Siun Heaney and Karlann McDermott, from St. Cecilia’s College, have won a London 2012 education programme design competition to create a version of the London 2012 Olympic mascot, Wenlock, which they feel represents Northern Ireland.
The prize for winning the competition included having the opportunity to work with a top London designer to develop their design – which will now be made into an official version of the Mandeville as well as a London 2012 pin badge.
The initiative, for schools in the official London 2012 Education programme ‘Get Set’, invited children and young people in schools and colleges to design a version of Olympic mascot Wenlock and/or Paralympic mascot Mandeville that they thought represented the place in which they live, their community or their region.
St. Cecilia’s College has held a presentation ceremony where Siun and Karlann were given a certificate and mounted copy of their design.
There were more than 2,500 entries into the competition and Siun and Karlann’s design was shortlisted from Northern Ireland to be invited to attend the national final in London.
At the national final, Siun and Karlann showcased their presentation skills as they pitched their design to a judging panel which included former Triple Jumper, Olympic gold medallist and Deputy Chair of the LOCOG Nations and Regions board Jonathan Edwards, Paralympic wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan and London 2012 Head of Education, Nick Fuller.
After Siun and Karlann were announced as the winners from Northern Ireland, they travelled back down to London where they spent the day with a top London design agency, developing their design into a 3D animated mascot graphic.
The design is now being developed into an official London 2012 pin badge and will be available to buy from www.london2012.com/shop this autumn.
Siun and Karlann said: ‘Our mascot has a brick/walled design to represent our historic ‘City Walls’.
“Among the many historic monuments in Derry, the massive City Walls on the west bank of the River Foyle are the most striking and memorable.
“Built between 1614 and 1619, the original Walls are almost perfectly preserved today, making Derry one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe.’
Carál Ní Chuilín MLA, Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, said: “This has been a fantastic competition which has engaged our young people and inspired them through the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
With just over one year to go to the Games, I would encourage as many schools as possible in the north of Ireland to register for Get Set and to take part in the many competitions and opportunities such as this.
“Today is also the deadline for nominating people to carry the Olympic Torch during its journey round the North. We must all grasp the opportunities presented to us by the Games being held so close to our shores.
“I congratulate Siun and Karlann on their achievement. Their winning entry was very creative, something which local people can identify with.
LOCOG Chair, Sebastian Coe said: ‘I’m delighted that Siun and Karlann’s customisation, which reflects what Northern Ireland means to them, will be used as an official version of Wenlock.
“This competition, not only encouraged school children to think about what their community or region means to them but it also showed how young people across the UK can get involved and play their part in London 2012.
‘The designs of the mascots we’ve received have all been of a high quality and I hope the competition has inspired and helped develop the designers of the future.’
Get Set is the official London 2012 education programme for schools and colleges. More than 18,000 schools have already registered with the programme. It provides students and teachers with access to free resources including films, activity and fact sheets and access to competitions such as Get Set to make your mascot.
Through Get Set programmes, schools and colleges which demonstrate how they are using the Olympic and Paralympic Values can apply to join the Get Set network.
Members of the network will receive tickets to the Games through the London 2012 Ticketshare initiative, as well as other exclusive rewards and opportunities.