Events will leave a sporting legacy

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A SUMMER of sporting events will leave a lasting Olympic legacy for children from across the north of the county.

Youngsters will take part in their own sporting events throughout this year to mark the games.

School sports manager Matthew Peleszok of the Corby, Oundle, Thrapston school sports partnership is already planning a series of events culminating in mass sporting meets this summer.

It is hoped the scheme will ensure that every single child in the area will take part in some competitive sport this year.

More than 200 children from village schools across the north of the county will take part in the Welland Valley Sports event on June 25.

Mr Peleszok said: “We are hoping to organise a baton relay beforehand where all the schools get to carry the torch before it gets brought into the stadium for an opening ceremony.”

In Corby, June 26 marks the 50th year of the schools sports day at Rockingham Triangle which sees pupils from 12 primaries take part in athletics events.

There will be a gymnastics contest at Lodge Park Sports Centre featuring Corby Gymnastics Club, and there will be a rugby tournament at Stewarts & Lloyds Rugby Club on March 5.

On May 22, more than 1,000 children will take part in the Steel Kids Triathlon in Corby town centre.

Mr Peleszok said: “It’s important for children to take part in inter-school competition as well as against pupils from their own school. It gives them a good sense of achievement if they do well.”

Then, on July 7, 300 young volunteers will run a huge mini-Olympics called the Northamptonshire Schools Games for 800 county secondary school pupils.

Mr Peleszok added: “They will be competing in 12 different sports, including hockey, athletics, netball, cricket and goalball, which is a disability sport played by Niall Graham from Corby, who is already in the GB team for next year’s Paralympics.

“We are hoping to leave a real legacy with these events. The Olympics are a good opportunity to encourage our youngsters to get involved in sport.”

During the build-up to the games the Olympic torch will travel to Wellingborough, Isham, Kettering, Geddington and Corby and people are planning to celebrate the event in style.

Kettering Council revealed to the Evening Telegraph at the end of last year that it will have talks with schools, sports clubs and businesses to arrange events, activities, and Olympic-themed celebrations.

The council’s community services manager, Pia Bellamy, said: “Having the torch come to Kettering is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We want to maximise this opportunity as much as we can and we’re hoping to get schools, clubs and businesses involved.”

Kettering’s Manor House Museum and Alfred East Art Gallery will also hold special events and exhibitions in the run-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

And everyone in Corby will be invited out on to the streets to welcome the Olympic Torch when it comes to the town on July 2.