Local children inspired to achieve their personal best

With only two years to go until the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, children from Winchester have been given the chance to take part in a special ‘personal bests’ competition at the Winchester Sports Stadium.

The competition saw over 80 children from Winchester primary schools involved in a variety of sporting events including a 20 metre sprint, 12 metre hop, 20 metre hurdles, discus, javelin, and long jump.

The main aim of the day was for children to record their individual scores and then attempt to beat them to drive their aspirations. Each event was overseen by local young leaders from the Toynbee School Sports Partnership who hope to be given a chance to volunteer at the 2012 Olympics.

Not only were children able to take part in sporting events, but they also welcomed a visit from World Junior 1500m Champion and Beijing Olympian Stephanie Twell. Stephanie took time out from her preparations and training to deliver inspirational talks to the children about her involvement in athletics from a young age to her gold medal winning run at the World Junior Championships in Hungary in 2008.

The event was coordinated by Winchester District Sport and Physical Activity Alliance (SPAA). It hopes to repeat the event each year to give young people the opportunity to try new sports. It is just one of a number of events event that the SPAA are planning in the build up to 2012.

Cllr Lucille Thompson, Winchester City Council Portfolio Holder for Communities said: "The event has been magnificent for young people to come along and try to achieve their own very best scores at specific athletics events. The fact that we have more than 80 young children here already, being inspired by 2012 to pursue their dreams, shows how the Olympics will affect every community. Well done to all the children who took part!"

Stuart Barlow, Chair of the SPAA, added: "We have a number of objectives to achieve over the subsequent years in the build up to the 2012 Olympics and following on from the games to ensure its legacy is long lasting. This first event has shown our commitment to raising the aspirations of young people and providing them with a platform to achieve."

For more information on all local activities in the lead up to 2012, please visit www.winchester2012.co.uk