School Games: Brightest young talent set for Sheffield

Action from last year's School Games in London
Action from last year's School Games in London

Sheffield will play host to the Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games this week an event that will see over 1,600 potential future sports stars competing across 12 sports.

Starting tomorrow and running through until Sunday the Games are supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.

It will also be the last competitive event to take place at Don Valley Stadium.

There are several young stars from Sheffield taking part.

David Thompson, aged 16, is ranking No 1 in Yorkshire for table tennis he said he’s looking for to trying to win a medal: “It’s an amazing feeling to have been selected to represent England North East at the Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games. My aim is to win a medal, and I think we definitely have a chance to do so in the team event and I want to prove myself worthy of selection.”

Chris Rainforth, aged 16, a Silverdale School student is a Sheffield Steelers Wheelchair Basketball player and will be represent England North.

Joey Walker, aged 15, is a part of British Cycling’s Olympic Talent Team programme and is tipped to be a medal contender at the Games.

Athlete Joshua Naisbitt, aged 16, will take part in the 3,000 metres at Don Valley. Naisbitt runs for Sheffield Athletics Club and is coached by Mick Thompson, the man who first discovered Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Naisbitt said: “It’s all new to me and I’m not really sure what to expect ahead of the Games but I’m excited for the opportunity. I might not be the quickest athlete in the field but I hope I can step off the track knowing I’ve given it everything I had; whether that placed me first or not.”

And 16-year-old Ben Tomlinson will be an important part of the England North volleyball squad.

In 2010 Tomlinson represented England as they finished second at the World Youth Games – proof of how highly he is regarded by national coaches.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller said: “The School Games are at the heart of that pledge encouraging competitive sport in schools in Sheffield, Yorkshire and right across England.

“This week is the culmination of a year of in school, school versus school and regional competitions backed by £150 million of exchequer and lottery funding.

“The School Games is a major multi-sport event and provides a platform for the nation’s most talented young athletes to show what they can do.”