham Primary School in Manor Park, said: “Dersingham Primary School is excited for the opportunity to watch elite sport in a world class arena situated in Newham. The school ticketing programme was easy to access and allowed us to choose from a variety of the different swimming disciplines on offer at session times that were convenient to us. Both our staff and children are looking forward to the European Aquatics Championships and are privileged to be a part of it. ”
Michael Ford, PE Coordinator at The South Norwood Academy in Croydon, said: “Being able to watch world-class athletes competing competitively is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that will hopefully inspire the children to achieving their potential. Many hope to be sports stars and so hopefully seeing them compete along with the atmosphere will give them a taste of what could happen if they work hard and never give up.”
David Benha, Year 1 Class Teacher at Christopher Hatton Primary School in Holborn, said: “The allocation of tickets is fantastic for our school. Giving our children the opportunity to participate in any way in top level sport is fundamental to building aspirations. Even just watching sport in a world class venue such as the London Aquatics Centre allows our children to experience the determination, dedication and success of athletes, hopefully inspiring them to aim high in the future. Plus it’s great fun!”
The London 2016 European Aquatics Championships will be delivered in partnership with British Swimming, London & Partners, London Legacy Development Corporation and the Mayor of London. The Championship is part of UK Sport’s National Lottery backed #EveryRoadtoRio campaign, helping Britain’s athletes prepare for the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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