Loughborough University has been confirmed as the host city for the 2016 School Games national finals, following the conclusion of this year's event in Manchester.
Loughborough beat competition from numerous other sporting cities to win the bid, following detailed consideration from an independent panel, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust. The event brings together 1,600 of the UK's best young athletes for four days of sporting competition and will take place 1-4 September 2016.
Widely recognised as one of the UK's best sports universities and home to many elite programmes and national governing bodies of sport, Loughborough, supported by Leicestershire County Council and Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport, will host 12 sports, opening and closing ceremonies, an Athletes' Village, and thousands of spectators for the 2016 finals. This year's event, supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, concluded in Manchester on Sunday, having taken place in nine world class venues across the city.
The Games have been a launch pad for many elite athletes. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, 150 of the competitors previously took part in the School Games. Attending the 2015 event were alumni Dina Asher-Smith, Adam Peaty, Ellie Simmonds and Hannah Cockroft, who raced as a guest in two events as part of her preparation for the IPC World Championships in Doha next month.
Sport England Director of Community Sport, Mike Diaper, said: "The School Games are so important because they're where our future Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games medal winners get a real sense of what it's like at a major multi-sport competition. By bringing them together at high-profile events like this, we're giving them a head start over up and coming athletes from around the world.
"Loughborough University has a fine reputation for sporting excellence, so it's a fantastic venue for 2016. I'm certain next year will build on the brilliant finals we've had in Manchester, Sheffield and the Olympic Park."
Loughborough University Executive Director of Sport, John Steele, said: "Loughborough is proud to deliver across the full spectrum of sport, from performance to participation and from coaching to volunteering. With this in mind, I have no doubt whatsoever that we will empower our students, staff and volunteers to help deliver an unforgettable School Games experience for everyone involved. I speak on behalf of all of my colleagues at Loughborough in saying we are relishing the challenge of staging this iconic school sport event."
Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive, Ali Oliver, added: "The School Games give a true taste of high-level multi-sport competition to the UK's best school-aged competitors. I have no doubt that Loughborough will continue the excellent reputation this event has now rightly gained.
"Thank you to all those who helped make the Sainsbury's 2015 School Games in Manchester the best yet. We look forward to working with Loughborough University to welcome more young athletes, volunteers, coaches and spectators in 12 months time."
For all the highlights and wrap up from the Sainsbury's 2015 School Games, please visit click here.