Over 1,000 young people from schools across Hertfordshire recently gathered at Oaklands College’s Smallford Campus for the Hertfordshire School Games Level 3 County Finals.
The event was the culmination of a programme of competitive sport across Hertfordshire’s schools during the current academic year, in which some 50,000 secondary and primary school pupils have competed at one level or another.
The Hertfordshire School Games Final is part of a national initiative, which was established as a lasting sporting legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The aim was to further revive competitive sport in schools – with every school in England given the opportunity to get involved and potentially giving every school child a chance to take part.
Hertfordshire was one of the six original pilot schemes for the School Games in 2011 when the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the RT. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP launched the programme at the Hertfordshire Sports Village, at the University of Hertfordshire.
The County Finals are organised by the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership (known as HSP) and the recent event held in glorious sunshine was attended by a range of VIP guests, including Headteachers, Civic Leaders of Local Authorities, the Youth Sport Trust, and Hertfordshire County Council.
The key feature of this year’s County Finals Day was the Activity Carousel – including BMX cycling, fencing, circus skills and an inflatable playground – which was used as a ‘come and try it’ area for those pupils from a range of schools that had expressed an interest in their students accessing a wider range of sport and physical activity pursuits, but not necessarily those schools that had made it to the County Finals as district winners.
In welcoming the event, HSP Director, John O’Callaghan said:
“To see so many of our young people competing in the County Finals was another reminder of the wealth of sporting talent that we have in Hertfordshire. We are indebted to the many teachers, parents, School Games Organisers, volunteers and young leaders that made this day such a resounding success. A special thanks too to Tanya Angus, our School Sport Manager and to the Sports Apprentices from Sporting Futures Training Ltd. (Stevenage) who ensured that the event ran like clockwork.
Exposure to competitive sport can provide some wonderful building blocks for life in terms of experiencing the highs of winning the lows of losing and around areas such as camaraderie and leadership. Sport can be a very powerful vehicle for improving the lives of those young people and it was an absolute pleasure to witness highly competitive sporting action played in the true spirit of the values of the national School Games programme.
Since the inception of this programme in 2011 over 350,000 of Hertfordshire’s young people have been involved in the School Games programme and I would place on record my sincere thanks to Sport England and the National Lottery for their continued support of this excellent initiative.”
For more information about the School Games programme, please contact Tanya Angus.