Budding athletes from schools in Rushmoor and Hart picked up a haul of medals in this year’s Hampshire Games.
They were among 2,500 young people from across the county who represented their local borough or district as they competed in 23 sports at the military sports facilities in Aldershot.
The event, on June 20 and 21 as part of the Sainsbury’s School Games, is designed to give many of the competitors their first taste of countywide competition and encourage them to stay in sport by joining local clubs.
Robert May’s School in Odiham dominated in the athletics track finals, winning the under-13 boys’, under-15 boys’ and under-15 girls’ categories.
St Nicholas School in Fleet secured first place in the under-13 girls’ category, making the event a clean sweep for north east Hampshire.
Elvetham Heath Primary School in Fleet took gold in the years 5 and 6 basketball contest, while Samuel Cody College in Farnborough won the years 7-9 boccia inclusive contest for disabled students.
Footballers from South Farnborough Junior School finished runners-up in their event. Golfers from Manor Junior School in Farnborough finished third in the years 3 and 4 category and first in the years 5 and 6 category.
Teams of pupils from schools across Rushmoor won gold in the years 7 and 8 boys’ basketball, and silver in the years 7 and 8 girls’ basketball.
The Hampshire Games were opened on Friday by Team GB runner Steph Twell, who competed in the 2008 Olympics and 2010 Commonwealth Games and trains with Aldershot, Farnham and District Athletic Club, and on Saturday by Leanne Davies, a promising Hampshire javelin thrower who also trains at the club.
The opening ceremonies featured performances by Shuffles Dance Studio, based at Samuel Cody College, and Oku Nojo Daiko, a Japanese taiko drumming group made up of students from across north east Hampshire.
Spectators were encouraged to enter the ‘challenge zone’ where they could try activities including a climbing wall, assault course and bungee run.
Miss Twell said: “I take great pride in motivating and inspiring young people to take up sport and raise their own aspirations of what they can achieve through events like the Hampshire Games.”
Anna Dawson, chairman of the Hampshire Games organising committee, said: “This event grows year on year and the level of commitment and dedication from the children this year has been exceptional.
“We are proud to be helping children gain experience in friendly competition. Every child should leave the games feeling inspired to take part in sport and relishing every opportunity to compete against others.”