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12,000 English schools enter Olympics Games race

08/02/2012 Joanna
Schools up and down England are set to take part in the brand new Sainsbury's School Games competition ahead of this year's London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Teachers in around 12,000 schools across the country will see their pupils take part in the competition, with winners awarded tickets to the Olympics or Paralympics as prizes.

A total of 393 School Games final events will take place, with their very own opening and closing ceremonies just like the real Olympics to be held this summer.

Supported by £10 million of funading from the supermarket chain and over £152 million injected by the National Lottery and the government, the School Games programme is part of the drive to increase sporting participation on the back of the 2012 Olympics.

Announcing the School Games, secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport, Jeremy Hunt, said that it was "fantastic" that half of England's schools had signed up in the first year of the competition.

"All the sceptics who said this project wouldn't take off have been proved wrong - schools are as sport mad as the rest of the country this year," he added.

Many Olympic and Paralympic events will feature, with 31 sports set to take place across the games and over 100,000 young people expected to take part.

Come May, finals in 12 of the sports will take place in the landmark Olympic venues with around 1,600 young athletes participating.

Jennie Price, chief executive of Sport England, commented: "The Sainsbury's School Games final will be a wonderful celebration of youth sport and a fantastic chance for young people to compete in the amazing London 2012 venues ahead of their sporting heroes."

In a statement announcing the games, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said that it hoped that together with the new youth sport strategy the Sainsbury's School Games would help leave a "real sporting legacy" following the London 2012 Games.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801287272-ADNFCR
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