Elite school games event for Sheffield

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MORE than 1,600 elite young athletes will do battle in Sheffield in September at the annual UK School Games.

The event, sponsored by Sainsbury’s, will take place between September 1 and 4 and feature 12 different sports.

The aim is to provide the stars of tomorrow with intense competition which will prepare them for major competitions such as the Commonwealth Games or the Olympics.

Sports featured will include road cycling, athletics, badminton, fencing, gymnastics, hockey, judo, swimming, table tennis and volleyball.

There will also be an integrated programme of events for young people with disabilities.

Last year’s event was held at Newcastle, Sunderland and Gateshead and is estimated to have generated around £3.25 million for the area.

More than 11,500 people visited the games, with more than 90 per cent of visitors from outside the region.

The 2011 games will be officially launched on Monday at the English Institute of Sport in Attercliffe by former competitors Darius Knight, Paul Drinkhall and Jack Hunter-Spivey.

All three are now table tennis players in the Great Britain national squad.

They will be joined by city schoolchildren in a table tennis masterclass and the day will also include a demonstration from both able and disabled Great Britain squad table tennis players.

Lord Mayor Coun Alan Law was delighted that Sheffield was hosting the games.

“We will welcome the 1,600 competitors and over 400 officials in September to our National City of Sport. With so many world class venues in the city, we are sure that all of those taking part will be inspired to give world class performances, standing them in good stead for their future sporting careers,” he added.