Sisters from Sunderland stole the show as youngsters from across the North East battled it out on fields, pitches and courts at a regional sports final.
The Tyne and Wear Sainsbury’s School Games, which took place at Silksworth Sports Complex, were the culmination of a series of competitions between schools that have been taking place in each local authority area since September.
I’m really proud of my girls and what they’ve achieved so far to date.
Over 600 pupils from over 50 primary and secondary schools in Tyne and Wear took part in the competition which consisted of a range of sports including golf, gymnastics, mini-tennis, quadkid athletics, rounders, cricket, rugby and volleyball.
In true Olympic fashion, there was a glitzy opening ceremony to begin the proceedings, which featured young rock band Vindico and Paralympic GB star Stephen Miller, all hosted by chair of the local organising committee, Howard Kemp.
Sunderland sisters Grace and Hannah Elliott from St John Bosco RC Primary School were two of the gymnastic competitors at the School Games.
Grace, aged nine, won bronze in the years 3-4 open age category whilst Hannah, aged seven, won gold in the infants’ years 1-2 category.
Hannah said: “It was fun meeting new people that did gymnastics as well; I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the day.”
Grace added: “We started gymnastics through our friend at school and we really enjoy it now. I enjoy the beam and vault the most.”
Both girls have been competing in artistic gymnastics for two and a half years and have been supported by mum Lisa, who was also at the event, she said: “I really enjoyed today, it was nice to meet teachers and school kids from other schools.”
Both girls, who are also keen swimmers, hope to take their gymnastic ambitions further with the Olympics set as the future target.
Lisa said: “If they keep on training they can achieve anything, they’re been picked up by a local gym that has been renowned for developing talent.
“Hannah is on an elite stream whilst Grace is on a regional stream, so both of them are doing incredibly well so far.”
Claire Lee, School Games co-ordinator at Tyne & Wear Sport, said: “It is important that we continue to motivate and inspire young people to take part in sport.
“The School Games has given children across the region the opportunity to embrace sport like never before.
“We are delighted to have engaged so many pupils in sport and we are excited by the potential of this project to have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of children and young people across the region,” she added.