The UK School Games is an exciting initiative designed to encourage more young people to take part in sport and provide them with experience of being involved in a major multi-sport competitive event.
Glasgow hosted the inaugural event in September 2006 which included over 1,000 talented young athletes in five sports over four days. Notable success was enjoyed by the Northern Ireland participants in Athletics with a Gold in the Womens High Jump, Womens Long Jump and Mens High Jump, and a Silver in the Womens Shotput.
The 2007 UK School Games will be hosted by the city of Coventry between the 23 – 26 August 2007 and will involve the following:
- 4 days
- 5 venues
- 8 sports
- 35 events
- 4 home countries
- 1,300 athletes
- 50 teams
- 500 volunteers and officials
A total of eight sports will take part in this year’s event:
- Table tennis
Northern Ireland will provide a mixed team of boys and girls to compete in each of the eight sports. Selection for the event is co-ordinated by the Governing Bodies of Sport. There will also be disability events in athletics and swimming.
Funded by the Millennium Commission and co-ordinated by the Youth Sport Trust, six key themes were created to ensure the UK School Games bring about systematic change in the way in which competitive opportunities are developed for young people and that a lasting legacy is created:
Ongoing planning and delivery of a UK level sports event showcasing talented young sports people;
To bring about change in the content, structure and presentation of competitive sporting opportunities for young people;
Use the event itself and themed branding of local and regional competitions to raise the profile of school age competitions and the young people taking part, and to promote the work undertaken in each nation to improve P.E. and school sport;
Integrate Olympic and Paralympic themes into the UK School Games by ensuring that the Olympic and Paralympic values are promoted through, including volunteer training, opening and closing ceremonies and an athlete village;
Create opportunities for young people to become engaged in volunteering at major sports events both as technical officials and event volunteers; and
Ensure the event advocates and demonstrates the highest level of child protection and welfare systems.
Future host cities have been announced as being:
- 2008 The West of England (Bath & Bristol)
- 2009 Wales (Cardiff, Swansea & Newport)
- 2010 Tyne & Wear (Newcastle, Gateshead & Sunderland)
- 2011 Sheffield
- 2012 London
Further information can be obtained from:
UK School Games website – http://www.ukschoolgames.com
Youth Sport Trust – http://www.youthsporttrust.org