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Over 500 school children came together to celebrate sport

26 January 2016

Pupils from across the county came together to play a range of sports at the Active Essex Winter School Games on Friday 22nd January 2016 at Harlow Leisurezone, Mark Hall Sport Centre and Norman Booth Centre.

The Winter School Games kicked off with Football in October and went on to see Boccia, Table Tennis, Dodgeball, Badminton and Basketball.

School Games is a programme which aims to motivate and inspire young people to take part in more competitive school sport. It is open to all young people aged 5-18 years, of all abilities and backgrounds from every school across Greater Essex.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council's Cabinet Member with responsibility for Sport and Physical Activity, said: “The Essex School Games is an important part of our programme in inspiring young people to lead healthy and active lifestyles by providing them with sport and health related activities.”

“It was wonderful to see so many young people enjoying sport, and have a go at basketball with such an expert tutor as Wendy Smith.”

Active Essex invited John Willis, CEO of Power2Inspire to participate as part of his Road to Rio Challenge. A highly inspirational guest, John, was born without fully-formed arms or legs and is currently striving to complete his own Road to Rio challenge. You can follow his progress as he takes on top athletes in short challenge videos that will be posted on YouTube.

John Willis, said: “It was wonderful to see so many young people enjoying sport, and have a go at basketball with such an expert tutor as Wendy Smith.
 “This enabled me to do the 6th of the 34 sports in the Road2Rio challenge, and what an almighty roar we heard when I finally got the basketball in the net.”

All the competitions were supported by Young Leaders from schools across Essex, totalling over 40 leaders.

The Active Essex Winter School Games builds on the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by ensuring a legacy and giving the next generation of young people the opportunity to compete against one another in a competitive but fun environment.

Chairman of Active Essex, Gary Sullivan OBE said: “It is an honour for me, as the Chairman of Active Essex, to be able to welcome the Winter School Games to the county again this year. This is a fantastic event for schools all over Essex and encourages children to be excited about sport.

“At Active Essex, we are committed to delivering more sporting opportunities for young people and the Winter School Games is an positive example of our enduring commitment to providing sport for all. I pay tribute to everybody’s hard work and dedication in making it happen.”