Youngsters going for gold at games

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ON YOUR marks and get set for the finals of the South Yorkshire School Games.

Nearly 1,000 sporty pupils from schools across the region will be going for gold at the culmination of local competitions between schools in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

The summer festival at Abbeydale Sports centre takes place on Monday and Tuesday, July 2 and 3, following a successful winter festival this year.

It will feature almost 150 teams competing across six sports including football, tennis cricket, rugby, rounders and indoor rowing.

There will bedisability formats as well.

Those taking part from both primary and secondary schools will be competing for more than 500 medals with the South Yorkshire School Games, supported by scores of young volunteers from local schools and colleges.

Diane McKinlay, chairman of the local organising committee, said: “I am looking forward to seeing all the pupils excel in their sports and enjoy the music and dance performances which make up the cultural aspect of the South Yorkshire School Games.

“It should be a great couple of days.

“Sport makes a massive contribution to the vibrancy of South Yorkshire.

“As we are all gearing up for the London 2012 Olympic Games, these school games will be a lasting legacy for school sport in our region hopefully for years to come.”

Live performances and exhibitions will be included in the games, as well as the chance for competitors to have their photograph taken with an Olympic Torch, try hockey and master lacrosse skills.

The two-day summer finals follow the successful winter South Yorkshire School Games at the English Institute of Sport in Attercliffe, Sheffield.

Funded by Sport England, the School Games will also return to South Yorkshire in 2013 as part of the Olympic legacy.

Helen Cund, head of operations at South Yorkshire Sport, said: “The winter event was a fantastic showcase of competitive school sport and we are confident the summer finals will be just as successful.

“In this important sporting year, the 2012 School Games mark the start of what we hope will become a focal point in the school sport calendar for the next three years.”