Shropshire's virtual school games get underway

A ‘virtual’ version of the Shropshire Homes School Sport Festival, which involves hundreds of young people from the county’s primary schools, is now under way.

Dani Hales demonstrating the challenges
Dani Hales demonstrating the challenges

Up to 1,000 young people usually take part in the event at Shrewsbury Sports Village, but the Covid-19 lockdown has forced the organisers, active partnership Energize, into a change of plan.

Instead, a new six-week Virtual School Games competition is being held, culminating in a celebration week starting on June 29.

Over the course of the six-week schedule, six different activity challenges will be launched – dodgeball, new-age kurling, athletics, boccia, tennis and cricket.

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This week is all about dodgeball with a difference. Young Shropshire athletics star Dani Hales has recorded a video demonstration for children to join in with the challenge.

Energize chief executive Chris Child explained: "We know how much primary schools look forward to the Shropshire Homes School Sport Festival, so we were determined to find a solution.

"Encouraging exercise, and helping people to stay active, has never been more important during the Covid-19 lockdown, so we sat down with our team of School Games organisers to reshape the event."

Children are being challenged to complete two different challenges, target throw and catch me if you can, and to record their results.

They can submit either photographs or videos of them performing the challenges. All entries, videos and photographs should be sent to schoolgames@energizestw.org.uk.

Jake Jones, Energize’s active lives officer, added: "The idea is to create fun activities and competition for those in school and at home over the coming weeks, while helping teachers and families to keep children active, and connected with their schools."

Energize will be bringing together a judging panel to decide the winners, and a compilation video featuring the event’s highlights will also be produced.

Details can be found at energizestw.org.uk/virtual-school-games, as well as the Energize Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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