The Winter Games sees over 25,000 pupils joining in from home
With Sussex schools largely closed and a national lockdown in place, Sussex School Games organisers launched a brand-new series of weekly sporting challenges for pupils which has seen over 25,000 entries in just two weeks.
A follow up to the three-month virtual competition in 2020 that saw 73,836 total entries, ‘The Winter Games’ was launched on 1 February to help keep young people active and competing from home.
Active Sussex, in partnership with the Sussex School Games Organiser network are putting school teams to test, with a virtual competition throughout February that encompasses physical challenges around the theme of the Winter Olympics. Each week children will have the opportunity to represent their school from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
A new winter sport is announced each Monday, made up of four challenges. Children are encouraged to train and improve, logging their best scores online before midday on Friday, to contribute to their school’s average score. Medals will be awarded to the best primary and secondary schools for each sport and an overall leaderboard will be kept throughout the month.
The programme is funded by Sport England through National Lottery funding and supported by the Department of Culture Media and Sport, the Department of Health and headline sponsors, Specsavers.
Sadie Mason MBE, Chief Executive of Active Sussex said: “With another national lockdown and the added challenge of the colder winter months, we felt it was more important than ever to provide an engaging programme for children to join in with from home. The mental and physical wellbeing of young people is more important than ever during this time, and the overwhelming response we have received from schools and parents has shown how much a programme like this is needed, and the benefits it has on young people.”
Simon Liley, Chair of the Sussex School Games Local Organising Committee and Headteacher at The Angmering School said: “During the pandemic there have been fewer opportunities for children to join in with sports collectively, so the Sussex Schools Games organisers have had to find creative approaches to keep children active and engaged. We are also incredibly proud that Ellie, one of our young Sports Leaders, has become the role model for thousands of children as she has starred in the demonstration videos for all of the Virtual School Games activities. Ellie's commitment and enthusiasm sets an excellent example to all young people.”
Image: Ellie, Young Leader from The Angmering School
Daniel Jenner, Physical Education teacher at The Angmering School said: "The ‘Virtual’ Sussex School Games have been fantastic as it has allowed young people and families countywide to stay active and engaged within physical activity during these challenging times. it is great to see so many people involved in the various challenges each week!”
For more information and to sign up for the Specsavers ‘Virtual’ Sussex School Games: The Winter Games, visit www.sussexschoolgames.co.uk and follow @SussexSchGames on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.