Primary schools to take part in first Hackney Summer Games

Every primary school in Hackney will take part in a week of sport, starting on World Olympic Day on June 23. To prepare for the first Hackney Summer Games, pupils aged nine to 11 will be given a ten week coaching programme, starting in February, to prepare them for a series of events, from baseball, cricket and multi-sports, to martial arts and volleyball.

Ten schools in the borough will also take part in Personal Best. Pupils will be given a taster of five Olympic and Paralympic sports and will record their own personal best performance. Classes will then be split into teams and during the months leading up to the Hackney Summer Games, will see how far they can improve on their baseline score. The six most improved boys and girls from each school will then compete in the Hackney Summer Games Personal Best finals on June 25.

Primary school-age children in two of Hackney’s special schools will be invited to participate in training in several sports, including Boccia (a sport unique to the Paralympic games similar to petanque - French Boules). They will then have the chance to compete in the Boccia finals in May, and also to take part in the Hackney Summer Games Personal Best finals.

Hackney Summer Games is a sporting programme co-ordinated by the School Sports Partnership and Hackney Council’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Unit and funded by the borough’s strategic partnership, Team Hackney. A range of sport providers will be involved in delivering the coaching, which will be organised through the Schools Sports Partnership.

Councillor Guy Nicholson, cabinet member for the Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Chair of Team Hackney’s Economic Development Partnership, said:
“One of Hackney Council’s long-held ambitions is to inspire as many residents as possible to get involved in regular physical activity. The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are a great catalyst for this. The Hackney Summer Games and Personal Best programme are a great way to demonstrate to our young residents the great opportunities, enjoyment and health benefits that sport and physical activity can bring to our lives.”

The programme will also give sports coaches and teachers the chance to identify talented athletes and to recommend children for entry into the London Mini Games on July 3. Training begins later this month (February).