Sporting chance for South Yorkshire youngsters

The South Yorkshire Schools' Games were held at Abbeydale Sports Club.

The South Yorkshire Schools' Games were held at Abbeydale Sports Club.

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Everyone’s a winner!

The South Yorkshire School Games, which saw 850 people compete in a variety of sports from cricket to rounders, concluded yesterday after an action-packed two days.

Although there were medals and prizes for the teams and talented athletes whose ability won the day, the real aim of the game was to get all taking part in competitive school sport.

It is hoped many youngsters will now go on to join teams, clubs or continue playing in the fields they enjoy.

Helen Cund, head of operations at South Yorkshire Sport, said: “It has been a really great two days.

“There have been a range of cultural activities so youngsters may have had a chance to try lacrosse for the first time.

“While this is about competitive sport it’s not just for elite people, it’s for everyone.”

To get through to the games youngsters took part in local competitions within and between schools in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster.

There were more than 500 medals up for grabs at Abbeydale Sports Centre.

Teams have competed across six sports including football, tennis cricket, rugby, rounders and indoor rowing.

There were also formats for people with disabilities so they could take part for the first time.

Steve Hallsworth, Rotherham’s leisure service manager, said: “Sport is in young peoples’ hearts.

“People will carry on playing because of a love for it, not because they have to.

“The School Games is about injecting sport into kids’ hearts.

“By playing, watching and refereeing, people feel part of something special.”

The summer finals followed the successful winter South Yorkshire School Games at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, in March.

Funded by Sport England, the games will return to South Yorkshire in 2013 as part of the Olympic legacy.

n For a full list of games winners see Class Act next Tuesday.