There was plenty of sporting talent and Olympic spirit displayed as youngsters demonstrated their athletic prowess in blistering heat at the Cambridge University sports ground on Wilberforce Road, Cambridge.
More than 1,500 children aged seven to eight years old were taking part in the South Cambs School Sports Partnership’s Year 4 Mini Olympics, an event that featured 44 primary schools from across the area.
During the day the athletes had the chance to try out a range of different sports, all with an Olympic and Paralympic theme. Among the fourteen different activities on offer were shot putt, long jump, hurdles, hockey, tennis, tri-golf and boccia.
In keeping with the Olympic theme, there were was a colourful opening ceremony, complete with flags and banners made by the children. These all tied in with the theme of this year’s event which was the World Athletics Championships with schools asked to represent one of the nation’s competing in the event being hosted in London later this year.
A mass warm up was led by dance leaders from Comberton Village College before sports leaders from Swavesey Village College led the opening ceremony, welcoming the children and challenging them to try and achieve their personal best. Two pupils from Harston & Newton Primary School read out the Mini Olympics Oath, a promise to take part in the games fairly and with good sportsmanship.
The event was supported by Total Clothing who provided all of the children with brightly coloured t-shirts in the colours of the Olympic rings, the Rotary Club of Cambridge South who helped with traffic flow and parking and South Cambs District Council who helped to fund the event.
Councillor Sue Ellington, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing attended the event and commented: “This event is really important to us and we are delighted to provide funding to make it happen. Making sure young people have the chance to be active and healthy is vitally important. This event gives them a chance for competition, but in a fun environment where they can meet new people and enjoy sport together. Having more than 1,500 young people taking part is fabulous and I look forward to many more years of the event.”
Partnership manager Claire McDonnell was delighted with how successful the Mini Olympics had been.
She said: “Yet again, it was a fantastic day and the children and sports leaders coped amazingly in very hot temperatures. We arranged extra water filling stations and rest areas where the children could cool themselves down with water and sponges. The afternoon got extremely hot though so we had to take the decision to finish earlier than planned and miss out the closing ceremony which was a shame but it was important to get the children out of the sun.
Despite this the children really enjoyed themselves and loved having a go at all the different sports on offer, as usual the long jump and tug of war were the firm favourites! There were no prizes for winners on the day but it was all about the children having a go and giving it their personal best and we hope we have inspired some of them to give sport a go and get more involved.
We couldn’t do it without the support of the local secondary schools so I must thank the staff and leaders from Impington, Cottenham, Swavesey, Comberton, Melbourn, Bassingbourn and Cambourne Village Colleges. They did an absolutely job on the day organising all of the activities and leading the children; offering them encouragement and support as they gave it their best.”
South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Parklife event takes place this Sunday from 10am at Milton Country Park. The free family fun day is open to all with lots of activities to take part in. See www.scambs.gov.uk/parklife
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