More sports on of­fer as Games get big­ger

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2014 Kent School Games will pro­vide the county’s school chil­dren with their chance to try some­thing new this year with more than 35 dif­fer­ent sports on of­fer. The 35 key sport­ing events em­braced by the Kent School Games in­clude ath­let­ics, cy­cling, foot­ball, ten­nis, bad­minton, bas­ket­ball, box­ing, beach vol­ley­ball, hockey, Kwik cricket, new age kurl­ing, panathlon, row­ing and rugby. The Games, or­gan­ised by KCC’s Sport and Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity Ser­vice with the sup­port of Sains­bury’s, are open to all age groups, abil­i­ties and dis­abil­i­ties. Danny Crates (pic­tured), Par­a­lympian gold medal­list and 800m world record holder, launched the Games be­fore Christ­mas. He said: “Be­fore I be­came a Par­a­lympian and world record holder, I too was just a reg­u­lar school­boy. “It’s all about be­ing bold enough to take that first step on to the race track at school or join your school sports team for the first time. The key thing is to go for it!” The unique three lev­els of the Games make it es­pe­cially easy for chil­dren to get in­volved as Kent School Games par­tic­i­pants can first grow their con­fi­dence within school. The best com­peti­tors from each school then progress to one of 16 re­gional School Games Ar­eas’ com­pe­ti­tions or re­gional events, while the win­ners of each re­gion will then move to the Kent School Games fi­nals in July 2014. Medal­lists who took part in the first fi­nal of the Kent School Games 2014 (the team ta­ble ten­nis) en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence. Gold medal­list Charleen Cairns, from High­worth Gram­mar School in Ash­ford, said: “It felt good to have won gold and we were happy and proud to rep­re­sent our school in the Kent School Games.” Luke Sav­ill, from Oak­wood Park Gram­mar School in Maid­stone, added: “I first started play­ing ta­ble ten­nis aged eight and this year made it to the Un­der-15 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships. Kent School Games is bril­liant and helps you de­velop both phys­i­cally and so­cially.” Tom Win­dram, from Dart­ford Gram­mar School, said: “I’ve com­peted in all four Kent School Games and it’s grown into a big com­pe­ti­tion. Ta­ble ten­nis has been fan­tas­tic for me.” Kent School Games 2014 will cul­mi­nate in an ex­hi­bi­tion and com­pet­i­tive show­case on June 25, as part of a 20-day fi­nals pro­gramme at top sport­ing venues. Stephanie Holt, head of cul­ture & sport for KCC, said: “The Kent School Games are for many girls and boys their first op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence a com­pet­i­tive arena at a county level. It’s cre­at­ing a coun­ty­wide fast track for young peo­ple to com­pete through­out their pri­mary and sec­ondary school ed­u­ca­tion and move on to top level adult com­pe­ti­tion, should they wish.”

HOW TO GET IN­VOLVED If you want to get your school par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Kent School Games 2014, con­tact your games or­gan­iser on kentsport. org/SchoolGamesOr­gan­is­ers or visit www.kentschool­games.com Fol­low on Twit­ter @ KentSchool­Games and at www. face­book/kentschool­games.

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