SCHOOL sports teams from across Suffolk converged in Bury St Edmunds for the inaugural Suffolk School Games Festival on Friday.
Around 1,000 children from nearly 60 different schools competed at the largest multi sport school event ever seen in the region.
The schools have been competing all year to qualify for the festival which featured nine sports, including athletics, boccia, cricket; golf, gyymnastics, panathlon, squash, swimming and tennis.
The event also had a strong inclusive element with competitions in swimming and athletics, as well as panathlon and Paralympic sport boccia, for children with disabilities.
After an inspirational opening ceremony, which featured a variety of singing, dancing and music from local schools, Olympic canoeist and sporting champion Campbell Walsh led the children in the School Games Oath.
The games were enhanced by the arrival of two Olympic Torches, proudly carried by Amy Linton and School Games organiser, Danny Thorrington. The glow of the torches outshone the dismal weather at the start of the games which meant the cancellation of the athletics events.
The school children were clearly inspired by the presence of the torch to even greater sporting efforts during the day.
As well as the young participants, the games were supported by nearly 200 young sports leaders from schools across the county, who helped with the officiating and administration of the competitions.
The Games were celebrated by all as a fantastic success and planning has already began for the 2013 Suffolk School Games as a lasting legacy for sport is built in Suffolk from the inspiration of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Years One and Two Gymnastics: Great Barton Primary; East Bergholt Primary; Nayland Primary.
Years Three and Four Gymnastics: Mellis Primary; Westgate Primary; Lakenheath Primary.
Squash: Copleston High; Thurston CC; Hadleigh High.
Boccia: Stradbroke; Priory; Stradbroke I.
Panathlon: Bury St Edmunds Schools; Ipswich Schools; Babergh Schools.
Cheerleading: King Edward VI; Stowupland High; Mildenhall College.
Swimming: Stoke by Nayland; Stowmarket Middle; Beyton Middle.
Inclusive Swimming: Beacon Hill.
Cricket: St Benedict’s Catholic School; Hadleigh High; Castle Manor.
Tennis: St Louis Primary; Pipers Vale; Risby Primary.