Youngsters blown away by golden girl Becky Downie at School Games

BLOWN AWAY -- that was how youngsters at the School Games felt by the presence of inspirational gymnast Becky Downie.

BLOWN AWAY -- that was how youngsters at the School Games felt by the presence of inspirational gymnast Becky Downie.

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Fresh from her sensational year in 2014, Hucknall gymnast Becky Downie has been inspiring youngsters at the Nottinghamshire Winter School Games, sponsored by Sainsbury’s.

Becky (23) was the star guest at the opening ceremony of the games, which took place at the University Park Sports Centre in Nottingham yesterday (Thursday).

In front of VIPs, civic dignitaries and hundreds of children, she gave an interview, recalling her exploits last year when she won gold medals at both the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games.

Alongside Becky and also sharing her experiences was Charlotte Henshaw, a Team GB para-swimmer, who was a silver medallist at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

More London 2012 memories were brought back when dancers performed a piece entitled ‘Proud To Be’ to launch the School Games, which supplement the summer version held every year in July.

After the opening ceremony, more than 1.250 children from 75 schools across the city and county moved on the various venues that are hosting the Games over two days.

They are competing in their district or borough colours in ten sports, with those from the Hucknall area representing Ashfield.

THE Winter School Games provide “an excellent opportunity for all young people to make a positive and active contribution to their school”.

So said Rob Cook, the event’s director and youth sport manager for Sport Nottinghamshire. “We hope the event provides a competitive environment and pathway for those inspired by their sporting heroes to pursue sport and be the best they can,” he added.