Up-and-coming young sports stars from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight lined up in their own sporting competitions over the weekend on Friday 21 & Saturday 22 June.
Over 2,500 young people competed in the Hampshire Games, part of the Sainsbury’s School Games initiative, across a range of sports including Athletics, Football, Golf, Hockey, Basketball, Swimming, Trampolining, Tri-Golf, Boccia, New Age Kurling, Tennis, Judo, Table Tennis, Netball, Gymnastics and Badminton at the Military Facilities in Aldershot.
In attendance at the Games opening ceremony on Friday 21 were Great Britain Paralympic Athletics bronze medal winner, Olivia Breen, and Olympic diver, Pete Waterfield. Great Britain Olympic Judo bronze medal winner, Karina Bryant, opened the ceremony on Saturday 22 June.
Great Britain Judo player Karina Bryant said:
“It’s an honour and a privilege to open something like this. It takes me back to my own school days. I think it’s important to have competitions like this, life is all about competition – it teaches the children and gives them targets and things to aim for. They need to aim to get the best out of themselves and have fun while doing it.”
Great Britain Paralympian Olivia Breen said:
“It feels great being here for the community. It’s so nice to see so many kids into their sport and London 2012 has really helped inspire that. There is a great atmosphere at the Hampshire Games and I hope that the kids enjoy it and have fun.”
Chair of the Local Organising Committee Anna Dawson, said:
“The Hampshire Games has once again shown that children within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have incredible sporting values and relish the opportunity for competitive sport. The events over the weekend demonstrated fantastic commitment from everyone involved and we hope that the experience will inspire many of the children to continue to play sport for many years to come.”
Since the Youth Games were introduced to Hampshire in 1998, when just 3 Local Authorities entered teams, the Games have gone from strength to strength with every Local Authority now involved and a wide number of events included.
The Games help towards encouraging the development of participation and competition opportunities, they are a culmination of sports development work undertaken by local authorities, sports clubs and volunteers throughout the year and provide a fantastic showcase of sport for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Since 1998 15,000 young people from Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have had the chance to be involved in the Games, for many it will be their first taste of a high profile large scale sporting event. The Games are not solely about the development of players, but additionally provide an ideal opportunity for young people to take their first steps on the officiating ladder or gain experience as sports volunteers.
Sports Development Officer
Sports Development Manager