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Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Friday, 10 September 2010 14:07 UK

Badar Uugan Enkhbatyn's school - No 79, Ulan Bator, Mongolia

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

School #79 is twinning with Edlesborough Primary in Bucks and School and Park House School and Sports College, Newbury
Students at school no 79
Badar Uugan's success inspires current pupils to work hard to realise their dreams

The students of School No 79 in the country's capital, Ulan Bator, are used to facing cold Mongolian winters. The head teacher, Mrs Lkhamsuren Tsanjid, acknowledges that the pupils grow up in harsh conditions.

In the informal felt tent settlements or 'ger' districts on the outskirts of the city where most of the 2340 pupils live, sports clubs and training facilities are few and far between. The school does not have any sports facilities, a library or internet access.

Map of Mongolia
Students - 2340, ages 6 to 16
Teachers - 103
Where in the world? Ulan Bator, Mongolia
Languages - Mongolian and Kazakh
Badar Uugan was at the school between 1992 and 2001

Despite these challenges the school has produced a number of top class athletes. Mrs Lkhamsuren describes the pupils as "brave and tough kids" who overcome the many challenges they face in everyday life.

The school has high expectations for its pupils, aged 6 to 16, and the head teacher would like them to "achieve world fame and glorify Mongolia."

Pupils and teachers take pride in the school's achievements and in their Mongolian heritage. As Mrs Lkhamsuren explains, they would give visitors to No 79 the school flag and traditional Mongolian souvenirs to remember them by.

School lessons are taught in Mongolian and some children speak Kazakh at home.

Olympic gold medallist at No 79

Badar Uugan spent nine years at the school from 1992 to 2001 and staff and students are immensely proud of the boxer's achievements.

Badar Uugan returns to the school
Badar Uugan's success has inspired other children to pursue sports to a high level. More pupils from No 79 will follow in his footsteps
Mrs Lkhamsuren Tsanjid, head teacher

Winning gold at Beijing in 2008 brought Badar Uugan to the world's attention and also raised the profile of his home country.

His achievements have inspired current pupils to believe in themselves and their ability to succeed at the highest level in spite of their deprived backgrounds.

The reigning Olympic champion is also remembered for remarkable performances of a completely different kind. Mrs Lkhamsuren remembers the school's New Year party where the boxer moonlighted as a clown. "He was the funniest clown we had ever seen and the children loved it," she remarked.

His performance was such a hit that Badar Uugan has happily made subsequent appearances in costume to the delight of staff and students.

No 79's sports superstars

The school's sporting tradition is carried on by current pupils who practise boxing, football, wrestling, athletics and basketball.

Students at school no 79
Our children are special. They grow up in harsh conditions and are brave and tough kids
Mrs Lkhamsuren Tsanjid, head teacher

The Olympic gold medallist is not the only eminent sportsperson to have attended No 79. Nyambayariin Tugstsogt won silver at the International Amateur Boxing World Championships in 2009 in the same year that he left the school. The school football team also recently won the Mongolian presidential children's cup.

Mrs Lkhamsuren is proud of all the students, has high hopes for the future and is confident that more pupils will follow in Badar Uugan's footsteps.

Staff and students are committed to the school's future development and describe themselves as unfailingly loyal to No 79, even during tough times.

School No 79 exterior
The school has turned out a number of top class athletes despite a lack of sports facilities

World Olympic Dreams

Badar Uugan 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
Mongolian fighter eyes second Olympic gold
10 Aug 10 |  World Olympic Dreams
Badar Uugan set on London 2012
26 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams
Tom Daley introduces World Class 2012
27 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams

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