TABLE TENNIS ace Lois Peake is to represent south-east England at the Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.
The event, supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, is a major multi-sport event for the nation’s talented young athletes. It will see more than 1,600 potential future sports stars competing across 12 sports between September 12 and 15.
The 16-year-old Bishop Luffa School pupil from Chichester will have an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of her sporting heroes and experience what it is like to compete in a major event.
Paralympic sprint gold medallists Hannah Cockroft and Jonnie Peacock, Paralympic swimming gold medallist Ellie Simmonds, Olympic bronze-winning gymnasts Max Whitlock and Sam Oldham and top GB sprinter Adam Gemilli have all been on the same journey as Peake and experienced the high-profile event before going on to sporting success at a senior level.
The games will take place in iconic venues across Sheffield.
There will be around 400 budding young volunteers to help bring the games to life for the young athletes, along with thousands of spectators.
Peake said: “I’m so proud to have been chosen for the Sainsbury’s School Games for the second year running. Last year it was exciting because it was at the Olympic venue but I’m looking forward to this year even more because I think I have improved a lot since then and so has everyone on my team.
“We will be doing everything possible to win the gold medal in the team event - we’re up against the very best from the UK so will have to be at our best.”
Sainsbury’s Active Kids ambassador David Beckham said: “Lois should be incredibly proud of being selected to compete in the Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games. To be given the chance to compete in a multi-sport event and experience a major sporting occasion like this is a huge opportunity for these young people. I wish everyone the best of luck and encourage them to enjoy every minute.”
John Steele, chief executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “This event provides a platform for some of the most promising young athletes to gain an invaluable experience of competing in a multi sport event. Equally important to the Games are the young volunteers, officials and coaches who all play an important role in making the event so successful.”
The Sainsbury’s School Games are set across four levels with the Sheffield event providing the top tier of sporting competition. Across the year young people also compete in a range of sport at class-v-class, school-v-school and in county wide sport festivals.
The games are supported by partners including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, Youth Sport Trust, Department of Health and British Paralympic Association.