YOUNG people will be able to try one of 20 different sports as part of this year’s Specsavers Youth Games.
The biennial event is jointly hosted by the Guernsey Sports Commission and Specsavers and all Year 5 and 6 pupils are being encouraged to sign up to represent their district and try a sport they don’t usually take part in. The children will have the chance to train in their new sports before the final competition on ‘Games Day’ on Saturday 22nd May.
The GSC’s Youth Games Coordinator, Jenny Murphy, said this year’s event was going to be bigger and better than ever before.
‘This will be the ninth Specsavers Youth Games and we are excited to have two new sports - climbing and lacrosse - joining us this year, meaning young people can choose from an even wider range of activities.
‘This is a great opportunity for young people to take part in a large-scale and exciting event. It will encourage them to establish new friendships, build their confidence and improve social and life skills, while getting free access to a new sport,’ said Jenny.
The aim of the games is to promote the value of sport to young people with the emphasis on fun and fair play. In order to learn as much as possible about each sport, coaching sessions will take place in the six weeks before the games themselves.
‘We couldn’t do this without the amazing support from our member sports and their coaches and volunteers who go out of their way to make sure the young people have the opportunity to learn about their chosen sport, understand the skills and tactics needed, and get the chance for plenty of practice before the final competition on Games Day.
'Since the first Games in 2005, the event has hosted nearly 4,000 children and fortunately Specsavers has been happy to carry on supporting us to make this biennial event an unforgettable day in the island’s sporting calendar,’ said Jenny.
A brochure and application form will be handed out to all pupils in Years 5 and 6 over the next two weeks outlining all of the sports available, the training dates and times and any further requirements for selecting the sports. The young people compete for the districts in which they live, with points being scored in each individual sport competition contributing to a final overall team score, which is announced at a fun closing ceremony at the end of Games Day.
With the postponement of the 2021 Island Games, Specsavers co-founder Dame Mary Perkins, hoped that the event would continue to inspire a new generation of athletes.
‘We are delighted to be able to continue our support of the Specsavers Youth Games,’ she said.
‘The atmosphere at the games is always electric and the smiles on the children’s faces remind me what this event is all about – encouraging and nurturing sport among our young people in Guernsey, building their confidence, having fun and giving them a chance to make new friends.’