The world class facilities of the Sports Training Village welcomed thousands of school pupils on Wednesday (July 8.) when it successfully hosted the West of England Sainsbury’s School Games.
Pupils from schools across the South West participated in tennis, netball, cricket, athletics, table tennis and volleyball among other sports and were greeted by an opening speech from international athlete Lesley Owusu.
Owusu, 37, is a consultant and motivational speaker on top of her athletics career in which she once broke the British record in 600 yards.
Speaking ahead of the day of sport, Ghana-born Owusu gave an emotional talk to the children.
“When I was seven years old I raced against an older girl, Julie, who was the fastest girl in the school.
“I wasn’t given a chance,” Owusu added. “But I did what the professionals did – I said ‘on your marks, set, bang!’. I ran and ran and ran – I was like Forest Gump! In the end I won that race and I haven’t looked back since.
“Sport is you, sport is me, sport is life.”
Activities at the STV included competitions for individuals and teams who had qualified through regional qualifiers, as well as pop-up games aimed at sparking the interest of children in new sports.
The day made use of the STV’s sports hall, tennis courts and outdoor athletics track.
The event was also an opportunity for school dance clubs and musicians to provide their fellow pupils with performances prior to the beginning of the various competitions.