Central London School Games a success!
With the London Olympic and Paralympic Games just over 12 months away, the Central London School Games got the ball-rolling with a festival of sport that has left London’s youngsters eager for the real thing.
Around 1,000 school-aged young people took part in 12 competitions across 9 sports, supported by 350 volunteers – of which around 50% were aged 16-19 – at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on Friday 1st July 2011.
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Paralympic gold medallist David Weir and Olympic badminton silver medallist Gail Emms were among the special guests to sample a pilot of the government’s new national initiative which aims to inspire more young people to take part in competitive school sport.
The Central London School Games was organised and delivered by the Central London Local Organising Committee in partnership with London Youth Games Foundation, Southfields Community College, PRO-ACTIVE Central London and the Youth Sport Trust. The event was funded by Sport England National Lottery funding.
Eight Central London School Sports Partnerships (SSPs) were represented at the event by school teams, who earned the right to compete via qualifying competitions at a local level. The teams who took part were the: Camden Cats, Islington Eagles, Kensington and Chelsea Royals, Lambeth Lightening, Southwark Sounds, Southwark Suns, Wandsworth Wizards and Westminster Wildfire.
Competitors from nearly 100 schools took part in athletics (male and female), cricket (male), basketball (male), badminton (male), volleyball (male and female), golf (mixed), mini tennis (mixed), boccia (mixed) and netball (female).
The Central London School Games also had an innovative Cultural Programme running alongside the sports programme to ensure the Games reached young people whose talents lie outside of sport. 10 schools and 250 young people attended from primary and secondary schools that enjoyed a range of activities as well as supporting schools from their own SSP. An additional six schools and 100 young performers, musicians and dancers ensured there was entertainment across the site including during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Alongside the competitions at Crystal Palace, a County Athlete Assessment Day (CAAD) also took place which identified talented young disabled athletes with the potential to go from ‘playground to podium’ as future Paralympic stars. The CAAD saw a series of talent ID stations for disability sports such as athletics, boccia, football, swimming and wheelchair basketball.
The Central London School Games will become bigger and better next year as it evolves to becomes a pan-London event meaning the 2012 London School Games will cover schools in all 33 London Boroughs.
Full results and more information is available at www.londonschoolgames.org