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Published on 22 May 2017
Olympic star launches South West Games
Olympic medallist Heather Fell has fired the starter pistol in the race to compete at the 2017 South West Youth Games.
The former international Modern Pentathlete, who won silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics joined around 50 youngsters at the Teignbridge Hockey Trials at South Dartmoor Community College in Ashburton on Tuesday 16 May.
Heather Fell, Patron of the South West Youth Games said:
“It’s so important that young people have the opportunity to take part in events like the South West Youth Games. For hundreds it can lead onto a lifetime of enjoyment and the health and social benefits of sport. For a few it might even lead to the Olympics or Paralympics. “For anyone who takes part, it is a fantastic journey to be part that builds new friendships and exciting new experiences.”
Scores of trials are taking place in May and June right across the South West as young people aged 8-18 take part in trials for the Games. Formerly known as the Devon Youth Games, the newly-expanded South West Youth Games will - for the first time ever - features teams from Cornwall at the finals this summer.
Around 2,000 are expected to take part in the 2017 South West Youth Games finals at Okehampton on Sunday 9 July. Youngsters from every South West community have the opportunity to compete for their Devon district or the combined Cornwall team in over 20 sports, including able-bodied and disability disciplines for male and female competitors ranging from school year 3 to year 13.
Nikki Taylor, Teignbridge District Council’s Sports Development Officer added:
"Teignbridge District Council would like to thank all of the volunteers, team managers, clubs, schools and parents for their continued support. There are hundreds of local children and young people that attend the trials and join us on the journey to the South West’s very own youth Olympics each year.
“We have thousands of young people that have been inspired by the Youth Games over the years, many have gone on to become County, Regional or National standard athletes in a variety of sports, others have become sports leaders, officials, club committee members, PE teachers or are now studying or working in a related profession.
“The South West Youth Games brings a unique experience to us all, whether you are a competitor, volunteer, parent or official; it develops skills, improves confidence and self-esteem for our young people, promotes teamwork and pride, teaches sportsmanship and fairplay but most of all it entices us into active lifestyle choices and improves our physical, mental and social health.”