WET and windy conditions are not putting off young competitors in this year’s Saddleworth Village Olympics.
Hundreds of youngsters and their parents gathered for the opening ceremony under grey skies and drizzling rain at Saddleworth School on September 8.
The children paraded around carrying the banners of their villages, as well as a host of eye-catching mascots including giant teddy bears and flags.
The Olympics oath was read by Dylan Reading and the games were officially opened by Richard Foster, chairman of Saddleworth Round Table.
Then after a rallying count-down, children released colourful balloons and watched them drift high into the grey sky.
That launched a schedule of three weeks of events, seeing around 1,000 children aged seven to 16 take part in 12 sports representing the 13 Saddleworth villages.
And despite poor weather conditions, the resilience of the competitors and spectators held firm and all the events have been completed so far.
Adrian Green, co-chair of the Olympics, said: “I cannot remember a Games quite so wet!
“But the dedication and commitment of the volunteers, coaches and organisers has ensured we have managed to get all fixtures completed in some pretty atrocious conditions and I am extremely proud of the team.”
The basketball event was won by Delph and Denshaw in the 12-13 age group and Uppermill in the 14-16 age group.
After some very good hockey, the very first trophies were won by the Lydgate, Grasscroft, Friezland and Grotton (LGFG) team in the 10-11 age group and Diggle in the 12-13 age group.
The trophies were presented by Amanda Smith of Oldham hockey club who helped to organise the event and she was pleasantly surprised by the standard of play from such young players.
The swimming event – wet for entirely different reasons! – was won by Delph and Denshaw in the junior age group and Greenfield in the senior age group.
The tag rugby saw some very competitive games amongst some very spirited players, with LGFG victorious in the 7-9 age group.
The 10-11 age group was finally won by Delph and Denshaw after the final game went to a ‘golden try’ when the game was tied after normal time, Greenfield being the runners-up.
Senior rounders was once again dominated by the teams from Uppermill and Greenfield, with Greenfield pipping Uppermill in the 12-13 age group but Uppermill taking revenge in the 14-16 age group.
This year, there will be overall winners in both junior and senior categories for the first time, giving villages two chances to win trophies.
The Round Table has generously donated £1,280 to the Olympics for the purchase of medals for every single participant.
The organisers are in the process of canvassing opinion from parents, participants and spectators about the future of the event and all are asked to complete a brief survey online: https://goo.gl/forms/8M5sYv6B8vFY8udq1
For a full schedule of events and more information, go online: www.saddleworthvillageolympics.co.uk