Harrogate welcomes wealth of young talent for School Games

School Games action at Harrogate Hydro. (S)
School Games action at Harrogate Hydro. (S)

Budding sports stars across North Yorkshire have competed in the first School Games Festival of 2011 as part of a new and exciting initiative to encourage young people to play more competitive sport.

Over 250 pupils competed in the North Yorkshire School Games Swimming Final at the Hydro in Harrogate.

The competition, across three separate age groups, was tough but in the end the age group winners were years 5 and six 6 Selby, years 7 and 8 York and years 9 to 11 Richmondshire.

While there was no formal overall winners’ trophy, Harrogate came out on top with the most combined points total followed closely by Richmondshire in second and York in third.

The festival begins a ‘Golden Fortnight’ of sport with North Yorkshire being one of nine pilot areas for the School Games this summer ahead of a full national roll out in 2012.

Set across four levels, the School Games will increase competitive sport taking place across schools in North Yorkshire.

This will see class versus class and school versus school matches, through to county wide sports festivals culminating in a national finals event – the first of which will be held at the Olympic Park in London in May 2012.

Andrew Bayston, Joint Chair of the Local Organising Committee said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to get schools from across our region competing against each other and experiencing all that is great about sport. With the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics moving ever closer there really is no better time to be inspiring our young people through the power of sport.”

MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough Andrew Jones opened the event and said: ”The North Yorkshire School Games are a fantastic way of getting young people from our area engaged with sport. Everyone gave a superb performance at the swimming gala which was a great opening event for the North Yorkshire School Games and showcased the best swimmers from our schools. It is marvelous that we can hold a school games as part of our Olympic celebrations and to take forward as part of our Olympic legacy.”

For more go to www.northyorkshiresport.co.uk/school-games