The UK School Games is a multi-sport event for the most talented young people in the country of school age. Responsibility for the development and organisation of the UK School Games lies with the Youth Sport Trust.
The current list of sports that young athletes compete in are:
• Table Tennis,
Each of the eight sports are combined into a four-day Games environment designed to replicate the feel of major event such as the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The aim is for the Games to grow and for there to be the introduction of more sports each year.
The UK School Games will seek to create an inspirational and motivational setting which will encourage more young people to take part in sport.
Six key themes have been created to ensure the UK School Games bring about systematic change in the way in which competitive opportunities are developed for young people and that a lasting legacy is created.
The UK School Games visions are:
1. Ongoing planning and delivery of a UK level sports event showcasing talented young sports people.
2. To bring about a step change in the content, structure and presentation of competitive sporting opportunities for young people.
3. Use the event itself, and themed branding of local and regional competitions, to raise the profile of school age competitions and the young people taking part, to promote the work undertaken in each nation to improve P.E. and school sport.
4. Integrate Olympic and Paralympic themes into the UK School Games by ensuring that the Olympic and Paralympic values are promoted through volunteer training, opening and closing ceremonies and an athlete village.
5. Create opportunities for young people to become engaged in volunteering at major sports events both as technical officials and event volunteers.
6. Ensure the event advocates and demonstrates the highest level of child protection and welfare systems.
For more information on the UK School Games please go to www.ukschoolgames.com
Volleyball in the UKSG's
In early 2007 the sport of Volleyball was accepted into the UK School Games. It was the first team sport in the event which was beginning to dominate the sporting calendar within the UK for school aged sports men and women.
The successful application for the Development Funding along with the subsequent entrance to Games was the first major step in getting Volleyball to be seriously recognised by the Youth Sports Trust.
At present there are 12 teams attending the Games, 6 in the Boys U17 and 6 in the Girls U16 competition. In both cases these 6 teams consist of; 3 teams from England, 1 from Northern Ireland and 2 from Scotland. Players are selected through a regionally structured talent development programme.
It is the immediate aim is to introduce Wales into the competition in the coming years to make this a full UK represented Competition.
At the event Teams compete for the title within both the individual Boys and Girls tournaments as well as the UK School Games Trophy which is given to the winning Division based on both the Boys and Girls performances throughout the weekend.
Dan Hunter & Beth Lowney of England South, Divisional Champions 2007
NI Division Set Up
Within Northern Ireland our talent identification programme starts at shcool level which leads into Regional Development Squads. There is one RDS squad within each of the education library boards, Belfast, South, South East, West and North East. Each squad has multiple feeder schools which combine to train and play together. The young players are competing for places within their region to play in the Sport Northern Ireland Youth Games and now for selection to train in the UK School Games squad. With an increase in schools participating NIVA hope to see strong squads from each region competing at the Sport Northern Ireland Youth Games allowing NIVA coaches more opportunity to see and select new and upcoming talent for the future.
The next stage for the young athletes competing at the UKSG is to train and aim to compete at junior national level as well as encouraging them to base themselves within a club set up.
NI Junior Men Competing in Liechtenstein