The P&G Surrey Youth Games were launched at Nescot College by Youth Olympic Silver medallist Aydin Djemal, on Tuesday 27 March as pupils from Wallace Fields primary school were treated to an afternoon sampling six of the 13 different Youth Games sports, loudly cheered on by mascots from Woking, Spelthorne, Elmbridge, Runnymede and Epsom & Ewell borough councils.
Speaking at the launch, Nescot student Stephanie Allen recounted how she had taken part in the football competition at the Games some years ago, and how much she had valued the experience, gaining confidence and a passion for sport along the way. This has culminated in Stephanie studying a sports development, coaching and fitness diploma at Nescot.
After a Q and A session with speed skating winner Djemal, who was inspired by playing hockey at the Youth Games as a Surrey schoolchild, Sports students from Nescot College organised coaching sessions in cricket, rugby, football, hockey, tennis and badminton for local pupils. Free coaching sessions in all of these sports will start in every Surrey council area immediately after the Easter holidays, in preparation for the Games Extravaganza on June 16 and 17.
Linda Jacks, P&G Surrey Youth Games Event Manager, is passionate about the power of the Youth Games in inspiring youngsters to get involved in sport: ‘The P&G Surrey Youth Games allows young people to try out a sport that they haven’t had the chance to try before, and all at no cost. Then, if they like it, they are given details of their local club so that it’s easy for them to continue. What happens is that, once they’ve taken part at the Games weekend, and experience the fantastic atmosphere, they get bitten by the bug and want to continue,’ she said.
The Games are open to all Surrey residents aged between 7-16, who are not already playing sport at county level. Youngsters who fancy having a free go at badminton, basketball, boccia, boxing, cricket, football, hockey, judo, netball, rugby, squash, swimming or tennis, should get in touch with their local council sports development officer or go to the organiser’s website www.activesurrey.com.
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