Since its inception the School Games National Finals, previously known as the UK School Games, has striven to create an inspirational and motivational setting which helps accustom the country’s most promising young athletes to a high quality, high pressure environments.

First established back in 2006, the School Games has since become a launching pad for future Olympic and Paralympic stars, and following the success of London 2012 has taken on the mission of demonstrating the legacy around our home Games using National Lottery funding from Sport England

In over ten years of competition the Games has been hosted by cities around the United Kingdom, including Glasgow, Coventry, Bristol and Bath, Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, Gateshead, Newcastle and Sunderland, Sheffield, London and Manchester, before settling at Loughborough University, where the Games have continued to establish their place in the British sporting calendar by introducing new sports and welcoming more athletes that ever before.

As of the end of the 2021 event, 21,900 young athletes will have competed in the School Games - including those who have competed in former sports such as Fencing, Gymnastics, Rugby Sevens, Swimming, Table Tennis and Volleyball. Amongst that number are Olympic and Paralympic medal winners such as Adam Peaty, Dina Asher-Smith, Ellie Simmonds, Hannah Cockroft, Jonny Peacock and Max Whitlock.

In fact, 84 athletes representing Team GB at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo have competed at the School Games. The School Games provides a crucial environment to nurture top young athletes who come through the NGB talent systems, not only offering competition opportunities, but also providing them with a full event experience.

The School Games includes an Opening Ceremony and Athlete Education Programme, aimed at providing athletes with the opportunity to engage in workshops designed to prepare them for elite level sport. This includes sessions delivered by UK Anti Doping (UKAD), workshops about life along sport and athlete voice, as well as opportunities for athletes to spend time with Athlete Mentors to gain an insight into life as an elite athlete.

The School Games also offers additional opportunities for young people each year. Ahead of the event we reach out to our network for volunteers to assist with the running of the School Games, taken on medical staff and young media personnel and offer the opportunity to purchase tickets, either as an individual or as a school group.