South West Youth Games in line for UK Award
One of the Westcountry’s biggest grass roots sporting events is in line for a major national award.
Last year’s Devon South West Youth Games was rescued from almost certain demise and became a massive success with over 1,000 youngsters competing in the county’s own mini-Olympics.
As one of the leading organisers of the Games, Teignbridge Council has been shortlisted in the 2016 MJ Local Government Awards, which recognises the very best in delivery of services in the community.
Organisers will find out if they have been successful at the prestigious awards ceremony in London on 16 June. The news comes in the lead up to this year’s Devon South West Youth Games, which is expected to be the biggest ever in the event’s 17 year history.
Taking place in Okehampton on Sunday 3 July, the event will feature teams from Cornwall for the first time ever as it looks towards becoming the South West Peninsula Games by 2017.
John Coates, Chairman of the South West Youth Games Trust travelled with fellow board member Nikki Taylor to London to champion the cause of the Games to the judging panel recently. He said: “Due to a lack of funding, there was a wide acceptance that the 2014 South West Youth Games were the last ever.
“But following an incredible 2015 event and the rallying of councils, volunteers and Rotary in the South West, they were a massive success with 20 competitions, 1000 youngsters and a million memories created in one incredible day.
“It is a little short of miraculous that we are now looking forward to this year’s Games with more optimism than ever before, particularly with the addition of teams from Cornwall. It is an incredible event that touches tens of thousands of people in every community.
“We have been grateful of the support from sponsors and partners so far and welcome any more parties interested in becoming leading backers, particularly in this Olympic year.
Physical inactivity is one of the biggest health challenges facing us as a nation. It is so important we give our children the opportunity to really enjoy sport and make it part of their lives now and in the future, few events do that quite as well as the South West Youth Games.”
Devon South West Youth Games, previously Devon Games To Inspire, brings young people together in a unique multi-sport day of sporting action for ages 8 -18yrs, with a number of young sports leaders, clubs, national governing bodies and volunteers running the events.
Participants gain selection by attending trials in the lead-up going for trials in their chosen sport and if they are selected, compete as part of a team from their local authority area.
The teams compete for the overall Devon South West Youth Games title – won last year by Teignbridge - and a fair play trophy. Those taking part will get free transport, a free t-shirt, the chance to win medals as the best in Devon and most importantly, an incredible, inspirational sporting experience.
To encourage children and young people of all different abilities to try out local schools, clubs and coaches are giving out ‘you’ve been spotted’ cards to potential participants.
The opportunity exists for more local businesses to be part of the 2016 Devon South West Youth Games. For as little as £750.00, businesses can be part of the county’s biggest youth sports event and play their part in grassroots development in Olympic year.