Hundreds of children get a taste of Olympic fever at huge school sports day

Sports development student Harry Houlding starting the 100 metres as pupils from Highbury Primary School, try Olympic sports at HMS Temeraire

Sports development student Harry Houlding starting the 100 metres as pupils from Highbury Primary School, try Olympic sports at HMS Temeraire

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HUNDREDS of schoolchildren from across the city had a taste of the Olympics when they took part in the Portsmouth Games 2012.

Rugby, basketball, hockey, boxing, netball and athletics were played for fun as well as competitively at the major sports event at HMS Temeraire.

Taking part in the 100m sprint

Taking part in the 100m sprint

Primary school pupils from 15 schools spent the morning sampling sports they had never played before, and enjoyed dance and art workshops in the afternoon as students from eight secondary schools competed to win medals.

Admiral Lord Nelson School in Copnor won the overall trophy for accumulating the most medals on the day – but everyone was a winner.

Ella Fletcher, nine, of Highbury Primary, said: ‘I had so much fun especially when I tried out boxing and basketball which I’ve never done before.

‘I play hockey at school every week and it was definitely my favourite sport on the day.

‘We’re all looking forward to the Olympics this summer. I’ve never experienced one in this country in my lifetime so it will be a very special occasion.

‘This summer I’ll be looking out for the swimming and hockey events.’

Claire Shucksmith, PE co-ordinator at Highbury, added: ‘It was a fantastic day for our pupils – they all came back in high spirits.

‘The Olympics is such an inspirational event – and we’re using its themes across the whole curriculum.’

The event – organised by the University of Portsmouth’s UP for Sport team in partnership with the city council, Portsmouth School Sport Partnership and the Royal Navy – was a hit with the pupils.

Some of the activities, including cheerleading workshops, were delivered by first-year university students as part of their sports development course.

Paul Tilley, the university’s head of sport and recreation, said: ‘There was a real sense of excitement about the countdown to London 2012 and the atmosphere was fantastic.

‘It’s great to see organisations pulling together to deliver a large-scale event such as this and lovely to see how much the pupils enjoyed it.’

Matt Birch, the city’s sports development officer, added: ‘The atmosphere was great and everyone got into the spirit of the Olympics.

‘It’s important for young people across our city to take ownership of the Games – and with so many schools modelling their curriculums around the theme it’s nice to be able to bring it to life for them.’

He added: ‘We’d love to put this event on every year.’

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