A RAINBOW of excited and happy children gathered at Saddleworth School as the Village Olympics 2021 officially got underway.
The event was cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic but returned this September, with organisers working hard to accommodate changes and restrictions.
The 35th edition of the multi sports festival sees the welcome addition of Lees to join Scouthead, Austerlands and Springhead under the banner of SASL.
They took their place along the six other teams for the opening ceremony, which saw hundreds of children, their families and supporters gather at Saddleworth School.
Wearing their bright t-shirts and weaving their flags and ribbons high, all the teams paraded around the courts, led by Delph Band.
George Wilson (LGFG) read the oath on behalf of all competitors before there was a countdown to officially start the games, and colourful flares filled the air.
Adrian Green, committee member, said: “The last few years have been very tough on everybody but particularly our young people so we are so glad we have been able to put this event on for them.”
He thanked the volunteers from each village and also the supporters, sponsors and local groups and businesses who helped at the opening ceremony and sporting events.
One of those was RED Manufacturing, who originally made the Olympics rings a few years ago and has just refurbished them to keep them as bright as new.
Matt Wolfenden, director at RED, said: “I loved taking part in these Olympics as a child so when the committee asked me to do the rings, I was delighted.
“It is a great event for the children and so nice to see so many people still supporting it.”
The opening ceremony launched a programme of events starting September 11-26, including athletics, tug of war, netball, rounders, tag rugby, dodgeball, basketball, hockey, swimming, badminton, football, cricket and tennis.
When the event was last held in 2019, Uppermill triumphed in the juniors and Greenfield in the seniors.
For more information, visit the website: www.saddleworthvillageolympics.co.uk