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Barbados inspired by Games Supporting Legacy 2014 project

Janelle Denny, Teacher

Blog / Young People
Janelle Denny is a PE teacher and project coordinator of Inspire > Aspire: Global Citizens in the Making, a Supporting Legacy 2014 Project designed to inspire and connect pupils in schools throughout the Commonwealth.

Janelle describes how the programme gave her pupils at Hilda Skeene School in Barbados a chance to focus on their future aspirations through the international values of the Commonwealth.

Every teacher has a responsibility to guide and direct the learning process of one’s charges, but also to facilitate an environment to discover and develop their skills and abilities and to create a nurturing atmosphere to fulfil their hopes and dreams and ultimately fashion good citizens. The Inspire>Aspire project offered the opportunity of self-discovery.

After agreeing to be part of the project, it quickly dawned on me what an awesome opportunity it presented for my students of the graduating class of Hilda Skeene. This was because this task allowed them to critically analyse themselves: who they are, their strengths and weaknesses, who they would want to be, whom and what inspires them and more importantly what contributions they could make to society and what inspiration of their own did they have to offer.

Both I and my colleagues were proud of all the students’ efforts and the project has inspired us to continue in the future to allow more children to engage in this worthwhile venture. The ability to engage in self-analysis can lead to a profound growth and strength of spirit, and as I worked with my students I saw an improved level of thinking and confidence as they enjoyed exploring who they were.”

One Hilda Skeene pupils who took part in the project was Aren Brathwaite. He shares his experiences of the Inspire>Aspire Commonwealth Games Legacy 2014 programme.

“As I sat and watched the Commonwealth Games on television, I observed closely the performance of the athletes – their perseverance, strong will, focus and final achievements. Some of the athletes who inspired me were Usain Bolt, Keshorn Walcott and our own Barbadian hurdler Shane Brathwaite. Javelin throwers Keshorn Walcott from Trinidad and Julius Kiplangat Yego from Kenya created a deep interest in me as this is an event I wish to participate in some day in the near future.

“I loved the Commonwealth Games - the excitement and nerve-wracking finishes and the encouragement the athletes showed towards each other in an atmosphere of unity and togetherness.

“Writing my Inspire>Aspire poster project encouraged me to examine myself, my future, and the world around me and the goals I want to achieve in life in the near future. These games allowed me to realise that I can achieve great things in life as long as I aspire and work diligently towards my goals. It also reminded me to always think of others while I am trying to achieve my goals because by assisting others, whether in a small or big way, I can also help myself.

“I am determined that someday in the near future I will be one of the athletes competing at the Commonwealth Games.”