Mini Olympics style showpiece comes to Herefordshire

Over 1900 young people descended on Hereford Leisure Centre last Wednesday for a true sporting spectacle!

The Herefordshire Summer School Games, funded by the National Lottery and kindly sponsored by Hoople Ltd, and organised by the Local Organising Committee, Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and School Games Organisers, saw young people from 63 schools across the county take part in a 19 competitions and activities.

The School Games values of respect, honesty, teamwork, determination, passion and self-belief lead the Herefordshire Schools Games, however they represent so much more.The Games provide a place to motivate and enthuse; add their values in the mix and they’re on the way to creating the building blocks for young people to gain the confidence to continue inspiring others.

Every summer since 2012 Hereford has seen a mass of students in a rainbow of coloured t-shirts competing at Hereford Leisure Centre with pride. With the support from young leaders organising activities, reporting and recording the highlights of the day, it’s safe to say the School Games philosophy is shared by all involved.

The opening ceremony featuring a dance performance by Pembridge Primary School and an interview with special guest, Olympian Samantha Murray, was hosted by event hosts Katie…… and David… from Aylestone School. Their interview with Samantha charted her way form school sport to Olympic success and ended with her urging the young people to enjoy their sport and strive to be the best they can be.

Leadership development is an important feature for both the School Games and sponsors Hoople. 155 young leaders from high and special schools and Hereford 6th Form College took on much of the organising and officiating. Many had received training from local organisations such as Tennis Hereford and the RFU.

Alongside the competitions running across the site, at the heart of the event was a School Games Cultural Village where young people could take part in fun, alternative activities. Organised by ignite cic, the village gave young people a chance to try their hand at activities from volleyball to yoga and climbing to dance. Run by local community sports groups, the activities inspired young people to try different sports as well as promoting an active lifestyle.

Following qualification events in rounders, tennis, tag rugby and the sport of the moment, girls football, competitions were keenly contested and schools from all parts of the county took home the cups and medals. School had to qualify to take their place at the School Games in rounders, tennis, tag rugby and the sport of the moment, girls football. Taking inspiration from the Cricket World Cup, Year 4 students took to the all-weather pitch for the country Kwik Cricket finals. Another sport in the national spotlight is cricket and the finals of the county year 4 Kwik cricket were held on the all-weather pitch. There were The Herefordshire School Games are not only focused on competition. Participation competitions events in cycling, lacrosse and tri golf enabled children to practice before competing where children were able to practice before competing, ensuring that they were prepared to experience competition relevant to their motivations.

Tim Knapp, Chair of the Local Organising Committee said: “The Herefordshire Summer School Games offer a unique opportunity to motivate and encourage young people across the county to take part in more competitive sport.”

“It is truly inspiring to see over 1900 young people from across our county working together and competing in a spirit of tolerance and respect. I would like to pay tribute to everyone involved in organising the Games, as well as our School Games sponsors, Hoople Ltd.”

Peter Knight, School Games Organiser added: “We are certain that the event provided a positive experience for the young people and enabled them to enjoy the competitions, activities or leadership opportunities. We firmly believe that the event has a positive and educational impact on the young people and provided them with the opportunity to develop their physical and personal skills, character and values.”