Olympic volunteer Leonie Carpenter from Countesthorpe has shared her exciting story of taking part in the 2012 Opening Ceremony as a dancer.
Children at the Pavilion Holiday Club in Huncote got a first hand account of the drama student’s experience, in which she performed to a packed out stadium of 80,000 people, and was watched by over 1 billion people on TV worldwide.
This year the club has had an Olympic theme and the youngsters have had their own opening and closing ceremonies. Activities on offer have ranged from volleyball, athletics and table tennis, to cooking, circus tricks and synchronise swimming to name just a few.
Clare Smith, duty manager at the Pavilion, said:
“The holiday club this summer has been a great success, attracting families from all over the district. The Olympic theme has been brilliant in encouraging youngsters to get more involved with sport and exercise. Having a visit from an Olympic volunteer to share her experiences has really been the icing on the cake.”
Volunteer Leonie, a third year student at Kingston University in London, first auditioned last November to be part of the opening night of the Olympics. From a reported 240,000 who auditioned, Leonie was one of the 7,500 chosen for the volunteer cast, and gave up evenings and weekends to take part in rehearsals totalling around 150 hours. She said:
“In the run up to the opening night I was rehearsing every other day, doing ten hour days. It was loads of fun though, everything about it was amazing.”
The 20-year-old performed as a 1960s dancer in the sequence featuring Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.
The children got the chance to quiz Leonie, see her costume, photos and thank you certificate from director Danny Boyle.