James qualified to represent England North U’14s in the Laser Run event being held as part of the Schools Games Final 2018 earlier in the summer.
First established back in 2006, the School Games has since become a launching pad for future Olympic and Paralympic stars, and following the success of London 2012 has taken on the mission of demonstrating the legacy around our home Games using National Lottery funding from Sport England. As at the end of the 2017 event, 19,200 young athletes have competed in the School Games – including those who have competed in former sports such as Fencing, Gymnastics, Rugby Sevens, Swimming, Table Tennis and Volleyball. Among that number are Olympic and Paralympic medal winners such as Adam Peaty, Dina Asher-Smith, Ellie Simmonds, Hannah Cockroft, Jonny Peacock and Max Whitlock.
The School Games included an Opening Ceremony and an Athletes Village, as well as the Athlete Education Programme (AEP), aimed at providing athletes with the opportunity to engage in workshops designed to prepare them for elite level sport. This included sessions delivered by UK Anti Doping (UKAD), workshops about the Integrity of Sport, as well as opportunities for athletes to spend time with Athlete Mentors to gain an insight into life as an elite athlete.
During the three days at the event, James was successful in securing two bronze medals, U14 boys team and U14’s mixed relay.
It was an amazing experience living in an athletes village, eating in the athlete’s canteens, attending lectures and workshops delivered by Olympians, mixing with over 1000 other athletes from 11 different sports and competing in front of a large crowd.
Full results and a video replay of the races is available at http://www.schoolgamesfinals.org/sports/laser-run/
The next exciting challenge is the Laser-Run World Championships being held in Dublin at the September. Both James and his sister, Sarah, have been selected to represent Great Britain in the U13 boys and U17 girls classes.
It is anticipated that there will be over 20 countries participating.