IT takes all sports and these youngsters were amongst 2,000 children following in the golden footsteps of Jessica Ennis at her training base in Sheffield.
In an action-packed programme, pupils from over 20 Primary Schools across the city also tried their hand in a range of adapted Olympic and Paralympic events, including badminton, boccia, boxing, javelin, shot putt and wheelchair basketball at the English Institute of Sport.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch a special video report about children trying out sport at the EIS Sheffield.
MORE PHOTOS: Buy The Star for more photos from this event - out Thursday, July 7, 2011.
It was all part of the Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week in which over four million children from schools across Britain took part in an initiative, run in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust. The aim was to inspire pupils to do more sport and physical activity, with young people invited to pledge to set and achieve a personal best in an Olympic or Paralympic sport, individually, with their class or club and at every level.
Sheffield pupils paraded banners to showcase the seven Olympic and Paralympic values - respect, excellence, friendship and courage, determination, inspiration and equality - which were taught to young people throughout the week.
Mastermind of the hectic schedule in Sheffield was Links School Sport Partnership Development Manager Sarah Williams. She said: “It was great to see so many children trying out various sports and really enjoying themselves. It has been a busy week but a very enjoyable one.
“It’s another way children and young people can be enthused about sport and get involved in the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, which will be a special period in all of our lives.”
Nine-year-old Pipworth Community Primary School pupil Connor Menzies admitted it had been a day to remember. “It was really good fun and I enjoyed trying all the different sports,” he said. “I tried boxing and basketball and it was really good.”
Former wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan, a Paralympic bronze medallist and now a Lloyds TSB ambassador, was guest of honour at one of the EIS sessions along with London 2012 mascot Mandeville.
“It was fantastic to see the children enjoying themselves and trying something new,” said Adepitan. “Seeing the look on their faces was absolutely brilliant because they were having a terrific time and enjoying themselves which is what it’s all about. “Children should try lots of sports. I did some swimming, weightlifting and all sorts of things before I decided that wheelchair basketball was for me and I think giving children that chance to try so many different things is fantastic. I hope that, through events like these, Great Britain’s future sporting stars are discovered.”
“London 2012 will provide us with all sorts of opportunities for young people to try new sports and learn all about the special events that the Olympic and Paralympic Games really are. National School Sport Week is a great way of introducing them to these sports and helps them understand the important values that the Games can teach.”
The successful schools at the EIS were: Day 1: Bradford Dungworth, Emmaus and Prince Edwards; Day 2: Wharncliffe Side, Emmaus and Nook Lane; Day 3: Wharncliffe Side, Arbourthorne and Valley Park.
Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week uses the power of London 2012 to inspire children to try Olympic and Paralympic sports. Your local school could carry the Olympic Flame in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay or win tickets to London 2012 at: www.lloydstsb.com/nationalschoolsportweek