Youngsters activated to enjoy sports festival

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Youngsters from 136 schools across the region have taken part in a major multi-sport County Festival.

Pupils from Coventry and Warwickshire competed against other youngsters in their area as well as children from Solihull at the County Festival which is part of the School Games Programme.

Schools from across the region took part in the County Festival including Lawrence Sheriff, Ashlawn and Paddox in Rugby.

It involved more than 1,300 children either participating in the sports competitions or as young leaders supporting the festival.

The competitions took place over five days at Coventry Sports Centre, Coventry Sports Connexion, Alan Higgs Centre, Xcel Centre and Sidney Stringer School. It included competitions in sports such as badminton, basketball, swimming, athletics, rowing, football, boccia, archery, netball and wheelchair basketball.

The School Games Programme is designed to enable every school and child in the region to participate in competitive school sport.

The County Festival was the latest sequence of the School Games which are made up of four levels of activity – competition in schools, between schools, at county level through to the County Festival and finally a national elite event.

Winning schools from inter-school competitions, which have been taking place across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, were invited to participate at the County Festival.

Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire’s County Festival was organised by a Local Organising Committee which is made up of representatives from both school and community sport.

Youngsters were also treated to visits at the event by Paralympic rower James Roe and archer Mel Clarke.

Tony Wilmot, chair of the Local Organising Committee, said: “The School Games has given children across the region the opportunity to embrace sport like never before.

“We are delighted to have engaged so many pupils in sport through the School Games and we are excited by the potential of this project to have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of children and young people across the region. There are many potential benefits to be taken from the project including improving awareness of health issues and activity levels or increasing confidence and organisational skills.”

Nationally the Sainsbury’s School Games is funded through £128 million of National Lottery and government funding. The project is delivered nationally through a partnership which includes the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, supported by the Department for Education and the Department of Health, Sport England, the British Paralympic Association, and the Youth Sport Trust.