Last night 1,600 elite school-age athletes watched the opening ceremony of the Sainsbury’s UK School Games 2010 at the Gateshead International Stadium.
Speaking at the opening ceremony Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, described the event as “a great example of how major sporting events like the Olympic and Paralympic Games can inspire young people right across the UK and get more people in to competitive sport”.
This is the fifth UK School Games. This year’s event takes place in venues across Gateshead, Newcastle and Sunderland until Sunday 5 September.
The tournament kicked-off this morning with the Hockey and Volleyball competitions at Newcastle University’s Longbenton Sports Ground and Northumbria University’s Sport Central facility, respectively.
Events will take place over the weekend in the eight other sports of: cycling, athletics, badminton, fencing, gymnastics, judo, swimming and table tennis with disability events in swimming, athletics and table tennis, including learning disability for swimming, table tennis and for the first time, athletics.
Blogging for DCMS today, Darren Campbell a Youth Sport Trust Ambassador, described what this will mean to young athletes as “an event that will play a crucial part in their journey as they aspire to compete at an elite level”.