Queen Mary, University of London students are launching a new Olympics inspired student-led volunteering project QMSU Aspire Project, on the International Paralympics Day. The Aspire Project, falling under the umbrella of the successful Provide Volunteering, was devised entirely by students who felt that the university was lacking in Olympics spirit, especially being situated within the Olympics borough of Tower Hamlets.
QMSU Aspire Project takes its ideals from the London 2012 Legacy Vision in aiming to “Inspire a new generation of young people to take part in volunteering, cultural and physical activity” by having QM student volunteers working with youth in Tower Hamlets. They hope Aspire will continue long after the Olympics with a new focus and aims each year and will continually student-led.
The 2011-2012 project focuses on the Paralympics Games and Para Sport and its volunteers will be offering local schools the chance to receive unique lessons on this and an opportunity to try out some of the sports for themselves at an event day at Queen Mary in February 2012. With possible sports ranging from Boccia, a ball throwing game that is unique to the Paralympics, to Sitting Volleyball and Goalball, a ball game designed for blind athletes, the events day has the potential to present students of both school and university age with sports that were previously unknown to them.
The project will also be seeking to aid the local schools they are working with to join the Get Set Network, the official London 2012 education programme, giving them a chance to get an allocation of ticketshare tickets to the Olympics from the network in thanks for their commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic values.
Project Leader, Ruth Faulkner said: “This year’s project focus was devised when we realised that while most people could name every Olympic sport, some may never have heard of interesting Paralympic sports like Boccia and Goalball. We hope that not only will Queen Mary students get the Paralympics buzz, but that we can help increase understanding of these sports for the younger generations in Tower Hamlets, and gain a closer relationship with the schools we work with.”
QMSU Aspire will be opening applications online for Team Leaders within the next week, and will have a stall at Freshers where students can submit their interest for upcoming volunteering opportunities.