Recommended age group: 11–14
Time required: one to two 45–60 minute sessions
Equipment: Spoken language and presentation skills activity sheets.


The Olympic and Paralympic Games is a moment to shine for many different kinds of people - not just national athletes but also local 'heroes', such as Torchbearers, volunteers and young ambassadors. The following activities will support students in looking back at the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and looking forward to future Games.

Looking backwards

  1. In small groups, ask students to reflect on and discuss some of our Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes, their amazing achievements, memorable moments and how they have shown the Olympic Value of Excellence and the Paralympic Value of Determination. See our athlete profiles for inspiration. You could widen the discussions to include the involvement of other people in other roles, such as lighting the cauldron, being Torchbearers and the Games Makers - the 'unsung heroes'. 
  2. In groups, give students a blank piece of A3 paper and the mind map activity sheet below, to help them create a mind map around the topic of heroes.
  3. Encourage students to work through the key questions on the mind-mapping sheet to help develop, discuss and explore their own definition of heroism.
  4. In addition to the national athletes, give students time to research local people who have done amazing things in your community, via the internet, television or newspaper articles.

Looking forwards

Who will win a place in the Hall of Fame?

The following activity culminates in creating a Hall of Fame in your school. It will form a lasting memory of special people from both the past and the present who have achieved outstanding success. The Hall of Fame should honour people who are 'living' the Paralympic Value of Determination and/or consistently demonstrating excellence and inspiring others. But first - who can make the perfect pitch to win their chosen hero a place in your Hall of Fame?

  1. Working with a partner, or in a bigger 'pitch and presentation team', encourage students to discuss and define what they think makes a hero. Focus on determination and excellence. Their mind maps will help with this.
  2. Students should research and discuss local people who are doing amazing things for the community - they are the 'unsung heroes' who volunteer, give their time to help others or who have shown huge determination to overcome personal challenges, for example.
  3. Having researched and discussed all kinds of heroes the students must choose just one. This will be the hero the students 'pitch for' to earn them a place in the Hall of Fame.

Preparing the perfect pitch

In preparing for their pitch the students should:

  1. Research and gather key facts and inspiring information about their chosen hero. If they have chosen an Olympic or Paralympic athlete, they could check out the "athlete profiles(athlete profiles)":/resources/athletes or alternatively they can use television and news reports, the Internet, etc.
  2. Use the information gathered to create a profile for their hero. The activity sheet below will support students in this task.
  3. Decide how they want to present their ideas in the most engaging and persuasive way - do they want to use IT to boost the visual elements (slide show, short film, etc.) or maybe any budding artists could create some original visual aids.
  4. Reflect on how their hero has demonstrated personal excellence and determination.
  5. Use the checklist provided, on the activity sheet below, to structure, practise and refine their presentation.

Once they've prepared the best presentation they can, students can use their most effective powers of communication to persuade others to vote for their hero and secure his/her place in the school Hall of Fame.