Fitting finale for 2016 School Games
The 2016 School Games held at Loughborough University have come to a close, after four days of fantastic competition.
1,600 athletes from across the UK competed in 12 sports, seven of which included disability disciplines.
The final day of action saw gold medals won in 10 of the sports, including the culmination of the team events in hockey, rugby 7’s, volleyball and wheelchair basketball.
After the events had concluded the closing ceremony was held in Shirley Pearce Square. Hosted by Loughborough University graduate Ben Croucher from BBC Sport, the ceremony included performances by Soul Patrol, Paradox Dance Crew and Studio 79.
London 2012 Olympian Ben Pipes was invited on stage to present the Spirit of the Games awards to athletes Edward Oldbury (volleyball), Zoe Simmonds (gymnastics) and Lanre Sowami (wheelchair basketball).
The Games were formally closed by a delegation of athletes, officials and volunteers with the fitting final comment that the event had provided ‘great memories that will last a lifetime’.
Tim Garfield, Director of Sport Development at Loughborough University said:
“The School Games have been a major success both on and off the field of play. Having the majority of sports played on our campus has provided a realistic major games feel for the competitors and also the opportunity to support team mates.
“Added to this has been the superb army of volunteers going the extra mile to make the games extra special for the athletes, alongside the teamwork demonstrated between the governing bodies of sport, Youth Sport Trust, Sport England and Loughborough University.
“The Games have been a fantastic spectacle, all of which would not have been possible without the continued support of National Lottery funding.”
The School Games aims to replicate the experience of a major sporting event like an Olympic and Paralympic Games with opening and closing ceremonies, an athletes’ village and a full education programme to provide a unique insight into the world of elite sport.
The Games have provided a springboard for many of today’s biggest names in sport. Previous competitors include Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Adam Peaty and London 2012 Paralympic Champions Ellie Simmonds, Hannah Cockroft and Jonnie Peacock.