Primary schools compete in first Hackney Summer Games

Primary school children from across Hackney have been getting into the Olympic spirit during the first Hackney Summer Games (23-27 June).

The week-long games began on World Olympic Day (23 June) and have seen youngsters competing in sports including baseball, cricket, athletics and martial arts, following a ten-week training programme.

The Games also included the Hackney Personal Bests finals (25 June), with children recording their personal best scores in discus, javelin, shot put, long jump, triple jump and boccia - a Paralympic sport similar to boules.

Those taking part in the finals were the children who had shown the greatest levels of improvement in their scores during the training programme.

Battling it out to become the most improved young athletes were children from Berger, De Beauvoir, Gainsborough, Grazebrook, Holy Trinity CE, Jubilee, Parkwood, Sebright, St Matthias, Tyssen, Whitmore and Woodberry Down primary schools.

Personal Bests finalists were joined by world 400m champion and medal hopeful for Britain at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Christine Ohuruogu.

Christine encouraged the children to do their best and handed out a trophy and gold medals to the winning team from Berger Primary School. She awarded silver medals to second place De Beauvoir, and bronze medals to third place Parkwood.

Christine said: “All the children have worked so hard practising over the past ten weeks to develop their skills and improve their personal best scores. I’m delighted they’ve all enjoyed trying new sports and I hope they continue taking part for enjoyment and to improve their fitness levels.”

Also joining the children was Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He said: “One of Hackney Council’s long-held ambitions is to inspire as many residents as possible to get involved in regular physical activity, and the 2012 Games are a great catalyst for this. The Hackney Summer Games and Personal Bests programme are a great way to demonstrate to our young residents the opportunities, enjoyment and health benefits that sport and physical activity can bring to our lives.”

All the schools have been given sporting equipment such as discus and javelins so that they can continue taking part in these sports.

The training programme has also given coaches and teachers the chance to identify talented young athletes and possible future Olympians and Paralympians, to recommend for entry into the London Mini Games on 3 July.

The Hackney Summer Games programme is co-ordianted by the School Sports Partnership and Hackney Council’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Unit and funded by the borough’s strategic partnership Team Hackney.