A COLOURFUL Opening Ceremony marked the start of the 31st Saddleworth Village Olympics as hundreds of children gathered at Saddleworth School to launch the event.
Boys and girls representing their seven home villages gathered on the school courts along with organisers and special guests including councillors and the Mayor of Oldham.
Adrian Green, who co-chairs the event with Jon Mayor and Martin Roo, opened the ceremony by thanking all their generous sponsors and supporters.
He said: “This event wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for all of the hard work and dedication of our committee and volunteers to make sure it goes ahead.
“Thanks to Tesco, Saddleworth School, our other venues, our caters and sponsors as they all help to make this a tremendous community event.”
The Mayor of Oldham Cllr Derek Heffernan reflected on being at the very first Village Olympics three decades ago, and then running the Springhead, Austerlands and Scouthead team for eight years.
The Games’ Oath was read by Lucy Johnson of Diggle on behalf of all competitors before all the children paraded around the courts, proudly wearing their brightly-coloured team t-shirts.
A brand new flag hand-made especially by the ladies at Uppermill Methodist Church for the event led the procession.
It was carried by Ben Aylward (Delph and Denshaw), Rhianon Langan (Dobcross), Tom Kearney (Greenfield), Harley Edge (Diggle), Isabel Smith (Lydgate, Grasscroft, Friezland and Grotton), Toby Robinson (Springhead, Austerlands and Scouthead) and Rosie Goodwin (Upppermill).
Then after a loud countdown, balloons in each of the village’s colours were released into the sky and the Games were officially declared open.
The activities run from September 10-2 and include basketball, athletics, cricket and football.