Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, Sue Campbell, joined Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt and Lord Coe today at the Aquatics Centre to announce details of the 2012 School Games national event, taking place in the Olympic Park next year.
Hundreds of young athletes will have the opportunity to compete in 2012 Olympic venues, just two months before the world's elite athletes, with 35,000 spectators to cheer on 1,600 young athletes competing in four Olympic venues.
Around 1,600 of the nation's finest young sports stars will compete in a competition that mirrors the Olympic and Paralympic Games, complete with opening and closing ceremonies. The 2012 School Games national event takes place from 6-9th May next year and four Olympic venues will host the national event - the Olympic Stadium, Aquatic Centre, Velodrome and exCel Centre. Around 2,000 hotel rooms near exCel are to be pressed into service as the Athletes' Village and approximately 700 coaches, support staff and volunteers will give round-the-clock support and advice - collectively committing more than 22,000 hours of their time.
Baroness Sue Campbell, said: "This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the very best young sportspeople to have an unforgettable experience ahead of London 2012. To compete in our finest venues in front of large crowds with the Olympic and Paralympic Games so close will be very special. For the young officials and volunteers it will also be a fantastic and memorable experience."
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt said: "The School Games will be a real sporting legacy for young people from London's Olympics. The competition will use the inspiration of 2012 to transform competitive sport in schools and get more young people playing sport, long after next summer. The 2012 School Games will be the largest ever event of its kind in the UK. It will be an unprecedented opportunity for our young athletes to run on the Olympic track before Usain Bolt, cut through the pool before Michael Phelps, and feel the speed of the Velodrome before Victoria Pendleton."
The School Games is a new school sport competition, using the inspiration of London's Olympics and Paralympics to help transform competitive sport in schools and get more people playing sport. Open to all schools, there are three levels of competition (class versus class, school versus school and then county or city wide sports festivals) and a multi-sport event at the Olympic Park. The School Games will continue after 2012, and the ambition is for the finals to be held in the Olympic Park at regular intervals.
The School Games is supported by a range of partners including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, Department of Health, The Welsh Government, Sport Wales, Paralympics GB and the Youth Sport Trust. More than £100 million of Lottery and Government funding is being invested in the School Games over the next three years.