May 18 2013 Latest news:
Sarah Shaffi, Olympics editor (news)
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Prince Harry has become president of the Sainsbury’s School Games, which saw elite young athletes competing in the Olympic Park this week.
The prince will help to highlight the role that competitive sport can play in making a difference in young people’s lives.
The finals for the first ever Games involved 1,600 young athletes and took place at ExCel and the Olympic Park from Monday to today.
Youngsters competed in the Olympic Stadium, the Velodrome and the Aquatics Centre today.
Competition over the three days has taken place in sports including badminton, fencing, gymnastics, wheelchair basketball, athletics, track cycling and swimming.
Prince Harry said: “Huge congratulations to everyone who has taken part in the inaugural School Games, but especially to those who have won.
“I believe that sport can give people confidence and skills which set you up for life.
“It is so important to get outside and to keep physically and mentally fit.
“I am very honoured to become the president of the School Games.”
The Games is a year-round school sports initiative, which uses the inspiration of London’s Olympics and Paralympics to transform competitive sport in schools and get more people playing.
Thousands of schools across the country have signed up to take part in local class versus class and school versus school competitions, along with county-wide sports festivals.
The School Games is supported by partners including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, Youth Sport, Trust Department of Health, ParalympicsGB, Sport Wales, Sport Scotland and Sport Northern Ireland.
More than £128million of National Lottery and government funding is being invested to support the School Games over the next three years.
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was “thrilled” that Prince Harry is backing the games, adding: “He is a great sportsman in his own right and I’m sure his support and enthusiasm will be a massive inspiration to all the young people who take part in every stage of the Sainsbury’s School Games.”