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County festivals of sport get £4 million of National Lottery funding

February 3, 2012

Hundreds of thousands of young athletes will have the chance to come together and take part in festivals of sport after Sport England invested £4 million of National Lottery funding into the organising of the multi-sport events. Forming part of the School Games, the annual county festivals of sport are the third level of the School Games structure and are a culmination of the ongoing programme of intra-school and inter-school competition.

46 local organising committees (LOCs) have been established across the country, who will be responsible for organising and delivering the festivals. Each committee will be made up of representatives from local schools, county sports partnerships, and national and local sports providers. The Cumbria LOC has already been established are in the midst of planning the Cumbria School Games County festivals for 2012.

"The School Games will help inspire a generation of young people to take part in sport," said Mike Diaper, Sport England's Youth and Communities Director.  "The local organising committees will showcase and deliver the finals of the all-year-round inter school competition across 30 sports.

"Alongside our Olympic legacy programme, Places People Play, this will ensure we build a lasting sporting legacy beyond next year's Olympic and Paralympic Games."

The committees will also be supported by the Youth Sport Trust, which has been commissioned by Sport England to develop and deliver the School Games until 2013.

David Keetly, Chair of the Cumbria School Games Local Organising Committee (LOC) said:

"Our main role is to arrange a high quality festival of sport in Cumbria. Our ambition is to make this an annual event which will inspire and motivate both competitors and volunteers, and will incorporate a wide range of sports and other skills from the arts and media in order to make the event as pupil-focussed as possible. This is not just a one-off event, linked to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; this is a culmination of competition that will be fully inclusive and involve pupils from primary, secondary, special and independent schools that will become an established feature of the Cumbrian sporting and cultural landscape in future years."

Cumbria School Games County Festival will involve children from all six districts in Cumbria. Approximately 1,500 young people from primary, secondary and special schools will competed in 12 different sports, including 5 inclusive sports at three Cumbria School Games events in 2012. The largest of the three events will take place on the 27th June in Carlisle, with two smaller events, 29th March will see the County Gymnastics Finals in Penrith and 4th July will see the County Athletics finals in Copeland. The event will also be supported by more than 150 student volunteers, who will form the School Games crew helping run and promote the event.

"The Cumbria School Games will be based on successful foundation of Youth Games and Schoolympics events which have been held in Cumbria over the past 12 years.  Active Cumbria, the Sport and Physical Activity Partnership have enjoyed planning such rewarding events and really looking forward to supporting the LOC to create an even bigger and better event in 2012, which is such a special year for the country," said Richard Johnston, Active Cumbria's Partnership Manager.

At least 60 county festivals are expected to take place across England in the first year and will involve more than 100,000 competitors and nearly 14,000 young volunteers.  As a key part of the School Games, the county festivals of sport will help ensure a lasting sporting legacy for young people beyond London 2012. 

Register your school on the School Games Website