University counts down to London 2012 with Schools’ Olympic Festival
18 April 2012
Over 300 local primary school children took part in a Schools’ Olympic Sports Festival at Surrey Sports Park today, marking the start of the 100 day countdown to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The festival, funded by the University of Surrey, saw children from nine local primary schools try a range of Olympic and Paralympic sports including fencing, badminton, tennis, basketball and boccia.
Surrey Sports Park coaches, student volunteers and players from Guildford Heat Basketball team led a series of Olympic-themed taster sessions with young pupils from Queen Eleanor’s Junior, Bushy Hill Junior, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary, Wyke Primary, Weyfield Primary, Worplesdon Primary, Hale Primary, Pottergate Primary and Holy Trinity School.
The event is part of the University’s ‘Celebrate Surrey’ programme of public events which recognises the contribution that both the University of Surrey and Surrey Sports Park make to the intellectual, economic and cultural life of the local, national and global community.
Taking place during the year when the UK hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games, ‘Celebrate Surrey’ also provides the opportunity to mark and participate in these wider national celebrations.
Queen Eleanor’s School Sports Co-ordinator and former Tottenham Hotspur footballer David Howells said, “It’s great for the kids to come down here and get a real taste of Olympic sports in this fantastic venue where real Olympians will be training. We hope events like today can help inspire children to embrace the Games and the sporting opportunities we all have in the area.”
Paul Blanchard, Surrey Sports Park Chief Executive, said, “With just 100 days to go we are truly in the final countdown to the London 2012 Olympic Games here at Surrey Sports Park. In the coming months we are set to host further participation events as part of ‘Celebrate Surrey’, which we hope will enable everyone to get a flavour of what the Games are bringing to the county.”
“The University of Surrey is a world-class provider of learning, teaching and research. And our state-of-the-art Surrey Sports Park provides facilities for both elite athletes and grassroots beginners,” says Maddie McGowan, Director of Communication and PR. “Celebrate Surrey is designed to help spread the word as widely as possible, and to lift the lid on what goes on at ‘the place up the hill.’”
Further events involving the local community are scheduled to take place later in the summer when athletes and coaches from over 16 nations - including Great Britain, Singapore, Nigeria, China and Antigua and Barbuda arrive at Surrey Sports Park to begin their UK-based training in preparation for London 2012.