Hundreds take part in Derbyshire’s multi-sport School Games

CHAMPIONS! -- the team from the William Gilbert Endowed Primary School, Belper, who won the mini-tennis.
CHAMPIONS! -- the team from the William Gilbert Endowed Primary School, Belper, who won the mini-tennis.

Team from schools in Belper and the wider Amber Valley area were among the winners in a fantastic day of competition at the Derbyshire School Games.

The multi-sport event, held at Mount St Mary’s College in Spinkhill, north Derbyshire, attracted about 800 schoolchildren from the county’s nine school sport partnerships. They competed in 12 events across eight different sports -- cycling, cricket, tennis, athletics, golf, rounders, boccia and football.

A further 200 youngsters volunteered as event officials, marshals and media leaders to ensure the smooth running of the event, which was the culmination of competition throughout the school year.

Each of the teams had already excelled to get through to the games by winning their district competition, and they were cheered on by star guests, Olympic badminton player Gail Emms and England footballer Sophie Bradley-Auckland.

A team from William Gilbert Endowed Primary School in Belper, representing Amber Valley, won the mini-tennis event, while the Ecclesbourne School, of Belper, were third in the rounders, and Kilburn Junior School, also of Belper, won the spirit of the games award in the boccia.

Amber Valley also landed a silver medal in the cycling competition, thanks to John Flamsteed Community School, of Denby, who took a bronze medal too in the cricket.

Other spirit of the games awards were won for Amber Valley by Mundy Church Of England Junior School, of Heanor, in the athletics, and by Heanor Gate Science College in the football.

The event replicated the Olympic Games as much as possible, with an opening ceremony that included a flag procession, music, dance, a speech by Emms and a question-and-answer session involving Bradley-Auckland.

Other special guests included Derbyshire Paralympians Leon Taylor and Martin Mansell, and several Derbyshire Institute of Sport athletes. The event was also supported by the University of Derby.

Lewis Adams, sport development officer at Derbyshire Sport, said: “The school games is a real celebration of sport, and it was fantastic to see so much enthusiasm from all the young people who took part.

“My congratulations go to each of them, and my thanks go to all those involved in organising and running the event.”