[Y]oung people across Cumbria will showcase their talent in a county-wide festival of sport next week. The multi-sport festival will be held in Carlisle with 650 children from schools across Cumbria competing in nine different sports to become the County Champions. The competitions take place over various sports sites in the city on Wednesday 12th July.
Jenna Downing, the World’s number one female inline skater and ten times British Champion will be opening Cumbria School Games this summer on the 12th July. Jenna has competed in rollerblading events since she was eight and became the youngest ever female to turn pro aged twelve. Jenna will show off her skills with show stopping jumps and discuss her journey to the top of her game.
Jenna says: “I am very honoured to be a guest at the Cumbria School Games this year. I truly believe in the power of sport and how it can change lives, my sport has certainly done that for me, which is why I am so excited to showcase my sport and encourage others to get on some skates and give it a go!
There is a sport out there for everyone, it’s just about trying lots of different sports and finding out what you enjoy and are passionate about. The School Games will be an awesome celebration of a whole range of sports and I am so excited to be a part of the day!”
The new Cumbria School Games mascot Spirit, named after the ‘Spirit of the Games’ and his designer 10 year old Bethan Steadman from Broughton Primary School in Cockermouth will be attending the games. Bethan’s design was chosen from hundreds of entries from schools across Cumbria earlier this year.
She will be joined by Beth Nevinson, aged 11 from Moresby Primary School, who was the overall winner of the recent School Games Poetry competition. Beth will read out her poem to all attendees at the opening ceremony at the event and will be presented with her prize, a £50 book token and poetry workshop for her class with local Children’s Poet John Rice.
Cumbria School Games Finals kicks off with an opening ceremony at the Sands Centre in Carlisle where we’ll be joined with a range of local sports stars, who act as Sporting Ambassadors for the day. They will spend the day out and about at the different sites during the day, talking to children and teachers. Sporting Ambassadors this year include:
- Beth Lishman, from Cockermouth who is representing Team GB in the Hammer event at the upcoming Deaflympics
- Nat Pattinson, from Carlisle, who is a member of the GB Wheelchair Basketball team
- Simon Lawson, from Maryport, who represented Team GB in the Marathon at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, and
- Alistair Thomas, from Cockermouth, British Junior Orienteering Champion, and member of the British Junior Talent Squad, who is representing GB at the European Youth Championships in Slovakia.
- Daniel Spencer, from Cockermouth, British Junior Orienteering Champion, and member of the British Junior Talent Squad, who has been selected to represent Great Britain in the 2017 Junior European Cup.
Support for this year’s events has come from Cumberland Building Society.
Phillip Ward of the Cumberland Building Society said: “Cumberland Building Society has a long history of supporting Cumbria School Games and we are delighted to be main sponsor again for this year’s event. The Games are always a fantastic occasion, providing an opportunity for Cumbrian school children to take part in a friendly but competitive event. It’s always brilliant to see the array of talent coming from youngsters across the County and the level of enthusiasm for sport”
Organised by Active Cumbria one of 44 County Sport Partnerships across England and part of Cumbria County Councils Public Health & Communities Services, the games are delivered in partnership with School Games Organisers, schools, clubs, national governing bodies of sport and local partners.
In addition to the competitors, 113 young people from across Cumbria have been trained in various roles to lead and officiate at the Cumbria School Games Finals.
Cllr Sue Sanderson Cumbria County Council said: “It’s an honour to attend Cumbria School Games as one of my first visits as the new Portfolio Holder for Schools & Learning. Cumbria School Games provides a great opportunity for Children across the County to get involved in a variety of Sports and to compete in a fun and supportive environment. The Games also gives young people opportunity to try different roles within sport, whether it is as a player or referee, the programme provides excellent opportunities for all young people to make a positive and active contribution to their school.”
Special guests representing local councils and the event sponsors have been invited to the event. Local sponsors supporting this year’s county events are the Cumberland Building Society, GLL and BBC Radio Cumbria.