Youngsters from across the country descended on Loughborough to perform under the watchful eyes of Youth Sport Trust ambassador and former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, Bounce from Flawless and Lizzie Gough from Alesha Dixon’s Street Stars, in a bid to win the YST Factor.
Da Luniz from Our Lady & St. Chad Catholic Academy in Wolverhampton were crowned the winners with their unique street dance style take on Humpty Dumpty, which the judges all liked for its originality.
Dance teacher at Our Lady & St Chad, Zoe Phillips, said: “It was amazing for our students to win. The standard was amazing so I’m really proud we won and it will be exciting for them all to perform again.”
The winners fought off competition from young people from across the country to secure their place to perform at the 2016 School Games national finals, backed by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.
Mya Wright (14) was among the 14-strong group dancing for the wining spot. She said: “I love my dancing and it was so exciting to see the judges and perform for them.”
Kimberly Wyatt, Youth Sport Trust ambassador, was on the panel of judges, and added:
It has been really fun to be part of the judging panel for the YST Factor and watching so much talent from these young people from across the country.
The variety of acts has been exceptional and it has been a joy to judge; although choosing a winner was tricky from such a pool of talent. Seeing the confidence and creativity of these young people expressing themselves through their acts has been very special for all of us and I wish all the entrants the best of luck for their futures.
In second place was Daniel Wilkinson from Greenfield Community College in Newton Aycliffe, and in third a dance group from Macmillan Academy in Middlesbrough.
Youth Sport Trust Director of External Relations, Phil Chamberlain, said: "The School Games National Finals is a huge event that gives a true taste of high-level multi-sport competition to the UK's best school-aged competitors. It has the feel of a mini-Olympic and Paralympic Games and as such the YST Factor offers an excellent opportunity for young talented performance artists to realise their dreams in front of a large audience.”
The School Games National Finals 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 at Loughborough University.
Many Olympians and Paralympians hoping to head to Rio this year have competed in previous School Games including Dina Asher-Smith, Jonnie Peacock, Adam Peaty, Ellie Simmonds and Hannah Cockroft.
The School Games National Finals are supported by a range of partners including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, the Youth Sport Trust, Department of Health and British Paralympic Association.