Olympic bronze medal gymnast Beth Tweddle opened the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent School Games on Friday in front of 1,200 young athletes at Keele University.
The students, from primary and secondary schools across the county, competed in 18 different sports on the campus and at the Fenton Manor sports complex in Stoke – and it would have been more if rain had not stopped play in other disciplines.
It was the second time that the Games - which have been awarded £160,000 of funding over three years from Sport England through the National Lottery – have come to Keele, where local MP Paul Farrelly and Borough Mayor Eddie Boden were guests at the grand opening.
Teams from schools across Staffordshire and Stoke qualified for the events after winning district level tournaments. The national finals will be held in the autumn.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Farrelly said: ‘It was inspirational for the children to meet Beth and listen about all the challenges she overcame to win bronze at the London Olympics, after just missing out on the medals before’
“These games are a fantastic way of maintaining the spirit of the Olympic Games and, for the competitors, meeting a star athlete like Beth was a real bonus. She is a perfect example of what can be achieved in sport through hard work and dedication.”
Pictured are Paul (centre) and Eddie Boden with Beth Tweddle and her Olympic medal.