Over 6,000 Birmingham children to take part in UK's biggest Olympics-themed schools project


Over 6,000 children from Birmingham are set to take part in the UK's biggest Olympic school sports event this summer.

Over the next two months, pupils from 17 primary schools across Handsworth will be coming together to participate in the “Schoolympics” — described as an “explosion of colour, youthfulness and excitement” to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Youngsters aged between five and 11 will engage in 16 different sporting events such as gymnastics, athletics, archery, football and BMX cycling — with the winners receiving medals especially designed by pupils.

The Schoolympics programme runs until July. A spokesperson for event organisers the Handsworth Association of Schools (HAS) — an educational charity which comprises 24 primary, six secondary and one special school in the area — says the massive project is an “incredible opportunity to inspire young people with the Olympic spirit”.

Anita Harding, HAS Strategic Manager said: “We believe that the Schoolympics is the biggest Olympic programme involving primary schools in the whole of the country and our teachers, children and staff cannot wait to get our celebration off the starting line.

“Once-in-a-lifetime tournaments such as the Olympic Games not only showcase the nation but also have huge potential for engaging and reaching young people in a way few other events can.

“The project is a fantastic way to mark the London Olympics in a memorable way and over the next few month it will inspire over 6,000 young people in Birmingham to share in the incredible Olympic spirit of achievement and co-operation.”

Recent research by educational charity the Centre for British Teaching (CfBT) shows that 'mega-events' such as the Olympics can have long-lasting educational benefits.

This includes increased participation in school sports and exercise, promote values of teamwork and friendship, and teaching children about collaboration and citizenship, culture and enterprise, and internationalism.