1,700 submissions received as part of Suffolk’s first Virtual School Games festival
Posted: Fri, 17 Jul 2020 14:20
From 25th June – 9th July, Active Suffolk led the first Virtual School Games, inviting young people across the county to take part in 8 competitions, helping their school to climb the leader board.
The Active Suffolk team facilitate the Suffolk PE and Sport Network and work in partnership with School Games Organisers across Suffolk to deliverer competitions for young people every year. This year, the team were keen to provide an opportunity for schools across the county despite the traditional events being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The last Suffolk School Games festivals took place in the summer of 2019 where events were hosted by Abbeycroft Leisure, Northgate High School, Ransomes Sports Pavilion and Westbourne Academy. However, this year's games took place virtually, where submissions were entered via a website and schools across Suffolk engaged with the team via social media where they regularly shared their involvement.
Over the two-week period, 8 Skill based activities were released based on the following sports: Athletics, Boccia, Cricket, Football, Gymnastics, Netball, Rounders & Tennis. The activities were launched via the school games website and on social media where partners including, the Ipswich Town Football Club Community Trust, the Most Active County Partnership and BBC Radio Suffolk helped to reach schools across the county.
The innovative online event saw over 40 local primary and secondary schools sign up to the games where over 1,700 individual entries were submitted.
St Gregory's Primary School in Sudbury were involved in this year's games and a spokesperson from the school told us:
"We've had great fun taking part and it's been lovely looking out onto the playground from my office to see children from Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 take part as well as our Key Worker Class and children from our Specialist Unit"
The 8 activities which were released as part of the competition, were adapted to allow pupils to take part safely in their bubble at school or from the comfort of their home.
Bramfield Primary School in Halesworth told us:
"We really enjoyed taking part in the festival and just wanted to say thank you to Active Suffolk for organising the event."
Ipswich Town Football Club and England U21 player, Georgia Allen supported the launch of the games and even shared her attempts of the football challenge during the first week of the event. Several teachers from schools across Suffolk also took to the stage on Twitter where they shared their own efforts to gain bonus points with the hope of climbing to the top of the leader board.
The overall response and involvement from pupils, teachers, primary and secondary schools across the county was overwhelming and the Active Suffolk team will be continuing to offer schools support to incorporate physical activity In the safest way whilst schools work around impact of the current pandemic.
The top scorers from the primary schools involved in the Virtual School Games are:
- 1st place: Red Oak Primary School
- 2nd place: St Margaret's Primary School
- 3rd place: Phoenix St Peter Primary School
The top scorers from secondary schools involved in the Virtual School Games are:
- 1st place: Copleston High School
- 2nd place: Bungay High School
- 3rd place: High School
In addition to the recognition schools have received for their involvement and success in the Virtual School Games, the event partners, Ipswich Town Football Club (ITFC) and their Community Trust have awarded six selected schools that have upheld and demonstrated the School Games Values. These are: determination, self-belief, respect, teamwork, honesty and passion. The reward is a one hour coaching session for the children with the Community Trust and 30 tickets to a future game. Each of the six selected schools will be contacted to be made aware.
A spokesperson from the ITFC Community Trust said:
"Active Suffolk's Virtual School Games have been a fantastic way for schools and children to engage in activity during some very different and difficult times. It's been great to see the efforts put in by staff and children over social media. As a Community Trust, we fully sport the six Schools Games values; we look forward to meeting and working with the six schools who have demonstrated these values so well during the Virtual School Games. A huge well done to everyone who took part!"
James Payne, Children and Young People Lead for Active Suffolk told us:
"We understand that this has been a challenging time for everyone, however we have been really impressed by the enthusiasm of schools and PE leads across Suffolk. We have seen them continuing to work hard to involve young people in physical activity, whether that be from their bubble in school or whilst still learning from home.
The response to the Virtual School Games has been fantastic and we are excited to announce that a similar format will continue into the first term of the next academic year. This means that young people in Suffolk will still have the opportunity to access competitive school sport on a county level, despite the current restrictions removing the feasibility of physical competition."
Full results from each of the competitions and future updates can be found at www.suffolkschoolgames.co.uk