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Let the games begin: youngsters get taste of competitive sport
CHILDREN at schools across the borough are getting a taste of competitive sport at the Poole School Games.
Youngsters aged from eight to 18 are keeping the legacy of the 2012 Olympics alive by taking part in a wide range of sporting competitions throughout the year.
They are joining thousands of young people across the country taking part in similar programmes as part of the Sainsbury’s School Games 2013.
The games are at every level – from events within schools, to inter-school tournaments, and eventually regional and national competitions for the top young sportsmen and women from around the UK.
Pupils in Dorset are going head-to- head across a range of sports including basketball, athletics, disability cricket, sailing and table tennis.
They are working towards the Sainsbury’s Winter Dorset School Games finals at Canford School at the end of March, and the summer school games finals at Bryanston school in June Things have already begun with 19 schools taking part in basketball, athletics, girls’ football and swimming, and over the next few weeks there will be netball, indoor rowing, rugby and beach volleyball.
The summer school games will start after the Easter break, bringing in sports such as athletics, boccia, cricket, golf, tennis and rounders.
Poole School Games organiser Paul Mitchell, a teacher at St Aldhelm’s Academy, said the range they were able to offer was “fantastic”.
“The values and the ethos they get from taking part in competitive sport give them added benefits.
“We know for a fact from the work we do country wide that it has an effect on attendance and attainment in school as well,” he said.
“The children absolutely love it. There is something for all levels, and for the really talented children there is the Dorset School Games finals, and the potential to get to the national finals as well.
“It gives them a taste for competitive sport and it’s important to have that pathway for talented young people to realise their potential.”