En garde – young fencing champions clashed in a battle of the best as part of the Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games in Sheffield.
The English Insitute of Sport in Attercliffe hosted the contest yesterday, with wheelchair basketball at the nearby Motorpoint Arena and cycling at Forge Valley Community School, Stannington.
Sheffield golden girl Jessica Ennis-Hill also wished young athletes from across the UK luck as the games – which aim to give pupils a taste of life in the arena of professional sport - continued.
The London 2012 Olympic heptathlon champion, from Dore, Tweeted: “Good luck to everyone competing at the school games in Sheffield.”
More than 1,600 athletes from across the UK have descended on Sheffield for the games, which are staffed by hundreds of volunteers and has seen an athletes’ village for competitors created at Sheffield University’s Endcliffe Village.
Volleyball player Ben Tomlinson, of Woodseats, was representing team England North.
The 16-year-old said: “It’s actually a really good honour, because it was hard to get into the team this year. I’ve been training nearly every day, doing a lot of gym work and making sure I eat well. I’ve been told how to eat properly.
“We had a game yesterday, in which we won one, and then closely lost in the second match.
“Hopefully I’d like to aim professional, but we’ll see how that goes.”
The games, which were opened with a spectacular ceremony starring primary school pupils on Thursday evening, continue today and tomorrow.
Sheffield is the only city in the UK to have hosted the games for a second time, having first hosted the games two years ago.
Coun Isobel Bowler, Sheffield Council cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “We are excited about giving young people the opportunity to experience what a major sports competition feels like.”