Over 500 young people from schools around the county took part in a School Games Live event at The Alnwick Gardens to celebrate the forthcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The sporting festival was laid on to inspire the next generation of young people to enjoy being active by providing a whole range of fun, outdoor activities and sports, all within an iconic backdrop.
The event was organised by a partnership comprising Northumberland School Games, Active Northumberland, RISE Northeast, The Alnwick Garden and Alnwick Castle, and was funded by Sport England Commonwealth Games Legacy Fund.
Every school in Northumberland with Key Stage 2 young people was invited to bring up to 12 children to enjoy the day. The schools were asked to choose children who they felt would most benefit from the event including those who have Special Educational Needs and those who aren’t currently involved in any school sports teams.
A diverse range of activities were on offer including skipping, teamwork activities, orienteering, boccia and ball games as well as an Eco trail, Dragon’s Quest, and a maze; And in a nod to the Harry Potter movies that were filmed at Alnwick Castle, even broomstick training was available - so there really was something for everyone!
One of the highlights of the day was a mass physical activity session, led by a member of the Active Northumberland fitness team.
Franki Clark, Head of PE, School and Community Service at Active Northumberland said: “The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games aims to touch millions of lives, way beyond 11 days of sport. One of its legacy aims is to bring people together to improve health and wellbeing.
“Seeing the children’s’ focus and enjoyment has been great; they’ve asked lots of questions and got the chance to try something different that they don’t usually get to do, as well as feeling a part of the fantastic Commonwealth Games celebration. “
Northumberland County Councillor, Guy Renner-Thompson, cabinet member for children’s services added: “Getting more young people involved in sport and activity and to reap the long term physical and mental health benefits this brings, is one of our priorities.
“An event such as this shows the young people the fun that can be had by being active outside. It's been a great day and the team have worked hard to ensure it was enjoyable for everyone taking part.”
Gary Young is the Children and Young People Development Manager at RISE, the active partnership for Northumberland and Tyne and Wear. He said: “Powerful research shows how large sporting events help motivate and inspire young people to work hard at whatever they do.
“Part of the Commonwealth Games legacy is to help young people build confidence and feel included and bring people together through sport and activity.
"We have been thrilled to welcome young people from every corner of the county to enjoy a day of fun and activity and we hope the event has helped to inspire them to a more active summer.”