'Reach for the stars' School Games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium today

The Bierton School team at the event
The Bierton School team at the event

1,200 have piled into the Stoke Mandeville Stadium today to compete for medals in the Schools Games.

Dozens of schools from all over the county - from Wycombe to South Bucks, to Chiltern, Aylesbury Vale and Milton Keynes – are taking part in a fiercely-contested festival of sport.

Buckingham School children channel their inner Usain Bolt at the event

Buckingham School children channel their inner Usain Bolt at the event

In all, more than 90 schools are represented. The stadium is the main venue, but competitions are taking place across four other sites in Aylesbury as well.

There are 13 different sports, from athletics to swimming, rounders, table tennis and cycling.

The event is being organised by Leap, the Sport and Activity Partnership for Bucks and MK, in partnership with the School Games Organisers.

Olympic Gold medal hockey winner Helen Richardson-Walsh MBE spoke to the competitors during the opening ceremony.

In an inspirational address, she told cheering children: "Reach for the moon and if you miss, go for the stars."

Georgie Smith, a teacher from Bierton C of E Combined School in Aylesbury said: "I think it's a really good opportunity for children to represent their schools through sport. We get to see great team spirit and it's great to see children supporting each other even if they're not from the same school. It's really well organised too."

Tendai Mangoma, a parent from Chalfont St Peter Church of England Academy, said: "I was actually surprised as I didn't think it was this big. It's like a mini-Olympics. There's been a big team spirit and the children have really been helping each other out."

Toby Neill, a teacher from John Hampden Grammar School in High Wycombe, said: "I think it's great in terms of seeing so many kids participating on one day. It's a really fun event. I thought the opening ceremony was cracking and was pitched at the right level for the kids. It's just another fantastic opportunity for the kids to compete against each other and on a day like this, it's perfect."

Ellis Higgs, PE Co-ordinator from Giles Brook Primary School in Milton Keynes, was with 15 pupils at the games. He said: "They loved the opening ceremony and seeing the gold medal. They have never been involved in something as big as this before. The main thing is the togetherness, being part of a team and supporting each other."

For more information on the School Games or details of how Leap supports children and young people to have an active start in life visit www.leapwithus.org.uk