School Games Summer Festival – It’s back and bigger than ever!

Wednesday 6th June 2018

This summer, over two thousand aspiring young athletes will be going head-to-head in 15 events at an Olympic-style competition on 29th June at Keele University.

The pupils are from all across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, and will represent their schools and compete in handball, Paralympics, cross country, tri golf, netball, rounders, Rugby Mega Fest, and trampolining. They have taken part in months of competitions in the build up to the event, with the hope of being crowned county champions.

Olympic Gymnast Kristian Thomas will be attending the event and will be there to provide words of advice and encouragement to the athletes. Kristian picked up his first senior medal at major championships aged just 17, with Team Bronze at the Commonwealth Games. He then went on to win all-Around Gold at the British Championships, and Team Silver at the European Championships.

In 2012, Kristian achieved an Olympics Team Bronze; the first podium medal for a GB gymnastics team since the 1912 Olympics. And in 2013, despite two major injuries he secured Team GB’s first ever World Championship Vault Medal, with a Bronze. Kristian also secured his first ever senior Team GB individual Gold Medal at the European Championships.

Former World Champion Inline Skater and ten times British Champion Jenna Downing will also be attending the event. She has competed in rollerblading events since the age of 7 and became the youngest ever female to turn pro aged 12. Jenna has represented her country in major international events, achieving the NASS title three times, winning an X-Games silver medal, and becoming both Winterclash Champion and LG Action Sports World Champion. To date, she is the only European female to perform the 900-degree spin.

Having recently retired from her competitive career due to two serious knee injuries, her focus is now on ‘giving back’ to young people and inspiring others to achieve their potential in life.

The day will kick off with an Olympic inspired opening ceremony with performances from students at Chase Terrace Technology College. The opening ceremony will also feature a performance from UDOIT! Dance Foundation. A mass warm up will then get competitors ready for an exciting and eventful day of sport.  The athletes will be able to completely experience the day with a chance to visit the athlete’s village, which will have many fun activities on offer including circus skills, the club information station, and much more.

Local Organising Committee Chair Simon Ascroft said: “This year’s event promises to be the biggest and best yet, with over 2,000 competitors from more than 100 schools across the length and breadth of the sub-region.

“We are privileged once again to be able to use the fantastic facilities at Keele University and I would like to thank our hosts for their support and generosity in supporting these games.

“This is a real opportunity to showcase the wealth of talent that exists in our primary and secondary schools and I would like to wish every competitor the very best of luck.”

The School Games Summer Festival 2018 is organised by a Local Organising Committee in conjunction with Sport Across Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent with funding from Sport England through National Lottery.