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The legacy of London 2012 for Hampshire schools

September 26, 2012


Hampshire boasted eight Olympic medal winners at London 2012 – more than any other county except Yorkshire – and also achieved nine Paralympic medals.

Hampshire’s schools organised sports days, mock torch relays, visits from Olympic athletes, and hundreds of Olympic-themed lessons and projects.  The annual Hampshire Schools Competition saw secondary schools finding ways to benefit local community groups, and competing to be declared the best legacy project.

New initiatives

Now that the games are over, Hampshire County Council is considering a number of proposals to make sure that sport stays high on the agenda for everyone. Look out for information on Hantsweb news later this year.

Have you got a view?

If your school had a truly inspired idea for an event or project during London 2012, we’d like to know about how it went and what you got out of it! We’d also like to hear about anything you think the Council should be doing as part of the London 2012 legacy for schools. Please email Barry Kitcher by the end of October 2012.

And now to sign off…

This blog will not be continuing now that the games are over. Thanks for your support – do keep an eye out in HCC’s regular schools’ communications for news of any Olympic-legacy-inspired initiatives for schools that may begin.


Aaron Phipps, GB Wheelchair Rugby Player and Hampshire County Council ambassador at the London 2012 Paralympics

September 21, 2012

Hi Everyone,

I am not really sure where to start with this blog. In my previous editions it’s been relatively easy to tell you what I have been doing but over the last few weeks I have been very privileged. I have done so many ‘once in a lifetime things’ that I am not quite sure where to begin.

Well I guess it makes sense to go in Chronological order…. So entering the village/village life, the opening ceremony, visiting the park, playing in front of 10,000 people, the closing ceremony, it’s all over.

On the 27th August 2012 the day finally came to enter the Olympic Village. We all met in a back road somewhere in central London to drop our cars off and say goodbye to loved ones and boarded the coach. As we approached the Olympic Park you knew that you were coming to something pretty special. The stadium and arenas all looked amazing from a distance. We were dropped off and guided in by the first of many games makers (who were all amazing!). We went through processing and got our accreditation… that was it, we were in.

One of the best things about the village was the food hall, it was unbelievable. There was food from all around the world and you could just go up and help yourself. It’s easy to get carried away and we had to remember what we were there for so no naughties for me. I stayed in a flat with an amazing view of the stadium. My roomy was Dave Anthony, he proceeded to cover everything with blue hair dye but that’s another story!

Wednesday 29th August was the paralympic opening ceremony. When I thought about what it was going to be like on the run up to the games I only thought about actually competing I didn’t appreciated how amazing some of these events were going to be. The opening was a strange one. We met outside our apartments at 8pm and joined the queue behind Zimbabwe (the home nation goes last). We then crept forward a bit and a bit more, it was going to take ages to get to the stadium. As we neared it anticipation grew and the roar inside got louder and louder. Going through the tunnel in front 80,000 fans was mind blowing. Every time you waved or cheered thousands of people waved or cheered back. After doing the most amazing lap of the stadium I was seated about 20ft away from Stephen Hawkins…. That’s right Stephen Hawkins.

We had some downtime before the main event and were allowed to go and watch some other sports. Dave and I trundled off to the Olympic park. We had a sneaky back gate that we could go through but as soon as we did we were swamped by people asking for our autographs. It was very humbling. They all knew who we were and wanted a picture. We watched some goalball (GB ladies VS Finland, great game) and caught some races in the Velodrome. We were there when Jody Cundy came out and apologised. It was all great but we still had a job to do so made sure we didn’t get too tired or wear ourselves out.

Game day – Our first game was against the USA on Wednesday 5th September at 2pm. So this was it. Years of preparation and hard work all coming together. In the changing room we listened to music and prepared for battle. Being in the tunnel before we went out was exciting and scary but a complete buzz. When we wheeled out you could feel the place move. The GB crowd are the best crowd but it was soooo loud I wasn’t sure how I was going to concentrate. We played our hardest but didn’t get the result we wanted. It was an amazing experience though.

We won our second game against France but lost our third against Japan. This meant we were out of the cross over’s and the highest we could come away with was 5th place. We all felt hurt and broken. I didn’t think I could play our 4th game against Belgium, I was so gutted that we couldn’t get a medal, but being in the tunnel and hearing the crowd again pulled me through, we won this game and the next against Sweden. We came 5th overall. This wasn’t the result we wanted but it does mean that we are the top team in Europe.

The closing ceremony was another event that I hadn’t anticipated. This time we walked straight into the stadium, the spectacle of fire and mayhem was unreal. You could feel the heat from the flames. We weren’t quite as close as we were at the opening  so  I climbed on the back of Phil our Video Analysis guy and we tried to make our way over to see Rihanna and Jay Z up close. Security didn’t think  this  was such a good idea and quickly showed us back to where we were sitting.

