With just over a month to the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Suffolk Youth Games offers young people a small taste of what it is like to take part in a large-scale, multi-sport event. In their own way, whether on the world stage or across Suffolk, both events have the power to inspire young people to grow as individuals and achieve their potential through sporting endeavour.
Up to 700 youngsters aged between nine and sixteen as well as hundreds of supporters, coaches, team managers and volunteers from the six participating Suffolk districts and the Ipswich Community Team, contributed to this well established annual sporting event, this year held in Bury St Edmunds.
Waveney District Council's Service Manager Sports & Arts, Claire Henwood who was tasked with the co-ordination of Waveney's representation said: "To be pipped at the post by St Edmundsbury was of course a blow, but all credit to them, they were the better team on the day. I am incredibly proud of the team, both young people and coaches, who made the day a memorable one, giving 100% throughout."
The Redrow Homes sponsored Games consisted of 11 events which covered athletics, badminton, basketball, cycling, hockey, judo, squash, table tennis, tag rugby and tennis with athletics including participation by disabled athletes. A pre Games coaching programme, involving over 450 children has been delivered across Waveney, introducing young people to regular sporting activity in community sports clubs and providing ongoing development opportunities so they can achieve their best.
Particularly impressive were the Waveney badminton team (Ian Moore and Charlie Aldred), tennis team (Mark & Liam Websdale), girls hockey team (Alex McGovern) and the judo team, managed by Phil Church.
Continued success by the disabled athletics team (Sue Allen) and the table tennis team (Alan & Martin Peek) saw them narrowly missing out on gold. Bronze position was secured by the athletics team (David Pimlott) and the tag rugby team (Roger Felton, Seb & Callum Anthony and Darius Mullen).
Other notable success was seen by the boys hockey team (Jason Harness, Ross Trindall and Harry Gissing), the cycling team (Kevin House and Nigel Leech) and the basketball team (Adam Davies and Ella Wisken).
Councillor Bruce Provan, Potrfolio Holder for Leisure, Tourism & Economic development said: "I would like to thank the support received from the Lowestoft & Beccles Primary School Sports Partnership, Suffolk Sport and in particular the excellent team managers who once again made the Suffolk Youth Games a sporting success for Waveney."