West Sussex pupils fly the flag at county school games

The WSW gym team / Picture by Southern News and Pictures
The WSW gym team / Picture by Southern News and Pictures

Schools representing West Sussex honoured their region as they came sixth out of nine areas in Sussex at the annual School Games, a mini-Olympics and Paralympics held at the fantastic K2 Crawley.

This year’s competition saw seven to 16-year-olds taking part. In total, more than 1,000 children competed for medals in 11 competitions across a range of sports.

It’s fantastic to be at the Sussex School Games and to be able to inspire the next generation of athletes. Being a seven-time Paralympian and having played for 26 years at top level, I want to share my experiences with the younger generation who are coming through.

Simon Munn

Some 84 schools from all over the county took part in the fiercely-contested festival of sport. The event is an exciting and fully inclusive competition for schoolchildren across England.

Students from West Sussex battled it out in a number of sports including athletics, golf, netball, hockey, stoolball, football, hockey, and gymnastics. They achieved first place in cricket and third place in football, tri golf and gymnastics.

The children were joined by a special guest, wheelchair basketball athlete and seven-time Paralympian Simon Munn, who welcomed participants and delivered a motivational speech.

He said: “It’s fantastic to be at the Sussex School Games and to be able to inspire the next generation of athletes. Being a seven-time Paralympian and having played for 26 years at top level, I want to share my experiences with the younger generation who are coming through.

“Competitive sport gives you the opportunity to travel the world, to compete for your country and to form life-long friendships. I would encourage the young people of Sussex to get involved in sport, to train hard and to follow their dreams! The next Olympians and Paralympians could be competing at this Games.”

The School Games look to motivate, enthuse and inspire young people in Sussex to take part in competitive sport. However, this year with the Change4Life programme for non-competing children, there were more than 70 additional children joining into specialist table tennis and climbing sessions.

With the introduction of this new programme alongside the traditional format, the event was also increasingly focused on building young people’s passion for sport and physical activity and encouraging life-long activity habits.

With four levels of competition leading to the Games: competition in schools, between schools, at county level and at the finals, the School Games is backed by National Lottery Funding from Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust and is sponsored by Active Sussex Corporate partner Freedom Leisure.

The Games are delivered by a local organising committee made up of Active Sussex, the Sussex School PE and Sport Network (SGOs), National Governing Bodies of Sport, volunteers and head teachers. The event also received support from our 250 fantastic Young Leaders who are trained to support the medal competition and to lead activities on the day such as dance.

The Sussex event is just one of 120 regional School Games events taking place nationwide.

Overall results saw the Southern area schools win, ahead of Mid Sussex and Central Sussex.