Medals treble for National heroes at School Games

GAMES MAKERS -- Olympic gold medallists Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott with some of the young athletes who took part.
GAMES MAKERS -- Olympic gold medallists Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott with some of the young athletes who took part.

One Hucknall school covered themselves in glory at the annual Nottinghamshire Winter School Games, sponsored by Sainsbury’s.

For the National Church Of England Academy, on Annesley Road, picked up three medals.

Representing Ashfield, National won gold in the boys’ basketball, silver in the girls’ basketball and bronze in one of the mixed trampolining events.

They were the only school from the Dispatch district to figure on the roll of honour at the Games, which took place at Nottingham University’s campus last Friday.

More than 900 youngsters from 60 schools across Nottinghamshire competed in six sports to try and achieve the status of county champions.

They had qualified for the county finals after winning their district tournaments. As well as basketball and trampolining, the other sports were athletics, badminton, futsal and indoor rowing. There was also a multi-sport challenge.

The action followed a spectacular opening ceremony that featured two of Team GB’s gold medallists at the London 2012 Olympic Games, canoeists Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott.

Baillie and Stott gave an inspirational presentation on how they managed to fulfil their Olympic dreams and also how their lives have changed since.

Paralympian Rob Tarr, who has represented Britain in every major wheelchair rugby event, was also on hand to give a talk.

Tarr, of Nottingham, shared with the audience his incredible journey since he was involved in a near-fatal road-traffic accident at the age of 18.

The opening ceremony also included dance performances by groups from the Joseph Whitaker School in Rainworth and the South Nottinghamshire Academy (formerly Dayncourt) at Radcliffe-on-Trent.

A host of VIPs, including local dignitaries and representatives from many national governing bodies, attended the ceremony.

The Games, designed to build on the magic of London 2012, aim to increase the opportunities for youngsters to take part in competitive sport

Event director Rob Cook, who is also youth sport manager for the Sport Nottinghamshire organisation, commented:

“Congratulations to all winning schools. The level of commitment and determination I have seen at the Sainsbury’s School Games represents the values of respect, excellence and friendship laid down many years ago by Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the Olympic movement.

“I hope the event was memorable for those young people who participated and will form part of a journey towards greater things.”

The finals of the Nottinghamshire Summer School Games are scheduled for Friday 4th July.