Lottery funding boost for school games festival

Pupils take part in sports day
Pupils take part in sports day

National Lottery funding of £45,000 is expected to transform next year’s North Yorkshire School Games Festival.

The annual event encourages young people from across the region to take part in competitive sport.

Next year, 2,500 pupils are expected to take part, supported by more than 150 sports leaders and officials between January and July.

It will be the culmination of year-round competitions, organised by School Games Organisers, within schools and between schools, with the most talented athletes progressing to compete across more than 20 sports including athletics, beach volleyball, hockey and cycling.

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) for North Yorkshire has been awarded the funding from Sport England to deliver the School Games festival next year.

North Yorkshire Sport Executive Director and LOC member David Watson said: “We welcome the continued support and investment from Sport England as we look to build on the past three years of the School Games.

“We aim to improve this years festival and have included extra sports and competitions, as well as launching a competition for school aged children to design and name a mascot for sport in North Yorkshire.

“We are also really excited about the cycling event which will give an opportunity for all secondary schools in the county to take part in a local event and then progress to a county final at the University of York cycle track just two days before the Tour de France hits Yorkshire in July.”

Sport England’s Strategic Lead – Youth, Suzanne Glavin said: “The Sainsbury´s School Games Festivals play a critical role in inspiring a generation of youngsters to play sport by providing them with opportunities to take part in competitive school sport.

“It also introduces talented athletes to high level competition, and with the help of the sport governing bodies, they are supported and signposted to further opportunities to compete and develop their talent.

“We are delighted to award this funding to North Yorkshire and would like to thank them for the work they do in making these events happen.”

Minister for Sport Helen Grant said: “The School Games competition is giving young people of all abilities the chance to get involved and play a variety of sports.

“This funding from Sport England going to the Sainsbury´s School Games Festivals will mean that next year’s festivals will be bigger and better than previous years and inspire more young people to get involved.”