HUNDREDS of children from across the county enjoyed a ‘mini-Olympic style’ festival of sport yesterday at the Sainsbury’s School Games.

Schools from the Wycombe and Chiltern areas were strongly represented at the festival which took place at five sites across Aylesbury.

A total of 1300 children aged 7 – 16 took part in 13 different sports, from athletics to swimming, table tennis and a variety of disability events.

The day, organised by the Bucks & MK Sport and Activity Partnership (Leap), in partnership with the county's School Games Organisers, was the culmination of a year-long programme of qualifying competitions.

Joe Barclay, High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, who attended the games, said: "It is wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves with such enthusiasm."

Mark Ormerod, Director of Leap the Bucks and Milton Keynes County Sports Partnership, said "Today was a great opportunity for our young people to take part in their own ‘mini-Olympic’ style festival of sport, make new friends and have lots of fun. And I trust it will leave them feeling inspired to continue to take part in sport for years to come."

And a number of the children taking part seem to have felt that way.

Hannah Webber, 11, from Great Kingshill School, took part in a swimming competition. She said: "Today really inspired me to do more sport. I enjoyed taking part and all the team encouraging each other."

Amelia Tweedie, 12, from Amersham School, who competed in the 200 metres long jump and the girls’ relay race, said: "The opening ceremony felt like the real Olympics. I enjoyed competing against different people and all the leaders have been really encouraging and supportive."

Caroline Kinnane, 26, a care assistant from Hazlemere Lodge who is in the English judo team in the fortchcoming Commonwealth Games, attended the opening ceremony and read out an inspirational message. Caroline, who trained at the Amersham 61 Judo Club, said: "It's been amazing today. I didn't think this event was going to be so big."