De Aston student Victoria Pritchard admitted she received the best birthday present she could have asked for after being given a masterclass by Olympic champions Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott.
Victoria was part of a group from the school who where enjoying an exclusive white-water rafting session at the Holme Pierrepont National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham.
They were awarded the day out after successfully fulfilling a Get Set to Make a Change pledge to encourage, promote, inspire and motivate their community by running projects to include all.
And on hand to lend some expert advice were Baillie and Stott, who became the first ever Brits to win Olympic canoe slalom gold as they stormed to the C2 title at London 2012.
Victoria, who turned 18 on the day, insisted it was a birthday of dreams with her hard efforts off the water being rewarded in the best possible way.
“The white-water rafting was a prize for our Get Set to Make a Change pledge and it was really, really good and it was my birthday as well so it was a lovely surprise,” she said.
“Everyone really enjoyed it, even though it was pretty physically challenging.
“We were quite lucky that everyone on our team is quite sporty so that helped a lot.”
The students did a number of Get Set to Make a Change pledges, but the main one was a school football tournament for years seven, eight and nine, which encouraged them to communicate and have fun.
“It was really good and we got a lot out of it too because it brought a sense of fulfilment to your life, and to get an amazing prize off the back of it and to meet two Olympic champions was great too,” added Victoria.
And Olympic champion Baillie was more than happy to put the students through their paces to pay them back for their efforts.
“It was cool to help De Aston School out after all the hard work they put in with their Get Set to Make a Change pledge and they seemed to have fun which was the main thing,” Baillie said.
“They had done some really good voluntary work and off the back of it they won this prize and white-water rafting is a great way to get started in the sport because it is fun and easily accessible.
Through GSTMC, the British Olympic Foundation, in conjunction with the British Paralympic Association is using the spirit of the London Games to re-inspire young people across the UK.
The project is being supported by a £2.5m grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive campaign.
For more visit www.makeachange.org.uk/