With simulated random drug-testing and records tumbling in a series of outstanding performances, the fourth UK School Games really did mirror their senior counterparts, the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Staged in Wales at three venues – Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, the event attracted more than 1,600 competitors, aged between 14 and 17 and from schools throughout the UK.
They took part in 10 sports at this year’s games, an event that continues to grow stronger year by year.
Steve Grainger, CEO of the Youth Sport Trust, which organised the event, said: “It gets better every year, in terms of standard of competition, and in what the young competitors are learning.
“This year, the idea of random, mocked-up drug tests was to get them in the zone.”
Competitors benefited from the likes of Jamie Staff, the Olympic track cycling gold medallist, and Olympic athletics gold medallists Darren Campbell and Denise Lewis being in attendance.
Campbell said the UK School Games are becoming a “significant stepping stone” and that “some superstars will be born here”.
“It closely replicates what happens at the Olympic Games and will help young athletes get over their fears of competing.” he added.
Next year, the fifth annual UK School Games will take place in the North East, based around Gateshead Stadium, Newcastle and Sunderland.