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Pupils pitch in for a shot at glory in school games

PITCH BATTLE ... St Bede's youngsters get set for hockey action
PITCH BATTLE ... St Bede's youngsters get set for hockey action

South Tyneside youngsters swapped the classroom for the sports field to pitch in for a shot at glory.

Pupils from 14 schools across the borough – including St Bede’s Primary School, St Gregory’s Primary School, Cleadon Academy, St Aloysius Primary School and East Boldon Primary School – were among hundreds of sporty competitors taking part in the finals of the Tyne and Wear School Games.

I’ve only been playing for a couple of months but i like learning how to play properly so that I can carry on playing when I get older.

Pupil Megan Tooley

The two-day extravaganza, held at Northumbria University, saw primary and secondary schools from all over the North East go head-to-head in a wide range of sports, from netball and hockey to five-a-side and disability football and indoor rowing.

The keenly-contested finals were the culmination of a series of competitions between schools that have been taking place in each local authority area since September.

Megan Tooley, aged nine from St Bede’s RC Primary School, in South Shields, competed in the hockey.

She said, “I really enjoy being part of our school team. I’ve only been playing for a couple of months but I like learning how to play properly so that I can carry on playing when I get older.”

In true Olympic fashion, there was an exciting opening ceremony to begin the proceedings which featured a free-running display, cheerleaders, and music from a local group.

Claire Elliott, School Games Co-ordinator at Tyne & Wear Sport, said: “The School Games has given children across the region the opportunity to embrace sport like never before.

“We are delighted to have engaged so many pupils in sport through the School Games and we are excited by the potential of this project to have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of children and young people across the region.

In addition to more than 700 participants, the event was supported by dozens of Young Leaders who assisted with scoring, officiating and organising.

The School Games is at the heart of the Government’s plans to create a lasting sporting legacy from the London 2012 Games and boost sport participation numbers.

Twitter:@shieldsgazchris