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Cumbria Sainsbury’s School Games a Success!

June 11, 2015

A great day was had by all at the Sainsbury’s Cumbria School Games.

Wednesday 10th June saw over 650 school children from across Cumbria compete across Carlisle’s sporting facilities. 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 mainstream and special schools from across the county competed.

The event is the last of four county finals that have taken place in Cumbria this year. A total of around 1300 young people aged between 5 and 19 have competed in 11 different sports.

Team Eden was crowned 2015 Cumbria School Games champions. Points were accumulated from three previous events and counted towards total scores from the 11 different sporting competitions. Team Furness came a close second with Team Carlisle taking third place. Team Allerdale finished in fourth place with Copeland in fifth place and South Lakes and coming sixth.

The opening ceremony, held The Sands Centre, saw Theatre Company – ‘Bread & Butter’ & Heroes Cheerleaders perform. They were joined by Olympian Chris Tomlinson, who officially opened the games after an inspiring welcome speech.

All the teams participating in the finals had qualified via a series of local competitions, 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.

The Sands Centre, Bitts Park, Chatsworth Tennis Club, Rickerby Park and The Sheepmount played host to the events, becoming hives of sporting competitions as the districts battled it out.

Becky Wolstenholme, Development Manager for the Eden Valley Sports Partnership said, "I am so proud and absolutely thrilled with the result. A great team effort from my staff, Eden partner Primary Schools staff and volunteers all working together with support from National Governing Bodies of sport, local clubs and young leaders. A massive well done to everyone".

Anne Craddock sport lead for the Boccia competition 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.”

The School Games Young Media Team were providing live coverage of the event and streaming regular updates online thanks to media partners BBC Radio Cumbria. Robyn Halcrow & Leah  Clough from Dowdales School, winners of a recent School Games Media competition, had the opportunity to work with reporters from BBC Radio Cumbria for the day.

The Reporters were just part of a small army of many young volunteers and leaders who made up the School Games workforce on the day, taking up various roles including umpiring, team management, and marshalling. They were also tasked with keeping the event’s hashtag #cumbriaschoolgames updated from the various sites using the spirit of the games values of Determination, Honesty, Passion, Respect, Self belief and Team Work.

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 Sport and Physical Activity Partnership and made possible through local qualifying competitions organised by six district School Games Organisers.

The events are sponsored nationally by Sainsbury’s and the Cumbria School Games programme was sponsored by the Cumberland Building Society and supported by the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. 

Chris McDonald of Cumberland Building Society said: “It is great that we are supporting the Cumbria School Games again this year. It is always fantastic to see so many young people involved in sport from all over Cumbria. We have supported many events such as this in the past and hope to continue to help such a great event for the young people of the county.”

Joanne Hiley, Associate Director of Nursing, Children and Families Care Group, CPFT said: “We are very proud to be supporting the 2015 Cumbria School Games following such a successful event last year.  Encouraging children to take part in physical activity at a variety of different levels is one of the most important things we can do as a community for young people’s physical and mental wellbeing. 

Opportunities for physical activity are an important part in ensuring young people live healthy and happy lives and the School Games are a fantastic celebration for young people participating in sporting activities in Cumbria”

Richard Johnston from Active Cumbria said:

“The students who took part today represented their areas with pride and enthusiasm. The various venues in Carlisle 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 dedication. I would like to thank all the student volunteers, staff and parents who contribute so much to the success of the school games.

Our School Games Organisers 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.

The events today of course are supported through the continued sponsorship from the Cumberland Building Society for which we are most grateful; it is through such support that we ensure that the event is a magical one for the students.”

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