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Active Essex: Essex pupils get ready for Rio at the Summer School Games

22 July 2016

With just two weeks to go until this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, Active Essex is continuing to spark the spirit of Rio in Essex schools by hosting their annual Summer School Games.

Flying the flag for sport and physical activity in county, the team has built on the legacy of the 2012 London Games and is engaging children and young people in the hope of inspiring a new generation of world-class athletes.

Throughout the Road to Rio, the County Sports Partnership (CSP) has provided pupils with opportunities to try new activities and different competitive sport, and is supporting schools by providing cross-curricular tools that embed physical activity in day-to-day lessons.

Gary Sullivan OBE, Chair of Active Essex, said: “Seeing pupils across the county engage with the spirit of Rio is fantastic and something Active Essex has worked hard to do during the run up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games this year.

“Events like our Summer School Games saw over 2,000 school children run, swim and jump to victory, and are just some of the creative ways in which we’ve reinforced our commitment to increasing participation in sport and are encouraging healthy and active lifestyles.”

During this year’s Games at Basildon Sporting Village, pupils were treated to visits from VIP guest speakers including England Netballer, Lindsay Keable and Paralympic gold medallist skier and sighted guide, Charlotte Evans.

Local athletes supported by Active Essex also attended, including Inspired Athlete, Michael Shields, Essex County Championship 100m hurdler, Sam Bennett, U17 Cadet first British Foil and James Page, U15 80m hurdler first British position.

The team works proactively with schools to host these events and develop plans that support pupils to reach their full potential, at whatever level, in physical education.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Sport and Physical Activity, said: “The Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect, and Paralympic values of determination, courage, equality and inspiration, are useful tools for teaching and this year’s Games provide the perfect backdrop for embedding these values in everyday school life.

“By highlighting these values to schools we are encouraging a consistent county-wide approach to the promotion of physical activity and demonstrating that sport isn’t just about ability, but about being healthy and having fun. 

“It was fantastic to see pupils achieving their potential at this year’s Summer Games, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for even more Essex athletes at the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.”