On Wednesday 5th July 2017 at the University of Bath, 1,200 of the county’s top school-based athletes compete at the largest competitive school sport competition in the West of England.
The School Games is a London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Legacy programme organised by the West of England Sport Trust (Wesport) and funded by the National Lottery and Sport England.
The Games brings together some of the best young athletes who battle it out to be crowned the West of England School Games Champions in a range of different sports as well as some open entry events that aim to encourage wider participation in sport and physical activity.
60 primary and 36 secondary schools from across Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES), Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire competed at this year’s School Games. The Games saw 11 different sports competitions take place, including Super 6 Athletics, Gymnastics, Modern Pentathlon and Tri Golf. The athletes also had the opportunity to try out some new sports and activities in the GameZone, sponsored by the RAF, including Fencing, Yoga and Rhythmic Gymnastics.
The event was officially opened by Andrea Arlidge, Chair of Trustees for the West of England Sport Trust (Wesport) during an Opening Ceremony that showcased cultural performances from local pupils including a dance performance from St Gregory’s School and a display by Bath Rhythmic Gymnastics Club. It also provided the chance for all the competitors and volunteers to hear some inspiring words from London 2012 Silver Medallist and Rio 2016 Gold Medallist Team GB Paralympic Swimmer, Stephanie Millward.
This year’s School Games was supported by a cohort of 115 young leaders from 7 secondary schools and 24 School Games Makers from Hayesfield and St Brendan’s Sixth Form College; without their support the event would not have been possible.
Steve Nelson, Wesport CEO commented:
“It has been a fantastic day with so many school children representing their schools with pride. The School Games is a great chance for young people to enjoy taking part in sports and compete in a big Olympic style event, right here in the Bath. We are proud to have organised this event for thousands of young people from across the West of England.”
To find out more about the West of England School Games, please visit www.wesport.org.uk/schoolgames.
Here are some of the highlights from the schools and athletes:
Super 6 Athletics
Once again the Super 6 Athletics was a huge event with 24 schools participating in 8 events. Clevedon and Bradley Stoke schools were fairly dominant in the medal hauls each taking home 4 sets of medals. Redland Green and St Bede’s won medals in 3 event, including 2 sets of Golds for Redland Green in the Year 9 and 10 Girls competitions. Ralph Allen’s Year 10 Boys and Chipping Sodbury’s Year 8 Girls were also thrilled to win Gold.
We welcomed back the fantastic event of Battle Biathlon this year, which saw 6 schools battling it out in Fencing and Laser shooting. These participants were all new to the sports initially, receiving pre-event coaching in their schools before attending the School Games. St Katherine’s were crowned overall school champions as well as coming top in the Fencing, with Orchard finishing 2nd and Sidcot finishing 3rd.
Two mini tennis competitions took place for both Year 3/4 and Year 5/6 age groups. Both saw some very high level tennis being played and some close matches between schools. Christ Church Primary had a very successful day, taking home Silver medals in the Year 3/4 competition and Bronze in the Year 5/6. Hanham Abbots came 1st in the Year 3/4, with Chew Stoke finishing in 3rd place, whilst Westbury Park were the Year 5/6 champions.
This year saw a brand new Inclusive Cricket event take place offering a fun skills-based competition for primary aged children with special educational needs and disabilities. The pupils had a brilliant day and loved their first experience of this huge sporting event. St Stephen’s, Mangotsfield and Batheaston primary schools finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively and were all thrilled to take home medals.