More than 1,600 young athletes from across the country competed in Sheffield at the four day Sainsbury’s School Games which aim to encourage students to perform at the highest levels.
Eight venues were being used for twelve current and future Olympic and Paralympic sports: Fencing, Rugby Sevens, Gymnastics, Hockey, Badminton, Athletics, Cycling, Judo, Swimming, Table Tennis, Volleyball and Wheelchair Basketball.
In addition there were disability events in six sports: Athletics, Fencing, Swimming, Table Tennis, Cycling and Wheelchair Basketball.
The Sainsbury’s 2012 School Games is a multi-sport event for the UK’s elite young athletes of school age and the inaugural event is due to begin start in just a few days time in the Olympic Park and other venues.
From Sunday 6th May until Wednesday 9th May, the Sainsbury’s 2012 School Games seeks to create an inspirational and motivational setting which not only provides our elite young sports people with the opportunity to thrive and perform at the highest levels, but encourages more young people to take part and succeed in sport.
According to a new study published by the Department for Education,more schools are offering pupils sports such as cheerleading, yoga and boxing in PE lessons, while participation in many traditional team games has declined.
Basketball, synchronised swimming, taekwondo, boxing, archery and hockey are the big winners in UK Sport’s Olympic 2012 funding programme. All six have received sizeable increases in their budgets ahead of London, with basketball getting a huge 136% increase, up from £3.7m to £8.7m. Rowing is now Britain’s best funded Olympic sport, getting £27.5m of the £304m pot available. The big losers include shooting, table tennis, handball and fencing.
UK Sport insists the level of funding builds on the £265m that was provided ahead of the Beijing Games and enables Britain to target a top-four finish in the medals table in London. But its £550m budget is £50m below the £600m that had been pledged and has meant that some sports, like handball, have lost out. “We are gutted,” Paul Goodwin, general manager of British Handball, “I don’t know how we are going to afford our coaches.”