The London 2012 Olympic Games arrived early at Southfields Community College in London today as school children enjoyed a morning to remember to celebrate the start of this year's Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week - Britain's biggest school sport event.
Olympic gold medallists Sir Chris Hoy and Jonathan Edwards joined more than 150 pupils from five London schools split into seven different teams, each representing one of the Olympic or Paralympic values - respect, excellence, friendship and courage, determination, inspiration and equality.
With just over a year to go until London 2012, Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week is using the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to inspire pupils to do more sport and physical activity, while also encouraging them to aim for personal bests. Sir Chris and Edwards joined in with the school children as they competed in events such as table tennis, badminton, rowing, goalball, boccia, trampolining and sitting volleyball.
Lloyds TSB ambassador, Sir Chris, said: "School sport is something I am very passionate about and it was great to see such a fantastic school at Southfields Community College get involved. I was lucky in that at my school there were lots of sporting opportunity but that is not the same across all schools and that is what Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week is all about. The fact that everyone is able to try something new is fantastic and hopefully the kids will carry it on."
More than four million young people from schools across Britain have signed-up to take part in National School Sport Week, an initiative run in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, which runs from today right through until July 1 and is part of the London 2012 Get Set+ education programme.
But it wasn't just London schools that got in on the act during the opening day of National School Sport Week, with schools in Stoke and Wigan also putting on a London 2012-themed show. Nearly 200 11 and 12-year-olds from 16 Stoke schools descended on Fenton Manor Sports Complex, with each school adopting an Olympic country for an opening ceremony. The school children then took part in an 'achieve your personal best challenge', trying their hand at basketball, athletics and volleyball. Mastermind of the event was North Stoke School Sport Partnership Development Manager Nigel Edwards and he was delighted at the turnout.
"To see so many young people enjoying sport and having fun doing it was exactly what we set out to do and I am confident everyone enjoyed themselves."
Meanwhile, Robin Park Arena saw 13 Wigan schools and about 600 boys and girls from years seven to nine strut their stuff at a number of Olympic sports. The Mayor and Consort of Wigan Council, Councillor Joy Birch, was a proud onlooker as the youngsters competed in basketball, hockey, indoor rowing and handball to name just a handful of the sports on show.