MORE than 1,000 children and young people from close to 60 schools across the county enjoyed a sport-packed day at the annual Worcestershire Winter School Games.
Worcestershire’s Level Three Winter School Games, organised by Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire, saw young people from across Worcestershire compete to be School Games champions in eight different sports at the University of Worcester.
The sports included netball, new age kurling, tag and touch rugby, sportshall athletics, quicksticks hockey, pan-disability football and, new for 2017, handball.
The young people were also inspired by a visit from Great Britain wheelchair basketball players Leah Evans, Ben Fox and Kayla Bell.
Evans was one of the Great Britain Women’s team which finished fourth at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Recognising the School Games can be the starting point for young people, Great Britain U23 wheelchair basketball player and U22 European silver medallist Fox said: “I really enjoyed attending the Worcestershire School Games.
“It was great meeting all the young participants and volunteers and seeing their enthusiasm for sports at such a young age.
“Events such as the Worcestershire School Games are so important for young people to experience and I hope that our visit will have inspired some of them to realise their ambitions.”
The Worcestershire School Games were supported by 90 young leaders from local schools, colleges and the University of Worcester, aiming to develop leadership skills which included officiating and event organisation.
The School Games also have their own set of ‘Olympic values’ which everyone participating had to commit to uphold. These were passion, honesty, teamwork, respect, determination and self-belief.
Young people routinely shook hands at the end of matches and recognised good play by their team.
Scott Smith, Head of the Worcestershire School Games Local Organising Committee, said: “The School Games, both summer and winter, are a very special opportunity for schools across Worcestershire to compete in a range of sports and demonstrate the sporting values of teamwork, leadership, practice and determination.
“They are a proud legacy of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games that took place in 2012.
“Young people from across the county came together to participate and compete in a range of sports and they did so with kindness, respect and consideration for others.
“The young leaders, responsible for running the day, acted as coaches and referees and did a magnificent job.
“None of this happens without a huge amount of organisation and we must thank all the teachers, associate staff, organisers, clubs, coaches, volunteers and sponsors who have contributed to enabling this event to take place.”
1st – North Worcestershire, 60 points; 2nd – Redditch, 55; 3rd – Droitwich and Worcester City, 49; 4th – South Worcestershire, 42; 5th – Wyre Forest, 38; 6th – West Worcestershire, 31.
Individual event awards (winners listed first, runners-up second):
Primary competitions: KS2 new age kurling – Alvechurch Middle; Fort Royal.
Year 3/4 quicksticks hockey (large schools competition) – Cherry Orchard Primary; Astwood Bank First.
Year 3/4 quicksticks hockey (small schools competition) – Holy Redeemer Primary; Powick Primary.
Year 5/6 boys’ sportshall athletics – Birchensale Middle; Bredon Hill.
Year 5/6 girls’ sportshall athletics – Birchensale Middle; Holy Redeemer First.
Secondary schools: KS3 new age kurling – Regency High; Birchensale Middle.
Year 7 netball – Aston Fields Middle; Bredon Hill.
U15 boys’ handball – The Chase; Tudor Grange Worcester.
U15 girls’ handball – South Bromsgrove High; Tudor Grange Worcester.
Year 7 boys’ sportshall athletics – Birchensale Middle; St John’s Middle.
Year 7 girls’ sportshall athletics – Aston Fields Middle; Birchensale Middle.
Year 8 boys’ sportshall athletics – St Bede’s Middle; St John’s Middle.
Year 8 girls’ sportshall athletics – Aston Fields Middle; The Bewdley School.