Superstars inspire Viking games

Children warm up for the Viking Games

World sporting superstars inspired more than 1,000 children competing in Thanet’s biggest festival of primary school sport.

Lizzy Yarnold OBE, double Winter Olympic gold medallist from Sevenoaks and Kent women’s cricket captain Megan Sarah Belt who comes from Margate sent personal video messages to all 1200 competitors of this year’s Viking Games, with Lizzy displaying her two gold medals.

The tournament featured children from Viking Academy Trust schools – Upton Juniors in Broadstairs, Chilton Primary and Ramsgate Arts Primary – and the positive messages spurred the young competitors into four days of fierce and friendly competition with age specific events being staged across the three school playing fields.

Each ‘house’ represented a Kent sporting hero – red represented England football star Alessia Russo; green was for Adam Gemili, who has won gold and silver European, World and Commonwealth championship medals; blue was for Megan Belt; and yellow was for Lizzie Arnold.

Enthusiasm, determination and fun were the key factors as a wide range of sports, track events and activities took centre stage –and when a day-long downpour threatened the schedule, staff quickly converted classrooms and a school hall into hubs for indoors sports including dodgeball, balloon volleyball, speed stacking and archery.

Results from each day were added together and the winning team was announced at the end of the week simultaneously across all the schools in assembly.

The winners were Team Yarnold (yellow) in a competition so close that just a few points separated all four teams.

All week each of the activity stations were overseen by sports leader pupils from Charles Dickens and Dane Court senior schools as well as from Chilton Primary and RAPS.

PE leaders Emma Knight (Chilton), Callum Noble (Upton) and Alice Piper (RAPS) praised everyone who made the Viking Games an unreserved success. They said: “The performances of our children at the various challenges were amazing and a huge thank you goes to our staff and sports leaders for the smooth running of the event. This was a large event to organise and run with so many competitors across the three schools.

“A highlight was having such first class sporting heroes as Megan Belt and Lizzy Yarnold send their inspirational messages which spurred the children on. These were so well received and helped generate even more grit and determination from our competitors all week.

‘It was fantastic to see so many children participating in a range of sporting activities.  This event isn’t just about the competition.  It gives the children the chance to meet new people, and experience travelling to – and taking part in – a big event. It offered them new opportunities with the hope of them finding an activity they would like to pursue outside of school.”

Michaela Lewis, Executive Head Teacher of the Trust, said: “Our Viking Games week is now firmly established as one of the major events of our school year.

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“Our games are inclusive and embrace our ‘sport for all’ ethos – I am so impressed at the teamwork and communication skills that all our groups showed in each of the activities. It was a lot of fun and was clearly a positive and effective unifying event for our academy community.”

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