The sun shone on Cumbria’s young athletes as they showcased their talent in county-wide festival of sport yesterday.
A great day was had by all as the districts battled for the champions’ title.
Wednesday 10th July saw 650 school children from across Cumbria compete at venues across Carlisle. The county finals of 9 different sports took place including golf, tennis, netball, orienteering and hockey, as well as table cricket, table tennis & boccia. School children, from 61 separate schools across the county competed.
The event is the last of three county finals and two county festivals that have taken place in Cumbria this year. A total of around 1500 young people aged between 5 and 19 have competed in 13 different sports.
Team South Lakes were crowned 2019 Cumbria School Games champions. Points were accumulated from two previous events and counted towards total scores from the 11 different sporting competitions. Team Allerdale came a close second with Team Furness taking third place. Team Eden finished in fourth place with Carlisle in fifth place and Copeland coming sixth.
All participating teams qualified via a series of local competitions organized by the School Games Organisers in each area, and the standard of competition across the sports represented this. The day was an opportunity for many of the children to experience a major multi-sport event for the first time.
Mike Zeller from BBC Radio Cumbria opened up the event at The Sands Centre in an Olympic style ceremony with children from across Cumbria taking part as official flag bearers and a symbolic recital of the new school games oaths. Local sporting champions Simon Lawson, Bethan Lishman and Ella Cooper-Holmes also joined the ceremony.
The Sands Centre, Chances Park, Chatsworth Tennis Club, Austin Friars School, Swifts Golf Course and Harraby Sports Campus played host to the events, becoming hives of sporting competitions as the districts battled it out.
Sharon Nicholson, School Games Organiser for winning district South Lakes said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and delighted with the result. Lots of hard work and effort has been put in over the course of the year but it makes it all worthwhile. I’d like to say a heartfelt thanks and well done to all involved.”
Ellen Pearce, England Netball Development Officer for Cumbria said: “It was exciting to see so many young netballers playing in the Cumbria School Games yesterday. With the Netball World Cup starting on home ground in Liverpool this week it’s a great time to get involved in the game and we hope to have many more Cumbria national stars in future!”
Anne Craddock sport lead for the Boccia competition based in The Sands Centre said: “All of the districts are playing Boccia which is really important. Boccia is a very inclusive game and it’s been good to see so many young people enjoying the competition here in Carlisle.”
Nationally, the programme is backed by National Lottery funding administered through Sport England. The county finals events are delivered and developed by the Local Organising Committee supported by Active Cumbria, the local Active Partnership, who are part of Cumbria County Council’s Public Health team and is made possible through local qualifying competitions organised by six district School Games Organisers.
The events are supported by The Cumberland Building Society, BBC Radio Cumbria, GLL and New Balance volunteers provide additional events management staff for the day.
Becky Towns of The Cumberland said: “Every year we support a wide variety of activities that provide opportunities for children that will benefit their physical wellbeing, so we are proud to once again be supporting Active Cumbria’s School Games this year as the main supporter. Today was a fantastic occasion, providing an opportunity for Cumbrian school children to take part in a friendly but competitive event. It was brilliant to see the array of talent coming from youngsters across the County and the level of enthusiasm for sport.”
Richard Johnston from Active Cumbria said: “The students who took part today represented their areas with pride and enthusiasm. All of the venues were hives of competition and the there was a real sense of enjoyment amongst those taking part.
“The sheer enthusiasm shown at the closing ceremony was certainly a testament to that. Organising an event such as today and the other competitions that take place through the year takes a lot of hard work. I would like to thank all the student volunteers, staff and parents who contribute so much to the success of the school games.
“The six School Games Organisers across the county undertake work every week to help support schools in these sports and without them the students would not have the Level 2 competitions that enable them to qualify to take part in these county wide events today.
“I’d also like to thank our sponsors, particularly the Cumberland Building Society for their continued support of the event, and to our other event partners GLL, and BBC Radio Cumbria, it is through such support that we ensure that the event is a magical one for the young people involved.”
Full results and photos are available at www.cumbriaschoolgames.org