Viking Academy Trust Summer Games are a Sporting Success Story
Paralympian snowboarder James Barnes-Miller has declared the first Viking Academy Trust summer games a great success.
The athlete who was educated in Broadstairs made a special guest appearance on the final day of the week-long challenge between children from each of the Trust schools – Upton Juniors in Broadstairs, Ramsgate Arts Primary, and Chilton Primary at Pegwell – competing in mixed teams.
He said: “This is a really cool competition. It is awesome that children are getting into sport and competing. Keeping active and building and maintaining fitness is really important from a young age. I was really impressed with the enthusiasm that I saw.”
James, who is looking forward to taking part in the World Cup in Holland and the World Championships in Finland, chatted with competitors and posed for photographs on the Upton school playing fields.
All week the individual ‘house colours’ from each school combined to face each other in competition solely for the VAT Games.
Competition was fierce but friendly as pupils of all ages did their best in a wide range of activities and sports to accumulate points all week for their house, with ‘red house’ being declared the overall winner of the inaugural VAT Games. A trophy bearing the winning colours will be held at each school until the next summer games.
Each ‘house’ represented a sporting hero from Kent. Yellow represented James; red represented Olympic double gold medallist athlete Dame Kelly Holmes; blue was for Kent cricketer Tamsin Beaumont; and green was for runner Adam Gemili, who has won gold and silver European, World and Commonwealth championship medals.
The week began with youngest pupils competing in events aimed at their ability and age range such as balancing on a beam, skittles, and a fancy dress relay. [To read more about it and see the gallery, please click below.]
The grand finale on the Friday saw old pupils competing in tri-golf, kwik cricket, squash-related activities, tennis, soccer, rugby, netball, rounders, speed bouncing, long jump, and track events including 100m, 200m and 4×100 m relay.
Sports coach Emma Knight from Chilton Primary co-ordinated the games assisted by sports teachers Scott Tift from Upton and Jenny Horrigan from Ramsgate Arts Primary. Student sports leader students from Dane Court Grammar School acted as timekeepers, point scorers and marshalls.
The organisers said:
“This was a fantastic event that shows the high levels of skill and commitment our children have to sport. The whole week demonstrated friendship in sport and we are proud of them all, not just the winning house.
We also want to thank our sponsors for the games – DMK well engineering, GCS, Pfizer and Ramsgate Trophies.”
Michaela Lewis, Executive Head Teacher of the Viking Academy Trust, said:
“The VAT Games was our first ever large sporting celebration involving all three schools.
It was a huge undertaking and was brilliantly organised by our sports specialists. It was a great success and it really highlighted the strong sense of partnership and community between the Trust schools. Every single competitor deserved to be on the winning side – they were all winners for me.”
*Viking Academy Trust Games final positions
Team Holmes (red) won overall with 6,077 points, with Team Barnes-Miller (yellow) a close runner-up on 5,845 points. Team Beaumont (blue) gained 5,448 points, and Team Gemili (green) scored 5,312.
Thank you to the Viking Academy Trust and James Barnes-Miller for this wonderful event, inspiring a real sense of community spirit in our young people and for hosting such wonderful games for the schools in the trust.
At times it can seem that the hard work and determination it takes to become an Olympian is reserved for people that we will never meet, but James proves that it is an attainable goal for anyone who has the passion and drive to practice and strive to achieve their dreams. We’re sure the children had lots of questions for him and who knows… Thanet may see another Olympian in the future who heralds back to how James and the Trust Games inspired them.
Congratulations to everyone who took part and gave it their all and a special congratulations to Team Holmes!
**Please note that the delay in sharing this article was for safeguarding reasons. Quite rightly, both the Viking Academy Trust, the schools and Educational Life CIC take safeguarding our young people extremely seriously.**
Please take a look through our galleries from the week’s events and feel free to share this article with anyone who may be interested.