There was plenty of sporting talent and Olympic spirit displayed as youngsters demonstrated their athletic prowess at the Cambridge University sports ground on Wilberforce Road, Cambridge.
More than 1,600 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 46 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 sixteen different activities on offer were boccia, long jump, hurdles, problem solving, cricket, tennis, tri-golf and dance.
In keeping with the Olympic theme, there was a colourful opening ceremony, complete with flags and banners made by the children. Schools were asked to represent a sporting nation usually represented at the Olympic games.
Special guest on the day was former professional tennis player Jade Windley. Jade proudly represented Great Britain throughout her career and won 19 professional titles as well as achieving her lifelong dream of competing in the main draw of the Championships, Wimbledon. As a youngster, Jade loved to try all sports and spoke of her love for events like the Mini Olympics when she was at school. Speaking during the opening ceremony Jade encouraged all the youngsters taking part to give all the activities a go and give it their best, telling them “you never know today may be the start of your sporting journey”.
A mass warm up was led by dance leaders from Comberton Village College before partnership manager Claire McDonnell welcomed the children and challenged them to try and achieve their personal best whilst thinking about the Olympic values of determination, respect, self-belief and team-work.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.
Partnership manager Claire McDonnell was delighted with how successful the event had been.
“It was a fantastic day, we were really pleased with how it went. 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 be more active and give different sports a go.
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, Linton and Cambourne Village Colleges. They did an absolutely amazing job on the day organising all of the activities and leading the children; offering them encouragement and support as they gave it their best.”
Jade Windley commented,
“It was a pleasure to be a part of this incredible event. I loved seeing so many young people taking part in different sporting activities! Everyone had smiles on their faces and made the most of this amazing opportunity to have fun being active with their friends. For me, this is what sport is all about. I am in awe of how everyone at South Cambs School Sports Partnership manage to organise such an inspiring event, involving so many schools, teachers and young people. Long may it continue!”