2015 Sainsbury's Cornwall School Games Finals Day
More than 3000 young people took part in the finals of the Sainsbury's Cornwall School Games last week taking in 32 sports, 8 venues and 59 individual competitions.
After a whole year of qualifying events the length and breadth of the county over 100 Primary and Secondary schools came together for the Opening Ceremony at Poltair School, St Austell. Competitors were treated to performances by Newquay Tretherras School dance troop and Penrice Academy singer song writer Carmen Small before Poltair pupil and golfer Luke Hitchens officially opened the Games.
As school teams prepared to disperse to venues in and around the area, including co-hosts Penrice Academy, athletics star and Sporting Champion Craig Pickering provided the inspiration and later commented "What a fabulous event, it is so important that these kind of opportunities exist for young people of all abilities to engage with sport in this way. The chance to experience a large scale multi-sport event like this is unique and can be really inspirational in all kinds of ways"
This years' games were highly competitive with 69 of the participating schools making the podium and taking home medals. The highlight of the day for many was the pro-celebrity 60m dash that saw School Games Mascot 'Chuffy' take on Craig Pickering and Cornish rugby star Matt Shepherd in a head to head at Par.
Rachel Knott lead organiser for the event at the Cornwall Sports Partnership added; "This is Cornwall's biggest annual sporting event and after months of preparation by schools, teachers, parents and competition organisers it was great that the young people of Cornwall had such a positive experience".
Earlier in the week the competition programme kicked off with the Water Sports and Beach Games held at Mylor Harbour and Perranporth Beach. More than 500 pupils representing their schools in Kayak, Rowing, Sailing, Beach Volleyball, Surfing and Surf Life Saving battled it out for early positions on the medal table.
Neil Eddy, School Games Organiser for the Penwith School Sport Partnership said "What an amazing day of competition, this is absolutely unique to the Cornwall School Games, youngsters elsewhere in the country will be blown away to see this kind of thing as part of school sport".
The competitors were not the only ones enjoying the experience, 350 young people from all over Cornwall played a central role in supporting the delivery of the games on the ground as part of the Games Maker volunteer programme. Chris Knipe who coordinated the Games Maker conference on behalf of Penrice Academy commented; "The young leaders were absolutely outstanding, the success of the day was in no small part due to their commitment and enthusiasm, we couldn't have done it without them".
Plans are already underway for the 2016 Cornwall School Games which is to be held on Friday 24th June in the Penwith area.