The Sainsbury's UK School Games 2011, this year hosted by Sheffield from the 1st - 4th September, is set to be bigger than ever before and will be the most inclusive in the history of the competition.
The Sainsbury's UK School Games, delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, will see 1,600 of the UK's elite school aged athletes compete across 12 sports, five of which have a disability element incorporated within athletics, swimming, table tennis and new for this year, fencing. This year a brand new disability sport, wheelchair basketball, has also been included in the line-up.
In addition to the competitive disability sports featured in this year's Games there will also be a whole host of demonstration events. On Friday 2 September there will be visually impaired displays in both judo (13:00-14:00) and adrenaline fuelled mountain biking (14:00-15:00). Sunday will see on-court demonstrations in sitting volleyball (11:30-13:00) with GB players and coaches providing commentary to highlight the level of skill and challenge involved in this form of the sport.
Ali Oliver, Director of Sport at the Youth Sport Trust commented on this year's inclusive schedule of activities: "This year's Sainsbury's UK School Games is the most inclusive Games and we are delighted to present wheelchair basketball as a new sport for 2011.
"It's great to see so many young and talented athletes with disabilities this year with five sports hosting disability competition. I'm excited to see some of the demonstrations which will help in raising the profile of some unique and exciting sports."
It is through £750,000 of additional National Lottery funding from Sport England that wheelchair basketball as well as a second new sport for 2011, rugby sevens, have been included in the Games. Mike Diaper, Sport England Director of Youth and Communities, commented: "We are delighted our National Lottery investment is helping give disabled athletes a chance to take part in this fantastic multi sport event. Our aim is to get more disabled people playing sport and the Sainsbury's UK School Games is a key part in helping achieve this."
Wheelchair basketball tips off on Friday 2 September at 2pm in the Motorpoint Arena, which will also play host to the Opening Ceremony the night before.
The full Sainsbury's UK School Games 2011 programme includes athletics, badminton, cycling (mountain biking), fencing, gymnastics, hockey, judo, rugby sevens, swimming, table tennis, volleyball and wheelchair basketball with disability competition in athletics, fencing, swimming, and table tennis.
The UK School Games has been funded since 2008 with a £6million grant from Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to help build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Sainsbury's is proud to be sponsoring the UK School Games for a second year running and in addition to their Active Kids scheme is committed to promoting a healthier, active lifestyle for young people of all ages and abilities.