To mark 6 months to go to the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has today announced that the under 16s Volunteer Performer Cast for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be selected from schools in the six Host Boroughs in the Get Set Network, part of the official London 2012 education programme and incorporating the Olympic and Paralympic Values into their curriculum.
18 primary and 7 secondary schools in the six Host Boroughs have been involved in an audition process for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony involving children aged 7-9 years and 11-13 years. In total 1,650 children auditioned for the London 2012 Ceremonies Mass Movement Team, undertaking large scale choreography as well as dance routines. More than 900 children will be selected over the coming weeks to perform in the Opening Ceremony on July 27th 2012, watched by 80,000 people in the Olympic Stadium and a worldwide TV audience of over a billion people.
For the selected children there will be between 15 and 20 rehearsals taking place initially at the selected schools, then in East London at London 2012 Ceremonies rehearsal sites and finally in the Olympic Stadium. LOCOG is providing transport between the schools and the rehearsal venues for the young people.
Seb Coe, London 2012 Chair, said: 'Being part of the Ceremonies is a great way of inspiring young people, I'm delighted school children from the Host Boroughs will be part of show and help tell our story to world. The students involved will have an incredible experience which will build their confidence and a sense of pride in themselves, their friends, family, school and wider community.'
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: 'We want to create a legacy from the Games by inspiring our young people and ensuring they are at the heart of the celebrations. Not only are we giving young Londoners free tickets to watch the spectacle of sport, hundreds of youngsters will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to actually take part in the biggest event on the planet, watched by millions of people around the world.'
Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive at VisitBritain said: "With only six months to go until the opening ceremony of London 2012, we are ramping up our public relations and marketing activity across the world. While the lighting of the cauldron to mark the beginning of the Olympic Games is a highly anticipated moment, we recognise it is also a time when four billion viewers around the globe will turn their attention to London - and Britain. This is our chance to shine. An opportunity for every village, town and city in the land to play its part in ensuring we make London 2012 much more than a great sporting event, turning this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity into something that will have long-term benefits for tourism across the whole of the UK and help secure economic growth in the future."
Schools from the six Host Boroughs will be auditioning in February for the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony. More details on selection of schools within the six Host Boroughs for the London 2012 Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be announced at a later date.
Applications are open until 13 February for adult volunteer performers to audition to participate in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. LOCOG are searching for 5,000 volunteer performers to fill roles as dancers, actors, percussionists and general all-round performers. People can find more information and register their interest for this opportunity by completing the online application form at www.london2012.com/ceremoniescasting.
Notes to editors:
Images & footage
Download images of Danny Boyle visiting a school selected to audition for the Opening Ceremony here.
-- Download images of Danny Boyle with the Ceremonies Team here from 11.00am
-- B-roll footage from the school auditions in January and adult volunteer performer auditions for the Olympic Ceremonies in December is available by contacting the LOCOG Press Office.
-- B-roll interview footage with Danny Boyle and Stephen Daldry is available by contacting the LOCOG Press Office.
Schools that have auditioned for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony are:
-- Essex Primary School
-- Colegrave School
-- Hallsville Primary School
-- Lister Community School
-- Cumberland Secondary School
-- Crown Woods College
-- Nightingale Primary School
-- Heronsgate Primary School
-- Sherington Primary School
BARKING AND DAGENHAM
-- All Saints Catholic School
-- Hunters Hall Primary School
-- Grafton Junior School
-- Warren Junior School
-- Heathcote School
-- St Josephs RC Junior School
-- Henry Maynard Junior School
-- Jenny Hammond Primary School
-- Langdon Park School
-- Marner Primary School
-- Manorfield Primary School
-- Marian Richardson Primary
-- Gainsborough Primary School
-- Brook Community Primary School
-- Sir Thomas Abney Primary School
-- Skinners Academy Hackney
Barking and Dagenham - All Saints College, Kerry Tabb
"All Saints pupils have been living the Olympic dream in the run up to the London 2012 Games. Pupils have been involved in a range of Olympic themed activities around the school and across the curriculum. In particular pupils involvement in the Get Set Network has produced some inspiring stories about how the Olympics are going to live on even after the all events have finished, the athletes, supporters and visitors have left. Pupils are also leaving their own comments about the lead of the Games and how it will affect them in the future.
Pupils here at All Saints feel privileged to have already had a taste of some of the test events that have been happening at the Olympic site and have used this to pursue an interest in some of the other sports that they will see at the Games. The introduction of Handball at our school has taken off quicker than Usain Bolt and we now have a Handball club on a Friday after school which involves inter form competitions.
Staff and pupils at All Saints feel overwhelmed by our involvement in such an amazing and once in a lifetime opportunity. Pupils at the school will benefit so much from the chance to represent not only our school but our Borough at this unique opportunity. A real sense of pride will be felt by all."
Greenwich - Crown Woods College, Julie Taylor
"Crown Woods College pupils are delighted to have been offered the once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The excitement amongst the pupils is palpable as they wait to hear about the next step in the process. It has been my aim for the pupils to have a real sense of involvement in the Games and it couldn't have happened in a more dramatic way! We have used ideas and resources from the Get Set network over the last couple of years to raise the profile of the Games across the College, not only in PE lessons but across the whole curriculum. This summer will be a very exciting one for Londoners and it is very fitting that our young people really feel they are a part of that. Our new Sports Centre is called the 2012 Centre and our pupils are extremely proud to be included in this world class event."
Hackney - Skinners Academy, Jenny Wilkins (Head)
"The Skinners' Academy is committed to inspiring our students to become involved with all aspects of the London 2012 Olympic Games. We are excited and honoured to have been selected to participate in the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity which will be fantastic for our students and will be one that students, staff and parents alike will always remember!"
Newham - Colegrave Primary, Katie Parks
"Colegrave Primary School feel privileged to be part of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. What an amazing opportunity - we're proud beyond words and excited beyond belief! Bring on the games!"
Tower Hamlets - Marner Primary, Mary Todd (Head)
"When we first signed up to the Get Set network, we had no idea that we might have the chance to be involved in the Olympic Opening Ceremony. It is such a huge opportunity for our children and staff and will bring the Olympics alive for the whole of the school community. We are a school that celebrates sport and sporting achievement and so the Olympics are hugely important to us. To have them taking place just down the road and having such direct involvement is a rare and wonderful opportunity!"
Waltham Forest - Heathcote Secondary, Aiden McCarney
"Following our successful involvement in the London 2012 Get Set education programme we are delighted to announce that some of the students from Year 7 & 8 at Heathcote School have been invited to take part in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. The 40 chosen students auditioned twice for this prestigious honour and will be rehearsing extensively from now until July. The students are extremely excited to be part of this wonderful occasion and are very grateful for the chance to be part of such an unique global event, allowing them a once in a life time opportunity to be involved with the Olympic Games."
Ritushri Dhankher, Press & PR Manager - India, VisitBritain, +91 (124) 2624255, firstname.lastname@example.org