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Everyone's a Winner at the 2019 Cornwall School Games


"This is a day I'll always remember and I'm looking forward to seeing the percentage of young people in Cornwall involved go from 44% to 100%"
Laura Penhaul, University of Exeter Honorary Graduate and Sowenna Ambassador

On Friday 28th June 2019 over 3,000 excited students from Cornish primary & secondary schools headed to Bodmin College, Bodmin Leisure Centre and Par Athletics Track to compete in the 2019 Cornwall School Games, sponsored by the University of Exeter.

Competitors took part in over 20 different sports including swimming, netball, cricket, football, skate and scoot, gymnastics plus new for this year Softball.

There was also a number of Project Ability competitions held, making this a fully inclusive unique event, catering for all young people.

This year the Cornwall Sports Partnership, School Games Organisers, PE staff and young people banded together to design a new vision and innovative sports formats for the Cornwall School Games which aims to provide a well organised, appropriate and enjoyable programme of competitions and festivals for students of all abilities at a local and county level.

This is an exciting time for Cornwall school sport. After winning a national award for our work last year and being selected  as a national pilot this year, Cornwall really is leading the way by working  together to maximise meaningful opportunities for all young people.

Rachel Knott from Cornwall Sports Partnership and Lead Organiser of the Cornwall School Games said: "This year has been a really exciting one for school sport in Cornwall. PE teachers in Cornwall realised that many young people were missing out on the opportunity to develop skills from working and communicating in a team, problem solving and resilience, learning to self and peer reflect, improve relationships, gain leadership skills, and improve self-esteem and body confidence.  This new format gives children of ALL ABILITIES the chance to be part of this amazing programme."

The day started with competitors watching an inspirational opening ceremony filled with music and dancing, presented by Pirate FM's very own Lucy Start, who said: "What an honour to be part of such a fantastic event.  Seeing so many enthusiastic, excited students enjoying coming together in sport is wonderful.  A huge thank you to Bodmin College for being amazing hosts and to Cornwall Sports Partnership and University of Exeter for making this event possible.  Congratulations to all that took part and see you next year!"

A huge thank you to Pirate FM for their support at their first ever Cornwall School Games - a partnership which enables us to reach a wider audience than just those who are competing on the day.

Competitors were also supported on the day by Laura Penhaul, Lead Physiotherapist for British Sailing Olympic Team, University of Exeter Honorary Graduate and Sowenna Ambassador and also Our Sporting Ambassador David Wetherill, British Paralympic Table Tennis Star who both gave the competitors some words of encouragement for the day. 

Laura told us: "What an amazing day!  The energy and feel from today is outstanding and shows what impact getting active can have.  The support from the University of Exeter has enabled schools and children from across county to come together to provide a platform where children can collaborate and share memorable experiences which will stay with them for a lifetime.

Today shows how getting active can bring energy levels up and make us feel happy, it's the message we want to share from Sowenna.  It doesn't always have to be competitive - skipping, dipping your toes in the sea, walking in the woods when you feel low, it can be enough to lift you and change your mood.  Thank you Cornwall Sports Partnership for making this happen."

This year saw the Cornwall School Games support the Sowenna Appeal, which is raising money for the FIRST EVER mental health facility for children and young people in Cornwall and beyond.  Cornwall School Games helped raise the awareness of the Sowenna Appeal by encouraging children across Cornwall to join the #skipforsowenna challenge, whether it's skipping around your school field, skipping with your class or school or skipping by yourself, get sponsored to #skipforsowenna.

Philippa Patterson, Director of the Sowenna Appeal said: "We are delighted to be part of such an exciting programme of activity, encouraging young people in Cornwall to be active and learn the importance of looking after both their physical and mental health.

The mass #skipforsowenna was great fun and we are looking forward to lots of schools getting involved next and doing their own sponsored skip to raise money for The Sowenna Appeal."


But it isn't just about playing sport.  The Cornwall School Games engaged with even more young people by including song writing, pennant designing, build a statue, open mic, create your own top trumps, create a banner plus other activities all focused on the values of the games: Passion, Determination, Honesty, Teamwork, Respect and Self-Belief.

This was the final event of an action packed week as the Beach Games took place on Wednesday 26th June 2019 at Perranporth Beach.  Over 400 competitors took part in volleyball, surfing, bodyboarding, skate & scoot and BMX.

The 2019 Cornwall School Games has been organised in Partnership by Cornwall Sports Partnership, Local Games Organisers, Cornwall Schools and Head Teachers as part of the Local Organising Committee.

Emmie Seward - Adams, Principal at host school Bodmin College said: "Hosting the prestigious 2019 Cornwall School Games has been both an honour and an exciting day for the students and staff of Bodmin College and the wider community.

An event of this scale generates such a buzz of excitement and gives so many young people an opportunity to get involved in so many ways.  From competitor to official, hospitality to media, performer to organiser, there really has been something for everyone.

Sport and physical activity have the potential to change lives through inspiring future pathways and improving mental and physical wellbeing, developing life skills and values such as teamwork, respect, honesty, self-belief, passion and determination.  The value of sport should never be underestimated and today was a perfect example of that. 

A huge thank you to everyone involved in making the event such a success".

None of this however would be possible without the 200 young volunteers who are trained to become Cornwall School Games Makers and are instrumental in the event being a huge success.  On behalf of all the Cornwall School Games Organisers we would like to say a huge thank you to all the Volunteers for their help and support.

The Games, which were piloted in 2011 in Cornwall, saw over 1,000 students from 32 schools compete in a number of sporting events, the School Games now takes place in all counties across the country.

The School Games continue to grow each year here in Cornwall with approximately 20,000 Cornish Primary and Secondary students from 200 Cornish Schools being part of the Cornwall School Games each year.

In 2017 we announced a new partnership with the University of Exeter to inspire more young people to be engaged in Physical Activity through the School Games.

The University of Exeter, which has two campuses in Cornwall - Penryn & Truro - are sponsoring the Cornwall School Games for four years to enable more young people to be inspired by PE and school sport.

Ruth Grimmer from the University of Exeter said: "We had an amazing day at the Cornwall School Games, and were really impressed to find out that 44% of school children in Cornwall took part, either today or in the qualifying rounds. We love the inclusivity and breadth of the School Games, which includes primary, secondary and Project Ability. It was also a pleasure meet up with Laura Penhaul, one of our honorary graduates and ambassador for the Sowenna Appeal. Well done to everyone that took part at whatever level."

All the results can be found here

All the pictures from the day can be found on our Facebook page