Picture gallery: Northamptonshire School Games

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Rob Richardson, GB Paralympic sitting volleyball captain and para skeleton athlete, returned to Northamptonshire last week to Inspire young athletes at the 2016 Level 3 Winter School Games.

The event, run by the team at Northamptonshire Sport, ran from Tuesday, February 23, to Friday, February 26, covering a multitude of sports from sports hall athletics to boccia and new age kurling to tag rugby.

Competing schools qualified from their district events to reach the finals week and try to become county champions.

Rob Richardson, a lower leg amputee, captained the sitting volleyball team at the London 2012 Paralympics to eighth place and is currently busy training in the para skeleton event for the next Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang in 2018.

Rob’s visit last Thursday saw him inspiring students taking part in his chosen sport of Sitting Volleyball.

Rob opened Thursday’s event, giving a talk on his amputation, his career and some inspirational words of encouragement.

During the event, Rob encouraged everyone from the Yr 1 & 2 new age kurlers and boccia players, to the Yr 10 & 11 volleyball players.

Jo Danvers, Organiser of the Level 3 Northamptonshire School Games, said: “We are delighted that we were able to welcome Rob back to Northamptonshire.

“We knew that his visit would inspire our students and instil in them a belief that they too could become Olympians and Paralympians.

“He encouraged everyone and spent time with all of the students, encouraging them and supporting them through the day.”

The Level 3 School Games are one of the highlights of the year for School Sport in Northamptonshire.

Hundreds of teams have taken part in district competitions since September for the chance to compete in this week’s finals.

This year’s School Games saw the highest number of entrants ever with particular increases for primary schools in tag rugby, sports hall athletics, basketball and girls football.

The Northamptonshire School Games Finals week took place as Sport England announced confirmed funding for the School Games Organiser positions for the duration of the current Parliament and until the next spending review.

This is fantastic news for Northamptonshire who employ five school sport managers who will now be able to focus on building on their existing provision and increasing competitions even further.

Throughout the week, the students also had the chance to share their experiences of the School Games, to explore opportunities to pursue sporting hobbies outside school and to take part in a School Games photo competition.

For more information on the Northamptonshire School Games or how to take part in sport outside of school, visit the Northamptonshire Sport website.