MORE than 1,700 pupils from across the county took part in the third annual Wiltshire Schools Games at Marlborough College last week.
The 500 youngsters from 36 primary schools and 1,200 students from 29 secondary schools featured in the multi-sport event organised by, among others, Wiltshire and Swindon Sport.
David Hemery CBE, the 1968 Olympic 400m hurdles champion, England Commonwealth Games judo ace Tom Reed, from Devizes, and top British junior decathlete Joe Hutchinson, from Bowerhill, were among those lending their support to the event.
Hemery said: “I am so pleased to be part of a day such as this to celebrate school sport and inspire and encourage young people to take part in sport and I always say if they improve their performance each time that is all that matters.”
Operations Director Steve Neale added: “The day was not all about winning but about children taking part and achieving their own goals.
“The Games were also about instilling key values headlined for the event of passion, team work, respect, self-belief, determination and honesty.”
As well as up to ten different sports taking place, the Games also featured an athletes’ village, including attractions such as sumo wrestling, bungee run, Gladiator and a Rowing Challenge organised by British Rowing.
Wiltshire & Swindon Sport CEO Steve Boocock said: “We must say thank you to all the volunteers from a variety of national governing bodies of sport for their time in organising their specific events and for helping the day run so smoothly, and helping the young athletes to get the most out of the occasion.’’
School Games co-ordinator Alma Borthwick said: “We are trying to build the School Games events each year and are keen to see more and more schools, both primary and secondary, taking part at the preliminary level two winter festivals so they can compete here at the ultimate level three finals event in the summer.”
FOR MORE SPORTS NEWS, REPORTS & PICTURES SEE THURSDAY’S GAZETTE AND HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport AND @WTSport