Essex Summer School Games

We are near to the biggest event in British history; as all eyes turn to London for the Summer 2012 Olympic games, something, in which we have not held in over 60 years. As the arrival of the Olympics nears, the world is watching and the anticipation starts to stir amongst Britain, as the biggest event this year nests in London.

On June 28th I visited the Essex school games at Basildon sporting village, which had schools from all over the county to compete in an Olympic style games. Over 1000 students and 58 schools across the county took part in the games, portraying the patriotism from Essex for the Olympic games. The games began with an opening ceremony kicking off with banners representing each partnership of Essex, followed by the talented dance groups 'Woodlands dance group', 'Northlands junior Dance and gymnastic group' symbolising their excitement of the upcoming games through their brilliant choreographing and dance skills. To finish the opening ceremony we had a lovely choir piece by Pitsea Junior school with their beautiful song for the Olympics.

As the games commenced I went around to each of the six sports taking place (netball, rounders, swimming, gymnastics, cricket and mountain biking). The first I visited were the netball courts. It was hopeful to see teams practising together before their games, as it showed real commitment and sportsmanship. Once the first game began all of the team members weren’t to be distracted. All eyes were transfixed to the centre circle. As the whistle blew all children speed frantically around the court. This was exactly the sort of thing we hope to see in a month’s time. The quick, intelligent tactics really showed us what the day was all about.

The second sport I visited was the rounder games. With balls flying and competitors rushing, I made sure I watched my step! Free, energetic vibes told me that all the players involved wanted to be there and were excited to show off their skills. Watching some of the high school matches proved interesting and motivating with tremendous batting skills pelting the ball miles from the pitch, yet, with the quick techniques of the fielding team the game was soon enough even again.

As I entered the swimming pool I heard the announcer yelling and coaches supporting as the pool relay races continued. The young athletes swam as fast as they could to tag their opponent. No doubt about it, the room was full of the best swimmers in Essex. The fast pace and determined minds of the young competitors, gives promising signs that at least a handful of the junior athletes will be in the Olympics to come.

Next I visited the gymnastics arena. Bustling with coaches, competitors, and judges the gym was certainly packed! As I looked around I was amazed at the young talent. Such gracious routines and steady moves, these young athletes certainly knew how to strut their stuff. Perfect jumps and self-discipline is the true sign of an Olympic athlete and maybe we will see a few of these children in future games.

As I returned to the courts I watched some of the cricket matches. The effort from all teams was amazing. All of the team players were fantastic as they tried their very hardest to win, while following all the rules which had clearly been learnt well. It was inspiring and exciting to see young people getting involved with cricket.

As my day drew to a close I had a quick look at the mountain biking. Being into cycling myself I had the most interest in this particular sport. The course seemed to be infinite. Following the entire sporting village, every now and then while watching other sports you'd catch a glimpse of the mountain bikers tearing around their marathon like route. It was brilliant to see a huge crowd of young people like myself ready and hyped up to cycle. Personally, I found it great to watch and wished I had been able to take part myself.

Overall, I thought the day itself was brilliant and inspiring. We always hear in the news that young people are not getting enough exercise and have gotten lazy but the school games with over a 1000 students really has proved them wrong. It was a brilliant experience and truly inspiring for young people such as myself. The perfect build up in Essex for the Summer 2012 Olympics.

By Jessica Naylor

Eastwood Academy

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