Suffolk school children will get the chance to take part in their own Olympic and Paralympic Games at the Suffolk Sainsbury’s School Games on Friday in Bury St Edmunds.
School teams from across the county have been competing all year to qualify for the second Suffolk Sainsbury’s School Games Festival which will feature 10 sports: athletics; boccia; cricket; gymnastics; judo; netball; panathlon; squash; swimming and tennis.
The Suffolk School Games will have a strong inclusive element and will feature competitions in swimming and athletics as well as panathlon and Paralympic sport Boccia.
The main sports venue will be at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre and King Edward VI School with the cricket taking place at Nowton Cricket Club.
Geoff Barton, Headteacher at King Edward VI School and chair of the Sainsbury’s Suffolk School Games Local Organising Committee said: “I am delighted that over a thousand school children from across Suffolk will be competing in the Sainsbury’s Suffolk School Games.
“These Games have given all school children in Suffolk the chance to take part in a fantastic sporting experience as a lasting legacy from the 2012 London Olympics.”
The Suffolk School Games will begin at 9.45am with an Olympic-style opening ceremony featuring performances from local school children and the sporting competitions will commence at 10.30am.
Suffolk Sport, the county sports partnership for Suffolk, are responsible for the running of the festival event.
Working with the eight School Games organisers, who are integral to the organisation of the competitions, they have put on a exciting year-long calendar of sporting competition that all school children in Suffolk have been able to participate in.
Professor Bill Tancred MBE, chair of Suffolk Sport said: “I am delighted that Suffolk Sport is involved in the delivery of the Suffolk School Games.
“My own personal journey to competing at the Olympics started with school sport and it is fantastic that we can provide competitive sport opportunities for every school pupil in Suffolk no matter what their ability.”
As well as the young participants, the Games will feature 175 young sports leaders from across schools in Suffolk, who will be helping with the officiating and administration of the competitions.
Councillor Alan Murray, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health and adult care said: “As the anniversary of the London 2012 Games approaches, it’s fantastic to see that so many young people will take part in this inspiring event.
“Suffolk’s long-term ambition is to become the most active county in England and events like this are important in helping us to achieve this ambition.”