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2016 School Games underway at Loughborough University

The 2016 School Games started with a bang last night at Loughborough University with a spectacular outdoor opening ceremony in Shirley Pearce Square.

The audience, which included the 1,600 young athletes, were treated to a wide array of performances from singers, dancers and choirs who took to the stage with impressive displays. The highlight of the night however was the appearances of School Games alumni and Olympic & Paralympic champions Max Whitlock, Liz Johnson and Alex Danson on stage, to rapturous applause.  

Earlier in the day Whitlock led a gymnastics masterclass for some of the gymnasts who will be competing over the weekend, showing them how he trains and sharing his words of wisdom.

The double Rio 2016 Olympic champion said:

“I was reserve for the School Games just a few years ago so you guys are all already ahead of where I was at your age. My advice to you all is to take in the experience – this is a massive stepping stone towards what could potentially be your future.

“This is your mini Olympics so enjoy it, go out there and do your very best and if you make any mistakes you’ve got plenty more time, as you’re still young, so just enjoy it and take it all in.”

Loughborough University’s Executive Director for Sport, John Steele, added:

“We’re going to have an amazing couple of days of sport at Loughborough University; we’ve already had the fever of Rio and the excitement of Team GB’s achievements and it’s great to remember that a lot of the athletes – 15% in fact – started at the School Games.

“There will be plenty of stars of the future in action; we’ve already seen Max Whitlock doing a gymnastics masterclass and he started here at the School Games along with a lot of other medallists in Rio.”

The evening came to a close with a show stopping firework display and the official opening of the games performed by Max Whitlock and fellow Olympian Alex Danson.

The 1,600 competitors, who are among some of the most talented young athletes in the UK, will now contest 12 different sports, seven of which include disability disciplines.

The sports taking place are Athletics, Cycling, Fencing, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Rugby Sevens, Swimming, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Tennis.

Event schedules and tickets can be found here:

A live stream of all the action can be found here:

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 16/121

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named the best in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey. Loughborough was ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2017 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2017 and was also named University of the Year in the In the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.



Pete Matthews

PR Officer (Sport)

Telephone: 01509 228686

PR team

Telephone: 01509 222224