Sporting heroes show support for Turkish Airlines Birmingham School Games
Posted: Thu, 16 Feb 2017 11:29
Boxing champion Kal Yafai, Olympic medallist gymnast Kristian Thomas and England cricketer Chris Woakes were amongst some of the sporting heroes who inspired children for the Birmingham School Games.
In its sixth year, the Games took place last Thursday and Friday (9th and 10th February) at PlayFootball Birmingham and saw 1500 children from over 100 schools compete against each other. WBA super-flyweight champion Kal Yafai and Olympic winning medallist gymnast Kristian Thomas both attended the Games.
The opening ceremony on Thursday featured Kal Yafai and his brother Commonwealth super bantamweight champion Gamal Yafai. Both brothers talked about their boxing journeys and demonstrated some exciting pad work. There was also Q & A with school children as well a few children practicing their boxing skills with the champions. Both brothers were a hit with the audience and several children, teachers and event staff had plenty of photo opportunities.
After Thursdays Secondary Festival, it was the Primary Winter Festival on Friday. Gymnast Kristian Thomas was at the opening ceremony describing life as an Olympic athlete with also a Q and A session with the children. Kristian also demonstrated some cool gymnastic moves such as the handstand and the back-flip. The warm up was led by children's workout organisation Fitter Future with Kristian Thomas and set the tone for a fun and adventurous day.
Sponsored by Turkish Airlines, Birmingham School Games is an Olympic/Paralympic style school sport competition run by Sport Birmingham and is part of the Government's plans for lasting sporting legacy from hosting the London 2012 Games.
Mike Chamberlain, chief executive at Sport Birmingham said "The Games aren't just about sport, they help young people develop skills and instil values essential to everyday life such as team work, determination, honesty, passion, self-belief and respect.
"The Games are a positive example of how sport can engage young people of all ages, abilities and from a variety of backgrounds, something which has been highlighted as being essential in the Government's new sport strategy"
Birmingham Bears and England cricket all-rounder Chris Woakes posted a video message saying "Good luck to everyone taking part and I hope it goes all really well, be the best version of yourself and play with a smile on your face"
Other athletes who posted good luck messages included Paralympics athlete Sam Ruddock and Olympic medallist and former Birchfield Harrier Katharine Merry.