UK SCHOOL GAMES

Glasgow - 7th to 11th September 2006

 

Sam Oldham (13) and Reece Pearson (14) were selected to compete for England in the inaugural UK School Games in Glasgow.  This was a multi-sports event, and as well as gymnastics there was swimming, table tennis, fencing and athletics; both in able bodied and disabled athlete equivalent competitions.

The 1,000 plus athletes were all housed in three Athletes Villages across Glasgow.  There were opening and closing ceremonies, with the whole competition designed to mirror the Olympic games format and experience for the athletes.

The competition will be an annual event and is part of the build-up to 2012 with the Government backing the event financially. Cities are being invited to bid for the hosting of the games and further sports will be added each year, with the event in 2011 proposing to be in London with the competitors using the Olympic venues and facilities.

Sam and Reece were selected as a members of the four strong, England Under 17 Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Team. The competition was both a Team and an Individual event and was held at the Kelvin Hall Arena.

The competition was of a very high quality and with all of the England members being part of the Great Britain Junior Age Group Squads, the England Team although the youngest Team overall were considered to be one of the favourites.

This in the end was how it turned out.  England with only one person needing to perform well on the final piece, Floor, won the GOLD MEDAL by a large margin, followed by Wales in Silver and Scotland taking the Bronze.

In the individual event England finished 1st,2nd, 3rd and 4th, with only 1.1 marks covering the top three.  Sam took the SILVER, and Reece the BRONZE, behind England Team mate Reiss Beckford from South Essex.

All of this was under the watchful eyes of Cherie Blair and Kelly Holmes amongst others.

Overall the boys had a great competition and really enjoyed the whole experience, especially mixing with athletes from other sports, staying in an Athletes Village, performing in a large arena and having to cope with TV, radio and media interviews.  This will be invaluable experience as their gymnastics career progress towards 2012 and beyond.

FINAL  MEDAL RESULTS

  TEAM                                                                      INDIVIDUAL

1ST – ENGLAND    -      244.200 Points                        1ST – Reiss Beckford (ENG)

2nd – WALES        -      213.600 Points                            2nd – SAM OLDHAM (ENG)          

3rd – SCOTLAND    -       200.250 Points                           3rd – REECE PEARSON (ENG)