With less than 500 days until the start of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we want school children from across the country to feel part of this once in a lifetime event. The School Games will help to do just that.
This new national school sport competition will work alongside the London 2012 Get Set educational programme, which is already being used by thousands of schools across the UK to teach young people about the Olympic Values of respect, excellence and friendship, and the Paralympic Values of inspiration, determination, courage and equality.
The School Games is at the heart of our plans to create a lasting sporting legacy from the London Games and will run for many years to come. It will give young people the chance to experience genuine sporting competition on track, pitches and fields up and down the country with more opportunities for disabled children and a cultural element reflecting the traditions of the Cultural Olympiad and Opening Ceremony.
Like the journey that all top international athletes go on, the School Games will start close to home, with competition within schools leading to district, county and city, and then on to the national finals. The first national finals will be in May next year at the Olympic Park, including the iconic Stadium, giving School Games finalists the chance to compete in these magnificent world class arenas before the likes of Usain Bolt graces the track – an absolutely amazing opportunity!
The School Games will take school sports days to the next level. It will give pupils additional opportunities to participate in competitive sport and develop existing sports days around the Olympic and Paralympic values and ideals. The Games will be run by the Youth Sport Trust and funded by Sport England, the Department for Education and the Department of Health, including funding for hundreds of School Games Organisers who will help schools get more of their pupils taking part in competitive sport.
London 2012 has also made available more than 100,000 tickets for pupils in schools across the UK, through Ticketshare funded by their prestige ticketing partner. Registering for the School Games can be used to help schools join the Get Set Network and qualify for the tickets.
We want every pupil in the country to have the chance to take part in London 2012 and reap the rewards that playing sport and being part of such an amazing event brings – encouraging teamwork, social discipline and teaching valuable lessons in life. That’s why last week Sebastian Coe and I wrote to every head teacher with a detailed prospectus about the School Games, inviting them to enter their school and get involved with Get Set.
Now’s the time to get on the starting blocks – schools can sign up at www.yourschoolgames.com
Watch Jason Gardener’s introduction to the School Games