ASPIRING athletes from across the county are on their marks ready for the first gun to fire in the 2014 Sainsbury’s Gloucestershire School Games.
Six months of sporting action will begin with the Under-15 boys basketball at Newent School on Tuesday, January 28.
Under-13 boys and Under-16 girls will also be action shooting hoops in the first week of competitive action with school teams battling out for the first gold medals of the year.
Teams from schools in Cheltenham, Gloucester, the Forest of Dean, Stroud and the Cotswolds will take to the court at Newent looking to gain top spot in the leader board.
Now in their third year, The Sainsbury’s School Games are run by Active Gloucestershire and benefit from more than £45,000 of National Lottery funding.
Aimed at building on the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics, the School Games enable school children from across the county a chance to compete, regardless of ability level.
Organiser Kirsty Dunleavy, children and young people officer for Active Gloucestershire, is looking forward to another bumper year of sport.
“The Gloucestershire School Games have grown each year and everyone is really excited for this year’s competition to begin,” she said.
“It’s a great testament that the Games have been credited with an upsurge of sport in schools across Gloucestershire, engaging young people of all abilities to try new sports and recognising those talented athletes that may compete in more alternative activities.
“We hope the Games will continue to be enjoyed and grow as each event passes.”
The 2014 Games are expected to be the biggest year with 3,000 children expected to compete in 28 separate sports.
One of the highlights of this year’s program will be a Spring Festival of Sport which will be held at Cheltenham College on Friday, March 28.
The Summer Festival will take place at Hartpury College on Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14.
The summer programme will kick-off with a spectacular opening ceremony which will be staged for the second year running at Gloucester Cathedral on Friday, June 6.
Each event will be supported by an army of enthusiastic volunteer School Games Makers, who will assist in making each event a runaway success.
Mandy Chong, head of the Gloucestershire School Games Local Organising Committee, said that more than 100 applications have been received from children wanting to take the role.
“This is a great start to 2014.Everything is all set for a fantastic year of school sport in Gloucestershire,” she said.
“Please support your young people by attending events throughout the year as well as the multi Sports Summer Games in June.
“We look forward to meeting lots of parents and teachers at the events.”
For further information about the School Games and to register your school, please go to www.yourschoolgames.com or contact Active Gloucestershire’s Children and Young People Officer, Kirsty Dunleavy at firstname.lastname@example.org