VIDEO: Taking pupils on the water

Slated Row School pupil Jason Lowry admitted he had to punch himself in amazement after being given a rafting masterclass by Olympic champions Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott.

Lowry was at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham earlier this month as a group of Slated Row School pupils enjoyed an exclusive white-water rafting session.

GSTMC Rewards Day. National Water Sports Centre.Pic: Garry Bowden/Sportinpictures

GSTMC Rewards Day. National Water Sports Centre.Pic: Garry Bowden/Sportinpictures

They were awarded the day out after successfully fulfilling a Get Set to Make a Change pledge to organise and run a district cross country event.

On hand to lend some expert advice were Baillie and Stott, who won became the first ever Brits to win Olympic canoe slalom gold as they stormed to the C2 title at London 2012.

And Lowry insisted the day would live long in his memory after seeing his hard efforts rewarded in the best possible way.

“White-water rafting was really fun and I had never done it before and fell in four times but it was still really good,” he said.

“I really struggled to stay in the boat and it was really tough but it was still really interesting and it taught us how to work as a team.

“This was a great prize for our Get Set to Make a Change pledge that was to organise and run a district cross county event at our school.

“We did that to make a difference in our community and it was great and to get this prize too was fantastic.”

The Get Set to Make a Change programme inspired almost 5,000 teenagers through 23 roadshows in 12 cities across the UK last year, encouraging them to deliver pledges of support to their community.

And Olympic champion Baillie was more than happy to put Lowry and Slated Row School through their paces in order to pay them back for their efforts.

“It was cool to help Slated Row School out after all the hard work they put in with their Get Set to Make a Change pledge and they seemed to have fun which was the main thing,” Baillie said.

“They had done some really good voluntary work and off the back of it they won this prize and white water rafting is a great way to get started in the sport because it is fun and easily accessible.

“The Get Set to Make a Change scheme is great and when we were doing the roadshows it was all really nice but the proof was going to be in the pudding in terms of young people going away and organising events and it was great to see it happening and Slated Row School deserve recognition.”

Through GSTMC, the British Olympic Foundation, in conjunction with the British Paralympic Association is using the spirit of the London Games to re-inspire young people across the UK. The project is being supported by a £2.5m grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive campaign. http://www.makeachange.org.uk/