This year’s Sainsbury’s UK School Games in Sheffield,which ended on Sunday 4th September, saw 1600 competitors aged between 13 and 17 taking part in 12 sports held in seven world-class venues across the city.
However, this was the last in its current format with next year’s event seeing schools and their pupils compete at the local level before potentially going through to national finals in a pyramid structure that its predecessor did not have.
The new School Games will continue to be a four-day event in 2012 and will take place across sporting venues in London, with the final day of action set to take place in the Olympic Park.
Other key venues such as the main Stadium will also be used just two months ahead of the start of the 2012 Olympic Games.
As before, the event will be designed as a precursor for the young athletes to experience the flavour of a multi-sport, multi-national sports event, with Opening and Closing Ceremonies, an athletes’ village, simulation doping control and elite senior athlete mentoring.
Ali Oliver, director of sport at the Youth Sport Trust, has revealed that her organisation is already gearing up for the start of the new School Games next year, which are due to take place in May.
She said, “We are hopeful that the 2012 event will build on everything we have done over the last six years since we staged the first UK School Games in 2006 in Glasgow.”
“You cannot put a price on the athlete experience and significantly, we will be able to open up the Olympic Park venues to spectators and a number of school children will be able to be inspired not only by their peers but by sitting in that environment.”
Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King has already indicated that Sainsbury’s are likely to continue their sponsorship of the competition.