The iconic Stoke Mandeville Stadium played host to nearly 1,300 children on Friday July 1 as they competed for medals in the Bucks and Milton Keynes School Games.
Dozens of schools from all over the county – from Wycombe to South Bucks, to Chiltern, Aylesbury Vale and Milton Keynes – took part in a fiercely-contested festival of sport.
The event, dubbed a mini-Olympics, has now been running in some form since 1999 but this year’s event was particularly special, coming just before the Rio Olympics and Paralympics.
In all, 75 schools took part. The stadium was the main venue, but competitions took place across four other sites in Aylesbury as well.
There were 13 different sports, from athletics to swimming, rounders, table tennis and cycling.
The opening ceremony saw a welcome from the Executive Board Chair Sharon Jarrett and was followed by performances from local dance and cheerleading groups from St Michael’s Primary and Secondary Schools and Lord Grey High School. Winston the Wolf then had his reigning title snatched from him as Buzby Bee took pole position in the legendary mascot race!
Former GB Olympic sprinter Abi Oyepitan, a Commonwealth gold medallist, was special guest star, meeting the children and giving an inspirational speech at the opening ceremony.
The day, organised by the team here at Leap in partnership with the county’s School Games Organisers, was the culmination of a year-long programme of qualifying competitions.
Val Letheren, Chairman of Buckinghamshire County Council who attended as a VIP guest, said: “The whole organisation of the event involving so many children is incredible – it’s a huge enterprise. The look on the children’s faces and the enthusiasm they showed was brilliant. They were really good and very competitive. It was a great day.”
Mark Ormerod, Director of Leap said: “We were delighted with the enthusiasm and competitiveness shown by 1,300-plus children at this event. It sums up everything that’s good in sport and reminds us of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic spirit. We had more than 100 young volunteers helping us today which is so reminiscent of the games-makers during 2012.
“This is an iconic venue because the first Paralympics were held here in 1948, and the Paralympic Heritage Flame will be lit here on September 2 in the run-up to the Rio games, so we were pleased to be able to give the athletes of tomorrow a taste of what it’s all about.”
Full results from each competition can be found here
Thank you to everyone who supported the 2016 School Games as the day simply would not run without you.
A special thanks also goes to our School Games Organisers who work effortlessly throughout the school year to run the qualifying competitions which precede this level 3 event.
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