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Games a huge hit for pupils
Buy this photo » BLOCK: Woodrush High (red bib) and St John’s Middle, Bromgrove contest possession in netball at Christopher Whitehead. 0913257841
TEACHERS have praised the Worcestershire Winter School Games’ impact on the children of the county.
More than 1,000 pupils aged eight to 16 from 100 schools showcased their skills in a range of sports from athletics to netball at four venues across Worcester.
It was part of a three-year United Kingdom programme designed to get more youngsters involved in sport following the London Olympics.
Representatives from the national governing bodies for badminton, hockey, netball and rugby, as well as the Worcestershire Football Association, were in attendance to find the stars of tomorrow.
Catering for both able-bodied and disabled competitors, the games were heralded as a success.
Sam Sadler, a sports teacher at Worcester’s Tudor Grange Academy, said: “It’s brilliant to see the children having fun. It’s been very productive and people are learning from different sports.”
Adrian Taylor, head of PE at Tenbury High School, brought three disabled students to compete in the boccia at the University of Worcester.
He said: “Hopefully, this will be a springboard for other events and the more we can network the better.
“In the morning we were encouraging the children to shake hands but they were concerned about that.
“However, by the end of the day, they were shaking hands and high-fiving each other.
“You can see their confidence has built in the few hours they were there.”
Stewart McConkey, director of specialism at Worcester’s Regency High School, said: “The children go away having played as a team but meeting people from other schools so it’s a really good social event as well.
“They were able to mix with youngsters who are in mainstream education as well so they get the full spectrum of experience.
“Hopefully, if they can keep it going, it will be a great thing for our youngsters to come to.”
The games, which also took place at St John’s Sports Centre, Christopher Whitehead Language College and Top Barn Activity Centre, were funded by the Sports Partnership for Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
Partnership director Stephen Brewster said: “I get to sit in lots of meetings talking about sport but it’s days like this that you actually get to see young people running around and doing sport which is what we’re here to do. It’s fantastic.
“Sport needs to be something that’s positive in their lives and not a chore. For me, it gives them a sound basis for adult life. If it’s enjoyable and fun, then it’s a habit for life.”