Schools in the Derbyshire Dales enjoyed considerable success at the 2015 Sainsbury’s Derbyshire School Games Event, which featured sprint stars Jonnie Peacock MBE and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey.
Almost 1,000 young people attended the event at Trent College, with 800 primary and secondary school children from 10 school sport partnerships from across the county competed in 11 events across seven different sports – golf, tennis, cycling, athletics, rounders, cricket and boccia.
Another 200 Young Leaders volunteered as event officials, marshals and media contributors to ensure the smooth running of the event, which is the culmination of competition across the school year.
Each of the 87 teams from 58 schools taking part – from High Peak to South Derbyshire – had already excelled to get through to this stage, having qualified by winning their local area competition.
Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, from Ashbourne, were victorious in two events, taking home gold medals in the Rounders and the Quadkids Athletics Secondary competitions.
Osmaston CofE VC Primary School, near Ashbourne, also had a great day out, winning the Tri-golf and finishing second in the Mini Tennis.
Parkside Junior School, of Ashbourne, were sixth in the Quadkids Athletics Primary and also took the Spirit of the Games Trophy in their event as the most sporting team.
Wirksworth’s Anthony Gell School were the winners and gold medallists in the Cyclo-cross/Grass Track Cycling Secondary event, while other teams from the school were fourth in the Boccia Plus competition and fifth in the Super Sixes Golf Plus.
And it was a highly-creditable second place and silver medals, meanwhile, for Darley Dale Primary School in the Cyclo-cross/Grass Track Cycling Primary.
Paralympian Peacock - London 2012 gold medallist in the T44 100m - was interviewed during the opening ceremony about his rise to stardom and spoke about how he had been inspired as a School Games athlete.
“These Games are so important because it teaches the kids so many different things on so many different levels,” he said. “If they can look at my journey and emulate that in any possible way, that’s going to be a huge win for me.”
World, European and Commonwealth medallist Aikines-Aryeetey was just as popular, giving a speech about the importance of having a positive, ‘can do’ attitude.
Aikines-Aryeetey said: “It has been really fun, an honour to be here. I really enjoyed listening to the young people talking about their experiences in sport, watching them in action and seeing the enjoyment on their faces.”
Both athletes took part in the opening ceremony, which saw captains from each of the school sport partnerships act as flag bearers, accompanied by athletes on the Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS) programme.
Others to show their support at the Derbyshire Sport-led event were nine-time Paralympic swimming medallist Martin Mansell, Paralympic footballer Leon Taylor and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Caroline Povey.