Athletes Spring to School Games Championship Success!

Matt Hampson
It was all fun & School Games!
OVER 1,000 talented young athletes and disabled athletes from across Leicester-Shire & Rutland descended on Loughborough University’s world class sporting facilities on 3rd April, to take part in the 2014 School Games Spring Championships.
Young athletes aged 11-18 years, represented over 58 schools, taking part in 17 competitions, across 9 sports, in an action-packed day full of Olympic-style sport and presentations.
The Championships began with an Opening Ceremony featuring School Games Ambassador and Team GB Paralympic Sprinter Sam Ruddock, who explained his journey to the Paralympics and encouraged the young athletes to be the best they can be and have no regrets in their performance.
The Ceremony saw an incredible Judo demonstration from Sporting Champion Tom Reed (GB Judo) and our GO GOLD Ambassador Isaac Gagin. The routine had the crowd enthralled with collective gasps as the two athletes threw each other across the stage.Leicester-Shire & Rutland’s ‘Got Talent’ Competition, winners ‘Fly Dance (dance group) also provided an entertaining routine.
‘SEDRIC the Lion’ – the new National School Games Mascot, designed by Leicester Grammar School pupil Ellen Blaine made his first public appearance before he sets off on a tour of School Games Championships across the Country! SEDRIC was revealed on stage, joined by his designer Ellen, who explained her reasoning behind the name and design. SEDRIC was also joined by School Games Mascot ‘Dazzle’.
All fired up, the athletes set off for 4 hours of competitive school sport; competing in their different Partnership coloured t-shirts, all vying to the finish in the gold medal position! The University venues filled with noise and passion as teams set out to give it their all whilst competing to the School Games Values of; Determination, Honesty, Passion, Respect, Self-Belief and Teamwork. Over 120 young leaders and volunteers signed-up to support the event and were resilient in effort.
Sam Ruddock was joined at the Closing Ceremony by another of our School Games Ambassadors – Matt Hampson. The winners received an impressive victory torch trophy along with their gold medals and the winners from each competition for the ‘Spirit of the Games’ Award also received a trophy. Silver and Bronze medals also went to 2nd and 3rd place in each competition.
The young athletes represented our 10 School Sport & Physical Activity Networks, all of which qualified from Level 2 area finals, to participate in this Level 3 County Final Championships.
Still to come!Following the Spring Championships, there is still a full programme of Level 3 events taking place before the end of the Academic year, including 7 Super-Series Finals in Tag Rugby Year 5/6 (May), Key Stage 3 Girls & Boys Disability Football (June), Tennis Year 7/8 (June), Year 9 Super-Sixes Golf (June), Kwik Cricket Year 5/6 (June) and Year 9 Rounders (June). The year will finish with a bang with 16 competitions across 10 sports at the School Games Summer Championships on 27th June at Uppingham Sports Centre. Schools are encouraged to contact their School Games Organiser so they have a chance to qualify!
Geoff Maltby, Sports Development Manager from Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport (LRS) ‘This event continues to go from strength to strength and gets bigger and better every year. There is no better feeling than seeing our talented young people across the partnership participate in sport and enjoy healthy competition against their peers. We continue to be grateful for the support and commitment of this event from our schools, staff, volunteers and young leaders, without whom it simply wouldn’t be possible. We are now looking forward to our Summer Championships in June and are already well underway with our planning for next year’s programme!’