Several Venues around Manchester – on a bright sunny day.
“6 out of every 10 kids don’t get the exercise they need to positively affect their health” Hannah Port told me. She is one of the workers with GreaterSport who hosted the 17th version of the Manchester Schools Games in Manchester, yesterday.
This bi-annual event was set up as a legacy from the 2012 Olympics with the purpose of getting the people to live a more active lifestyle by capturing people when they are at an early, more receptive to ideas, age.
The format of the event is continually changing as the experience reveals and various iterations of the event have evolved, with this format first appearing on 2011. (In 2011 there was just one event, run as a pilot)
All schools in Greater Manchester are able to apply for and take part in the games. Where some schools don’t have enough competitors to raise a team, then other schools in a similar situation often pool players.
So for 2019, the summer event was spread across 8 iconic venues close to the city centre such as the Armitage Centre, but the organising team continue to learn and develop from previous experiences.
This event is one of the biggest in the country with approximately 2,000 young people between the ages of 5 to 16 taking part, many of whom have qualified after success at their local events.
Each of the Greater Manchester’s 10 boroughs (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan) have already held their own events. However some competitions are open entry, enabling more children to have the opportunity to take part.
Of course if the same competitors kept winning then those participants who get enjoyment from the social interaction but may be less skilled, could just drop out.
Hence ultimate frisbee, dodgeball and softball are just some of the lesser popular disciplines of the 13 available in the 21 competitions, just to vary the palette available and focus on the fun side of participation.
Paul Sleem opened the proceedings in front of several hundred enthusiastic youngsters who danced to the rhythm of Drumz Aloud then gasped as Rich Pearson (RPM Bike Display) demonstrated how to get a bicycle onto the roof of a van in two bounces.
Inclusiveness is on display and the cutting of the tape was carried out by wheelchair user Aoisha as dignitaries Cllr Leigh Drennan (Mayor of Tameside) Cllr Abid Chohan (Lord Mayor of Manchester) and Cllr Laura Booth (Mayor of Stockport) looked on.
Many thanks to Hannah Port for the www.thesportfeed.com invitation.
Images – Camera Ged.