Students Get Chance to Make Olympic History | The Royal Mint

14 Jan 2009

Secondary school students are being given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make their mark on the nation's coins and be part of the London 2012 Olympic Games & Paralympic Games, thanks to a prestigious design competition launched by Education Minister, Sarah McCarthy-Fry and Beijing Gold Medallist Geraint Thomas.

The Royal Mint is inviting 13-19 year olds to create a lasting memento to London 2012 by designing a new-look "tails" for the 50 pence piece using Olympic or Paralympic cycling as their inspiration. The competition guarantees that a teenager will definitely design a UK circulating coin celebrating London 2012 and will enter circulation from March 2010.

The winner will receive a unique gold coin featuring their own artwork and will be invited to see his/her design being transformed into actual UK coins at the Royal Mint. The winner's school will also receive £10,000.

'I am delighted to support this competition and pleased that The Royal Mint is giving our young people the opportunity to showcase their artistic abilities and talent through the prism of London 2012,' says Sarah McCarthy-Fry, Education Minister.

This competition gives schools an opportunity to bring together various curriculum themes, such as art, design, sport and history.The winning design will appear on the back of millions of 50 pence pieces which will be found in the nation's change for years to come.

'We are proud to be involved in London 2012 and to be able to give teenagers the exciting opportunity of creating a lasting tribute to the event,' says Andrew Stafford, Chief Executive of the Royal Mint.

'This isn't just a competition for art students.While we are looking for creative flair, entrants don't need to be a budding Picasso to be in with a chance.We will be looking at the concept as much as the quality of the artwork.If someone comes up with a clever way of symbolising cycling, we can work at refining the design with the student at the Royal Mint.'

For full information on the Royal Mint Design Competition for London 2012 - for Secondary Schools, visit Design templates are downloadable upon registration, and all entries must be submitted on the provided template and should reach the Royal Mint no later than 24 April 2009.


Some rules, hints and tips for entrants

  • Designs must be submitted on the official design template, which is downloadable upon registration at
  • The design template includes the mandatory elements of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games logos and the value of the coin, and the inclusion and positioning of these should not be altered.
  • Entrants can submit more than one entry. To do so, photocopy the downloaded template, which will carry a unique registration code, before using it.
  • The design can be submitted in felt tip, pencil, ink or using computer drawing or design software. 3D entries, such as collage or models, are not permitted.
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