Primary and secondary school children from across the Tyne & Wear came together to compete for their own gold medals less than a month before the Rio Olympic Games.
Over 600 children from over 50 schools converged on Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre in Sunderland to compete in the Tyne & Wear Summer School Games 2016. They competed in a number of different sports including gymnastics, tennis, athletics, volleyball, rounders and golf.
Jenny Young, aged 14 from Castle View Enterprise Academy, Sunderland said, "Our teacher decided to start a rounders team and so we did some training together and then had more practice as part of our sport GCSE class and we all really enjoyed it. I've always loved sport since I was little. I like working as a team and it also gets you out and about doing things, I don't like just sitting around."
Sofie Lincoln, aged 15 from Boldon School, South Tyneside is no stranger to competition having recently been crowned World Champion at the Acrobatic Gymnastics Women's Trio (13 – 19 age group) in China. She was competing in the rounders competition at the School Games and said, "We like coming to the School Games because it is a really friendly event and it's nice to do something for the school with your friends."
North Tyneside had the most winners on the day taking home seven gold medals, while both Gateshead and Sunderland had three, followed closely by Newcastle and South Tyneside who achieved two gold medals each.
Claire Lee, School Games Co-ordinator at Tyne & Wear Sport said: “With the Rio 2016 Olympics less than a month away, it has been an excellent opportunity for young people to experience an exciting school sport competition. 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 we know sport can have such a positive and lasting impact on the lives of children and young people.
“There are many potential benefits to be taken from sport including improving activity levels, awareness of health issues and increasing confidence and organisational skills.”
Daniel Rawlinson, aged 13 competed in the volleyball competition for silver medallists Marden Bridge Middle School, North Tyneside. He said, "As well as volleyball, I also play badminton, cricket, rugby and boxing. I like sport because it's good fun and you get to take part with your friends."
The School Games is at the heart of the Government’s plans to create a lasting sporting legacy from the London 2012 Games and gives every pupil from every school to take part in competitive sport. Over £100 million of Lottery and Government funding has been injected into the School Games.
The Games are being delivered by schools, Tyne & Wear Sport, national governing bodies of sports, school games organisers and other local partners. Support of the School Games also comes from a range of national partners including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, Department of Health, Paralympics GB and the Youth Sport Trust.