Long Melford swimmers win gold medals at school event

CHAMPIONS: Long Melford pupils won gold in the swimming
CHAMPIONS: Long Melford pupils won gold in the swimming

Long Melford C of E Primary School, Hadleigh Community Primary School and Elmsett C of E Primary School all collected medals at the recent two-day Suffolk School Games Festivals.

The competition, which took place recently at Westbourne Academy and Abbeycroft Leisure Bury St Edmunds, featured the county finals of competitions in athletics, gymnastics, tennis, swimming, cricket, golf and netball as well as invitation opportunities for new or taster sports for school aged athletes across Suffolk.

Long Melford won gold in the Under-11 Swimming Gala, Hadleigh took silver in the Year 3 and 4 gymnastics and Elmsett clinched silver in the Year 1 and 2 gymnastics.

The annual event is organised by Suffolk Sport and began with an opening ceremony featuring music, dance acts and inspirational speeches.

Hundreds of children took part in the Olympic-style flag-bearing parade, representing schools across the county, around the athletics track to music, applause and cheers from everyone trackside before the first event got under way.

This action packed county-wide competitive event involved 1,132 athletes representing 64 schools from across the region.

Inclusive sports were celebrated with events such as Kwik-Cricket, Panathlon and Tri-Golf offering sporting opportunities for children all abilities to enjoy.

Three hundred and thirty six medals were awarded and gave the winning athletes the opportunity to stand on the winner’s podium, celebrating their team’s success and all of the hard work it took gain a place at the event.

A total of 175 leaders volunteered at the event, including those from Suffolk Sport’s Topleader volunteering programme, giving up their time to officiate, keep score and help to organise each competition, contributing to the event’s success.

James Payne, development officer at Suffolk Sport and project lead for the School Games Festival event, said: “Once again the festivals have delivered two inspirational days for young people and we are delighted with the positive impact that this has on the young people who attend.

“We witnessed some exceptional performances from the athletes and are already looking ahead to next year’s festivals and developing the games further.”