The following day was the heroes parade. We met in central London and boarded the floats. We shared with the Sailing team who were a great bunch. I knew that there would be lots of people watching but not that many. The streets were packed, really packed. Spectators held up signs about the rugby and called out our names. I ended up doing a type of wave like the queen does. We made sure we thanked as many of the games makers as possible who lined the route. The parade ended at Buckingham Palace for some music and speeches. The highlight for me wasn’t hearing David Cameron or Boris Johnson, it wasn’t the Pet Shop boys playing live (which wouldn’t have been my first choice), wasn’t the Red Arrows flying over or a massive jet with ‘Thank you’ written on the bottom. It was when my team mate Andy Barrow trying to push up a temporary disabled ramp covered in red carpet and fell off the side. Rather than helping I took photos and laughed. Before you think I am completely cruel/harsh just remember he is an Elite athlete and one of the fittest people I know. Once he was suitably embarrassed I thought it was about time that I gave him a hand (he was fine FYI).

So that was that I and got in a cab and went home, in the words of Gordon Ramsey (well not really his words but something he might say) Paralympics done.

I wouldn’t say I have gone completely off the rails after the games but I am certainly enjoying a bit of time off. I think that I have eaten my bodyweight in pizza and it is amazing spending some quality time with my family.

So all that leaves me to say is thank you to everyone who supported me, sent me good luck messages or pictures. They meant a great deal and helped when the going got tuff. I will be visiting as many Schools as possible following the games so I hope to catch up with as many of you as possible. 

I can honestly say that I did my absolute best and have no regrets.

Aaron Phipps
Paralympics GB, Wheelchair Rugby
London 2012 


Bohunt School Paralympian cheered on by 200 school supporters

September 12, 2012

Bohunt School student Olivia Breen has won a Paralympic bronze medal in the Paralympics, at the 4x100m sprint relay.

She was cheered on to victory by some 200 supporters from her school who managed to overcome significant challenges to get their big group to the Games and watch her run. You can read the full story on

Aaron Phipps, GB Wheelchair Rugby Player and Hampshire County Council ambassador – photos from the Olympic park.

September 3, 2012

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Aaron Phipps, GB Wheelchair Rugby Player and Hampshire County Council ambassador – from the Olympic village!

August 30, 2012


I’m taking over Aaron’s blog for him whilst he is competing for our Country (my words not his)!  Anyone who saw the Opening Cermony last night can’t help but be moved though, to see one of our Colleagues  actually in the stadium.

I’m very impressed that he has trusted me to update his blog for him – so I’ll try not to abuse the privilege.  [But if he does check to read this … good luck, mate – we’re all routing for you!]

Here are the first few pictures from Aaron.


I’m sure there will be many more to come.  First game is Wednesday 5th September.


Aaron Phipps, GB Wheelchair Rugby Player and Hampshire County Council ambassador on his journey to London 2012 Part 7, section 3

August 24, 2012

Hi All,

I hope you are ok, we are nearing the end of our journey and entering the Olympic Village soon so I thought I would write an update. I have been very busy and done some pretty cool stuff over the last few months so rather than write a huge update I thought that I will break this Blog up into sections.

Section 3 Superhumans advert wheelchair rugby advert and holding camp.

So we are almost at the end now and the final part of my journey involved a 6 week holding camp in Norfolk. There are some great disabled friendly cottages there where we can all stay together. It is better than being stuck in a hotel. I was upstairs sharing next to Milo. He is a great room mate (well next door room mate?) as he often pops in for chats and brings you cups of tea. Although it is not so good when he goes to the toilet and forgets to lock the door……!!

While at camp the Wheelchair Rugby and Superhuman adverts were aired. We all waiting in anticipation and were so chuffed with these. It looks so amazing and everyone was really impressed with the finished result.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about what I have been up to. I won’t be writing blogs while I am at the games but I will be sending picture to my colleague Claire who will post them online for me (she doesn’t know this yet, and is about to find out when she proof reads this).

Thanks for everyone’s support and good luck messages. I guess this is it then…. Off we go, er um


Meet the Superhumans –

Paralympics Wheelchair Rugby

Aaron Phipps, GB Wheelchair Rugby Player and Hampshire County Council ambassador on his journey to London 2012 Part 7, section 2

August 24, 2012

Hi All,

I hope you are ok, we are nearing the end of our journey and entering the Olympic Village soon so I thought I would write an update. I have been very busy and done some pretty cool stuff over the last few months so rather than write a huge update I thought that I will break this Blog up into sections.

Blog section 2 Team Launch and Carrying the flame

Mid July the London 2012 GB Paraplympics squad had its official announcement (when all the individual teams from the different sports were finalised). Once again off we travelled to London. I personally hadn’t really appreciated the scale of the entire squad until this point and suddenly I was surrounded by people I recognised from the TV like Will Bailey, David Weir and Lee Pearson. It was a great atmosphere and everyone was absolutely buzzing for the games. In the evening we had a gala dinner (healthy of course) which was hosted by Rick Edwards. They played lots of good luck video messages from David Cameron, Lewis Hamilton, Jimmy Carr and David Beckham (yes that’s right David Beckham if that doesn’t inspire you nothing will!).

The following day I put on my white tracksuit and travelled to Gosport. I was honoured to have been selected to carry the Olympic Flame. I met up with the other torch bearers and we all boarded a bus. I couldn’t believe how packed the streets were. I was dropped off and waited for the flame to arrive. I was pleased that there was a few minutes so I had time to get picture with my family before the big moment. There are 7 billion people in the world and for that brief moment in time I was the only one carrying the Olympic flame – that is pretty mental when you think about it.

I’ll leave you with these pictures