When I used to run the Sports Leaders’ Program at The Marlowe Academy, Ramsgate, one of our favourite events was the annual Infant Agility Competition. It always gave the Leaders a genuine opportunity to run a very busy event for some of the youngest children they would work with. They always rose to the occasion, and the events were always a resounding success.

Over the past week, I have been very pleased to see these competitions are still going strong, firstly in Canterbury, then today in Herne Bay. I was equally pleased to see, in both areas’ events, that Young Sports Leaders are still playing such a pivotal role in their delivery. Such is the nature of these events, they simply could not function without the input of so many young helpers.

Infant Agility is a competition designed around a set of activities, performed as a circuit by competing teams. The programme supports teacher led delivery of the core physical skills at this age including; coordination and agility, core stability, spatial awareness and many more skills. The activities are challenging, yet fun, and are specifically aimed at young pupils in the first two years of school. As the teams go from station to station, they are awarded points towards their final tally. The winning team is the one awarded the most points at the end of the circuit.

First up, last Thursday, was the Canterbury event. Organised by the Canterbury Academy Sports Partnership (CASP) and held in the Academy’s Sports Complex, pupils from all over the City attended this busy competition.

The enthusiasm of these youngsters proved infectious with teachers and support staff cheering their teams on as they completed each section of the circuit. As the kids ran, jumped, threw and bowled their way around the hall, score tallies increased and each success or personal best was applauded.

All teams tried their best to score as many points as possible, but there can only be one winner. On this occasion, Blean Primary School were crowned Champions and will go on to represent Canterbury Schools in the Kent School Games Finals.

Earlier today, I attended my first Herne Bay School Games Organiser (SGO) event as their Infant Agility competition took place. Herne Bay High School was the venue and the event featured almost twenty teams from the local area. Such was the popularity of the event, an overflow area was set up to accommodate teams on a rest break from the main circuit. The youngsters moved around from station to station as their scores added up to make their eventual grand total. Congratulations to eventual winners, Ethelbert Road Primary School, and to Hampton’s A Team and Ospringe who came in joint second place.

Although the two events took place in different areas, and featured pupils from different schools, there were a number of striking similarities between them. As with all the school sporting events I cover, I will never cease to be amazed by the energy levels, enthusiasm and sense of fun with which they are approached. It is a massive credit to the schools and their pupils who attend these events that they always seem to strike such a healthy balance between competition, fair play and fun. To see so many young people genuinely enjoying their sport is heart-warming. I spoke with a number of the teams at both events and the positive comments were mirrored. Each seemed to have their particular favourite activity but every single team member seemed determined to do their best to help their friends and school.

I would like to thank everyone involved at both events for making me feel so welcome and I look forward to visiting again soon.

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