Ready, set, go: Saddleworth Village Olympics

SCHOOL CHILDREN from across the community will compete in the Saddleworth Village Olympics this month.

Up to 1,000 competitors aged between seven and 16 years will represent the area in seven teams in the annual sporting spectacle from September 7-22, competing in 11 sports.

An opening ceremony at Saddleworth School will kick start the event, which is in its 28th year, and all teams will parade before the Olympic Declaration is read out.

Then over the following weeks children will take to the field for football, cricket, rounders and tag rugby, as well as taking part in athletics, netball and swimming.

Last year’s addition dodgeball is once again on the schedule, along with basketball, badminton and tennis.

Trophies will be awarded at the closing presentations ceremony, with the Frank Sykes Memorial Fair Play Trophy, named after the founder, presented to the village that best epitomises the Olympic spirit.

The ethos of the Games is to promote and strengthen the community through a common interest in sport and to learn about the importance of having a go whatever the result.

Spirit of The Olympics awards will also be awarded to a boy and girl from each village for their outstanding Olympics spirit.

Dave Wilson, chair of the organising committee, said: “We are all looking forward to a fantastic three weeks of sport and would encourage all school-age children across Saddleworth to come and have a go. Let’s hope the weather is kind.”

Backing from the Saddleworth Round Table, the Saddleworth Rotary Club, Saddleworth and Lees District Partnership, and local councillors has ensured the Games go ahead despite mounting insurance costs and hire fees.

A bag pack at Tesco in Greenfield was organised to raise funds, and local businesses are helping to cover costs of equipment, the website, tee shirts and medals.

For more information about the Games or to register visit: www.saddleworthvillageolympics.co.uk

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