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London 2012 is not all about sport

School Reporters Dexter and Jade with Ruth Mackenzie, Director of the Cultural Olympiad
Dexter and Jade interviewed Ruth Mackenzie, Director of the Cultural Olympiad

By Dexter and Jade, Year 8
Southfields Community College, Wandsworth, London

Today we went to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, to hear about the different non-sporting events that will occur in 2012.

Tony Hall, Chair of the Cultural Olympiad Board, and Ruth Mackenzie, Director of the Cultural Olympiad, held a press conference and they talked about many projects that will happen in 2012, such as a pop concert, art exhibitions, and big public events like the Big Dance.

They explained how the Olympics and Paralympics are not just about sport - they are planning lots of cultural events too.

Over 1,000 events will take place all over the UK, known as Festival 2012.

Also the Cultural Olympiad will be made up of lots of partnerships including collaborations with the Royal Ballet, Film 4 and the BBC.

The aim is to make all the events unforgettable and to create a legacy.

World peace

Tate Movie is one project that is already happening and teaching young people about animation and how to make a great movie.

We were really interested to hear that the opening event of the London 2012 Festival will be a Peace One Day. This is a special day on 21 June 2012 to mark a truce and to hopefully inspire the world to make peace, on the day and in the future.

After the speeches, we asked some extra questions which we had prepared beforehand.

Worth the cost?

First we spoke to Tony Hall. Jade asked him why he thinks it is necessary to spend money on the Olympics and the events organised by the Cultural Olympiad in light of the current economic climate.

Jade recording her interview with Tony Hall
Jade recording her interview with Tony Hall

He said: "We worry about that quite a lot actually because we know how people feel and we are having to make sure that we can make ends meet.

"But I think people of all ages in this country are amazingly creative and we've got really good arts and culture which set us apart - I would say - from anywhere else in the world.

"So I think we would be mad not to celebrate that and show that off in 2012, when the eyes of the world are going to be looking at us."

Tony also told us how children can be involved by expressing themselves through poetry, music and dance. He hopes we will get do stuff through schools and through artists working with young people.

Jude Law

We also interviewed Jeremy Gilley, a filmmaker who is working on Peace One Day. He said he hopes we get involved in this project adding: "I know that peace is important to young people".

Jeremy told us how they are creating stuff for schools and how actor Jude Law is helping the project by leading protests and producing shows and films.

Actor Jude Law is involved in the opening Festival 2012 event, Peace One Day
Actor Jude Law is involved in the opening Festival 2012 event, Peace One Day

At the end of the conference, we interviewed Ruth Mackenzie who is the Director of all the Cultural Olympiad. She told us how she wants "everyone to get excited about culture as well as sport in 2012".

Ruth also told us she was really impressed with our questions. She said "well done" when we were leaving!


Some of the plans for 2012 are still vague - just "teasers" for now. We hoped to find out more, but we did learn that more information will be put on a special website in the summer.

Everyone should get involved in London 2012 as it is not just about sport, it is about bringing the world together through art and culture too.

We did not know much about the Cultural Olympiad before, but now we know it is not just about sport, we think 2012 will be even more magnificent!

We did not expect the number of events that are planned and we hope it will all be a success.

In pictures: School Report 2012
09 Jul 10 |  Project news

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