SCHOOLCHILDREN from Stratford district showed off their sporting talent at a major multi-sports festival as pupils from across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire went head-to-head to compete at the CSW Sport Winter School Games County Festival at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Centre in Rugby.
Around 50 schools were represented at the event including Stratford Girls’ Grammar School and Welcombe Hills School of Stratford, as well as Alcester Grammar School and Studley High School.
The competition involved more than 450 primary and secondary schoolchildren participating in a variety of sports competitions or as young leaders supporting the festival.
The festival began with an Olympic-style opening ceremony which included singing, dancing and gymnastic performances. The young athletes then took part in a variety of Olympic and Paralympic competitions including swimming, rowing, boccia and a pentathlon event.
There was success in the rowing relay for both the girls of Stratford Girls’ Grammar School and the boys of Alcester Grammar School who secured first placed positions, while pupils from Studley High School obtained first and third placed medals in the swimming tournament.
Paralympian GB swimmer Kate Grey, who is also a Sport England Sporting Champion, was also present to provide inspiration and interacted with the young athletes throughout the festival.
She was a finalist in the SB9 100m breaststroke at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and delivered a motivational speech to the young participants to encourage them to achieve their best.
The Sainsbury’s School Games programme was introduced to build on the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games and is designed to motivate, enthuse and inspire young people across the country to take part in more competitive school sport.
The Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire County Festivals are organised by the PE and School Sport Steering Group, which is made up of representatives from school and community sport, national governing bodies of sport and local authorities, and supported by CSW Sport.
Audrajean Elliott-Davies, partnership development officer at CSW Sport, said: “It is really important that we continue to motivate and inspire young people to fulfil their potential by taking part in a wide variety of sports and performing arts activities.
“Once again, the CSW Sport Winter School Games County Festival demonstrated the fantastic abilities and talents that young people across the sub-region have to offer.
“They were all really enthusiastic to take part in the events and it was fantastic to see they had also taken on board the values the school games looks to instil including honesty, teamwork, respect, self-belief, passion and determination.
“Having Paralympic athlete Kate Grey at the festival also helped to stir up excitement as she shared her experiences and encouraged them to overcome any challenges and to remember to have fun.”
Paralympian swimmer Kate Grey addresses the young athletes during the opening ceremony of the School Games. (s)