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Page last updated at 13:08 GMT, Friday, 10 September 2010 14:08 UK

Olga Kharlan's school - School No 4, Mykolaiv, Ukraine

World Class 2012 in partnership with the British Council tell the stories of the schools where the dreams begin.

School No 4 is twinning with Coopers Coburn Sports College in Essex

Students at school no 4

Pupils at School No 4 in Mykolaiv are encouraged to reach their potential academically, in sport and musically and to also have a positive impact on their local community.

Map of Ukraine
Students - 497, ages 9 to 17
Teachers - 38
Where in the world? Mykolaiv, Ukraine
Languages - Ukrainian, Russian and English
Olga was at the school between 1995 and 2002

Mykolaiv is a port city in southern Ukraine with a strong ship building tradition and a population of 500,000.

The school's 497 sporty students play volleyball, football, basketball, compete in track athletics and enjoy hiking in the Ukrainian countryside.

Pupils speak Ukrainian, Russian and English and also learn German and French at school.

Current school stars include their sports teams, orchestra and other musical ensembles that successfully compete locally and at national level.

Fencing ace at School No 4

Olga attended the school, formerly called School No 55, between 1995 and 2002.

She has fond memories of her time at School No 4 but remembers the embarrassment of once going to school with a black eye. The shame quickly subsided and the Olympian can now look back at the mishap and laugh.

School No 4 teacher
Olga was a purposeful and persevering student
Natalya Bogachenko, head teacher

School No 4 head teacher, Natalya Bogachenko, remembers Olga as a dedicated and focused student. This determination has subsequently been seen in her performance on the international athletics stage.

Olga left the school aged 12 to finish her studies at the Higher College of Physical Culture in Mykolaiv.

Students at school no 4
Sport plays a big part in the school day at School No 4

Community involvement

Olga Kharlan
I laugh when I remember having to go to school with a black eye

As well as nurturing sporting, musical and studious pupils, the school is active in the local community. Students have previously organised craft fairs where they sell their handicrafts to raise money for children in local hospitals.

Supporting Ukrainian athletes

Staff and students embrace sport and exercise and see the Olympic competitors as examples of what can be achieved by pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

In the run-up to the games School No 4 will host their own sporting competitions, studying the stories of the athletes and looking at the ways they have gone about fulfilling their ambitions.

World Olympic Dreams

Olga is one of the athletes being tracked as London 2012 approaches and they strive to make their Olympic dreams a reality.

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see also
Fencing pin-up makes her point
26 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams
Tom Daley introduces World Class 2012
27 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams

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