Sporting Festival Inspires Children to Compete
A London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy programme inspires thousands of children from the West of England to compete in the first Summer School Games.
Wednesday 20th June saw the West of England Sport Trust (Wesport) hold the first ever Summer School Games festival held at the University of Bath in the Sport Training Village. The festival saw over 1,000 schoolchildren from across the West of England take part in a range of sports, which included Athletics, Tennis, Beach Volleyball, Wheelchair Basketball and many more. The West of England Summer School Games saw for the first time both non-disabled and disabled athletes competing in a fully inclusive sporting event.
The School Games is one of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Legacy programmes designed to maximise the benefit of hosting the Games and deliver on the promise Lord Seb Coe made in 2005. The programme is designed to inspire schoolchildren to compete for their school in a range of school sport competitions. It is hoped that from this programme the next Tom Daley, Jessica Ennis or Rebecca Adlington will be found and inspired to compete at future national and international competitions.
Steve Nelson, Wesport Chief Executive Officer, said:
"The School Games is a great chance for young people of school age to have fun competing in sport. We are proud to have played our part in bringing this event to life for thousands of young people from across the West of England."
The Summer School Games was opened by current British Judo Champion Tom Reed and chair of the local organising committee and head teacher of Wellsway School, Andrea Arlidge. The opening ceremony saw cultural performances from local schoolchildren as well as some inspiring words from Tom and rising athletics star Julz Adeniran.
Tom Reed commented:
"Today’s event has been a fantastic day of high class competitive school sport. Walking around today’s event you could really feel the excitement and passion from the children. This event is a great platform to inspire the new generation of top athletes."
A few of the highlights of the School Games were in the Athletics, Mini Tennis and Rounder’s where the competitors were competing to be crowned county champions. The Mini Tennis competition saw Marshfield School from South Gloucestershire win a very close final against Golden Valley from North Somerset. On the Athletics track, 17 different Secondary Schools competed in a Super 6 Team format alongside a primary Quad Kids competition. The Athletics track also saw the incorporation of disability specific races. Redland Green from Bristol were victorious in the Year 8 Rounders against Priory from North Somerset. However, Priory school where victorious in the Year 9 final and walked away with the title after beating Oldfield from Bath and North East Somerset.
Andrea Arlidge said that:
"I am very proud of how today’s event has gone. It has been a great event with lots of school children representing their schools with pride. However this is only the first West of England Summer School Games and next year’s event will be even bigger and better."
For more information about the School Games please visit www.wesport.org.uk/schoolgames or telephone 0117 328 6250.