4:39pm Thursday 21st March 2013
By Andy Walker
HUNDREDS of youngsters from around the region revived the spirit of last summer’s Olympics and Paralympics as they took part in a day of sporting events.
Children aged nine to 16 took part in the Tees Valley Spring School Games, in Darlington, on Thursday (March 21).
First introduced last year, the initiative aims to motivate and inspire young people across the country to participate in more competitive school sport.
The Dolphin Centre and Polam Hall School were the main venues for the festival, which was the culmination of school and inter-school competitions which have been held recently across the five Tees Valley districts – Darlington, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool.
Among the events contested was a wheelchair basketball competition, as well as netball, rugby, golf and table tennis.
A swimming gala will be held at the Dolphin Centre from 6pm on Thursday (March 21).
The games’ opening ceremony of the Games was presided over by Darlington mayor Paul Baldwin.
Also in attendance was Gemma Collis, a member of Paralympic GB, who competing in the 2012 wheelchair fencing event.
The Swimming Gala will be opened by Charlotte Ellis, 2012 European Paratriathlon Champion, who came fourth in the recent world championships.
A feature of the School Games is the involvement of 50 young volunteers aged 14–21 years, who are supporting the event and gaining valuable experience in sport and events management.
The School Games will run annually until 2015 and organisers hope that the training and competition experienced, the fun enjoyed and friendships made will keep young people involved in sport throughout their lives.
The Spring Games is the first event of 2013 and will be followed by the Summer School Games to take place on June 26 and 27.
Clairville Stadium, in Middlesbrough, and Laurence Jackson School, in Guisborough, will be the venues for the summer games The games are organised by Tees Valley Sport, a partnership initiative that aims to co-ordinate sports development and delivery in the Tees Valley, working closely with coaches, participants, officials, administrators and providers.
For more information, visit teesvalleysport.co.uk
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