Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, today joined Jamie Baulch and former international at rugby, judo, wrestling and weightlifting, Non Evans at Coed-y-lan primary school in Pontypridd to see the programme in action.
Founded by the successful former athlete, the Jamie Baulch Academy uses athletes and other sports people to encourage children and young people of all ages and abilities to participate in PE and sport, and help them lead healthy and active lifestyles.
The Welsh Government has provided funding for the Academy to carry out a six week Olympic Legacy Programme which will visit 60 schools across Wales, giving pupils a chance to put their questions to sportspeople and take part in a specially-arranged exercise.
The Academy also provides an activity pack of follow-up exercises to each participating school for teachers to use in PE lessons.
Twenty prominent sportspeople are taking part in the programme including Colin Jackson, Rhys Williams, Christian Malcolm, Jade Jones and Paralympians David Roberts and Nathan Stevens.
Pupils at Coed-y-lan today met Non Evans, who has competed internationally in four different sports: rugby union (with over 80 appearances for Wales), judo - with a silver medal at both the 1992 and 1996 Commonwealth Judo Championships - weightlifting and freestyle wrestling. Last year Non received an MBE for her services to sport.
Speaking at the event today, Education Minister Leighton Andrews said:
“It is vital that that we continue to build on the enthusiasm generated by London 2012 and show our learners that sport is something that everyone can enjoy, regardless of their ability.
“I am therefore delighted that the Welsh Government has been able to provide £72,000 in funding support for the Jamie Baulch Academy’s 6-week Olympics Legacy Programme for schools.
“Each of the athletes involved in this programme is an excellent role model, and I applaud the Academy for the way they are engaging with children and young people. I’m sure that their work will be instrumental in helping to inspire the next generation of Welsh athletes.”
Jamie Baulch said:
“The Jamie Baulch Academy is delighted to be part of the team involved with the imaginative support that the Welsh Government has provided in its Olympics Legacy Programme for schools.
“Bringing thousands of our learners into inspiring contact with great Welsh sport stars, including our heroes of the Olympics and Paralympics, has had an amazingly motivational impact on young people all over Wales.
“Wales stands for high achievement for all. I congratulate the Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, for fostering this visionary partnership working between my Academy, the Welsh Government and our schools.“