Dozens of schools battle it out for medals in mini-Olympics

  |  Published: Jul 4th 2016

The iconic Stoke Mandeville Stadium played host to 1,300 children 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 organisers said this year’s 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.

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 Leap (The Bucks & MK Sport and Activity Partnership) 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 the Bucks & Milton Keynes County Sport and Activity Partnership, 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.”

For more information on the School Games or details of how Leap supports children and young people to have an active start in life visit www.leapwithus.org.uk

participants gather before the start
participants
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