First Ever Cornwall Virtual School Games Engages 10,000 Young Children from Across Cornwall
The first ever Cornwall Virtual School Games, sponsored by the University of Exeter took place from Monday 22nd - Friday 26th June 2020 and had over 10,000 unique participants and nearly 40,000 individual results registered, seeing incredible levels of participation!
Coming at a time when not all children were in School and routines were out the window the Cornwall Virtual School Games brought teachers, parents and children together to feel part of a team and represent their school in a number of challenges.
James Ross from St Breock School in Wadebridge said:"This week's been great for us as a school connecting home and school children and parents, thanks for all your efforts and it's been well worth it!"
Erin a year 4 pupil from Constantine Primary School also said:"It helps me feel connected to my friends who I haven't seen at all during lockdown"
It all started with a virtual opening ceremony on the Monday and finished with a virtual presentation and closing ceremony on the Friday. Children completed 14 different sport-based challenges which were for all children of all abilities in Cornwall, from reception through to year 10. The challenges varied from athletics through to volleyball and even had a week-long challenge called 'Making Up the Miles' encouraging children and their parents to move more during the week.
There was one challenge per day with Athletics on Monday, Bowls & Boccia on Tuesday, Dance & Gymnastics on Wednesday, Volleyball on Thursday, Tennis on Friday and throughout the whole week'Making Up the Miles'. All Results were announced on Friday 26th June 2020 and can be seen on the Cornwall Virtual School Games website.
Neil Eddy, School Games Organiser from Mounts Bay Academy said:"We are overwhelmed with the engagement we have had with our first virtual games. Sport always has the ability to bring people together, we will look to continue to build on this in the future."
Mylee a pupil at Heamoor Primary commented:"I really enjoyed all the different activities through the week, my favourites were gymnastics and tennis. I loved doing it with my mum and brother. I want to do more gymnastics now!' which really demonstrates the impact the Virtual Games had to sustained participation in physical activity."
Staying in West Cornwall Ian Veal, Head of PE from Mounts Bay Academy went on to say"What an incredible event the Virtual School Games has been this week. So fantastic to see the pupils of Mounts Bay Academy taking on the challenges and really enjoying the fun aspect of it. Well done to the School Games Organisers and Active Cornwall for putting this together and all their hard work."
The Cornwall Virtual Games also focused on the '5 Ways to Wellbeing' linking how being physical activity and completing the challenges can support each of the 5 ways of Give, Keep Learning, Take Notice, Connect and of course Be Active. Every day of the week a video was released focusing on one of the ways and this can be viewed here.
Luxulyan School in Bodmin commented:"Thank you so much for organising the Virtual School Games, Luxulyan children, staff and parents really enjoyed engaging with all the activities and the '5 Ways to Wellbeing' in such an inclusive week."
The Virtual School Games was delivered by a small team at Active Cornwall with some amazing support from all the schools and their teachers getting behind it in such a positive way. A big thank you to our amazing Ambassador Paralympian David Wetherill, our sponsors the University of Exeter, Pirate FM and Neil Caddy for their support, the young leaders who created the challenge videos and especially Reehan and Gwen at Poltair, Mr Timothy Williams from Mounts Bay Academy for his expert skills on excel, The Cornish Pirates for getting behind the challenges, Sport England for investing in the School Games, our counties 4 School Games Organisers. A huge thank you must go to all of these.
Dan Lugg, School Games Organiser from Penryn College commented:"This week has been amazing to be a part of, with so many schools and young people engaging it has been fantastic, I cannot thank the schools and parents enough for participating. We hope we have created a real focus this week for all to engage in physical activity and looking after their wellbeing through the daily challenges. To see such smiling faces and enjoyment after the period we have faced has been simply brilliant."
Julie Ponting, a School Games Organiser from East Cornwall based at Callington Community College commented:"What an amazing achievement by all the primary and secondary schools in Cornwall. Thank you so much for getting on board, especially during these trying times for schools. What a fantastic effort from all involved: parent, carers, siblings, staff, grandparents, great grandparents and not forgetting our outstanding athletes, you have all made our first ever Cornwall Virtual School Games one to remember."
Megan Hilley from Active Cornwall said:"The first ever Cornwall Virtual School Games has been hugely successful in getting children, young people and families active during the school closures. This unique School Games has been extremely valued during this time as it has given schools a chance to engage with a wide and varied audience of pupils that might not normally get the opportunity to compete for and represent their school. The engagement was phenomenal and participation throughout the week was sustained successfully by teachers' commitment to getting their students active. To have over 10,000 unique participants from all ages across the county just emphasises the enormous reach a virtual event can have. Because of this, I think it's safe to say that the Virtual School Games is here to stay!"
Who knows the Cornwall Virtual School Games may even return in the Summer Holidays for parents and children - watch this space!
For more information on the Cornwall Virtual Games and to see the results, challenges and videos from the week please visit the Cornwall Virtual School Games wepage or send us an email to CornwallSchoolGames@cornwall.gov.uk