Sunderland schoolchildren see prestigious rugby trophies at sports games final
More than 300 children received a bonus when they gathered to compete in a school games final at the Beacon of Light in Sunderland.
The youngsters competed in the netball and football Tyne and Wear School Games finals at the facility next to the Stadium of Light.
As well as competing for their schools, they had the opportunity to have photographs taken with the prestigious Heineken Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup trophies which were on show as part of the lead up to the weekend of European Rugby Finals taking place in Newcastle in May.
Among them were 50 pupils from Monkwearmouth Academy, Biddick Academy, George Washington primary school, Fulwell Junior school and Hill View Junior Academy in Sunderland.
Molly Aston, from George Washington, took part in the netball competition. She said: “I love playing sport.
“It helps me to relax.
“Netball is my favourite sport because you get to play as a team with your friends and I especially like shooting.”
In addition to the competitors, about 25 young people from across Tyne and Wear received training to lead and officiate at the event.
Claire Lee, school sport development manager from Tyne & Wear Sport, said: “Taking part in the School Games and representing their school as well as their local authority is something that the competitors should all be very proud of.
“It’s also a valuable opportunity for young leaders who are gaining experience of officiating at a major event.
“Having the trophies on show was an added attraction to an already exciting event and a great bonus for the young competitors and volunteers.”
Mick Hogan, Newcastle 2019 event director said: “In the build up to, and during the Newcastle 2019 Finals, we are looking to engage with a wide range of communities in the region and the trophies tour is a crucial part of this.
“Both the Heineken Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup trophies are very prestigious and impressive.
“We’re sure they will generate tremendous interest and will draw crowds to see the two trophies.
“As well as drumming up excitement for the Newcastle 2019 Finals, we want to showcase our wonderful region to fans from all over the world.”
The School Games are being delivered by the Tyne and Wear PE and School Sport Alliance, supported by Tyne & Wear Sport, national governing bodies of sports, school games organisers and other local partners.
Support of the School Games also comes from national partners including the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, Department of Health, Paralympics GB and the Youth Sport Trust.