Hundreds of pupils take part in Northants school games

More than 1,700 children from county primary and secondary schools competed in Northamptonshire’s Sainsburys Winter School Games.

Most of the events took place at Kettering Sports Arena with tag rugby being hosted by Kettering Rugby Club and the table tennis at Weavers Sports Centre in Wellingborough.

The Northamptonshire School Games, held at Kettering Conference Centre

The Northamptonshire School Games, held at Kettering Conference Centre

Students from more than 70 schools represented five different school sport partnership district teams, including Wellingborough and East Northants, Kettering, and Corby, Oundle and Thrapston.

The finals held over four days were officially opened on Tuesday by British middle distance Olympic runner Andy Baddeley.

The five-time British 1,500m champion spent the day in his role as Sporting Champion meeting the competitors, signing t-shirts and watching the action.

Andy’s own athletics career started slowly as he explained to the competitiors on the opening day.

He said: “I didn’t make the first team at school and struggled to keep up, ten years later I was the fastest miler in the world. So dream big about the future and set no limits.”

He added “This is a fantastic event giving children skills that they have learned in sports which they can use in other parts of their lives.”

The fastest man over a metric mile was also impressed by the speed of the competitors.

He added: “I was staggered how quick they were as they ran past me.”

Games organisers Northamptonshire Sport were assisted by 100 young leaders from county schools who helped alongside volunteers with timekeeping, organising, refereeing and marshalling the events.

Connor O’Brien, 12, from Latimer Arts College took part in several sports including the standing long jump, speed bounce and the obstacle race for Kettering sports partnership team.

He said: “The event has been really fun for me with a very high standard of competition, I didn’t expect to win but I’ve enjoyed taking part.”