About the School Games National Finals

The 2022 School Games National Finals was a major multi-sport national stage event for talented young athletes across the UK.

It took place at Loughborough University from Thursday 01 September to Sunday 04 September. 1,000 young athletes competed across 10 sports, including disability disciplines, at venues across the Loughborough University Campus, the surrounding Leicestershire area, and Derby. 

In its 15th year, the event took place thanks to National Lottery funding from Sport England as part of the organisation’s Birmingham 2022 legacy investment and was delivered by the Youth Sport Trust. Held at Loughborough University, it provided the young athletes with first-class facilities and the experience of being in a multi-sport competition akin to Commonwealth Games, Olympics, and Paralympics. 

Following the pandemic, the School Games National Finals this year welcomed back spectators, enabling families, friends, and visitors to see the launching pad for future Commonwealth Games and Olympic stars. For spectators unable to attend, those at home could watch all the action through live streaming of the event on the Youth Sport Trust YouTube channel. 

Opportunities outside of competition included the Athlete Education Programme, which saw YST’s athlete mentors including Paralympic Games gold medallist swimmer, Liz Johnson, and former Olympian in rowing, Toby Garbett, provide innovative workshops focused on athlete wellbeing aimed at providing young athletes with skills for life. Competitors could also engage with partners such as Loughborough University, UKAD, and CPSU to learn more about competing at the top level. 

The event featured 10 sports which included Athletics, Cricket, Cycling BMX, Cycling Road & Track, Hockey, Modern Pentathlon, Netball, Triathlon, Wheelchair Basketball, and Wheelchair Tennis. Following the cancellation of the BMX Event in 2021, the sport made its full programme debut and featured both the technical and speed sides of the sport, with a skills competition on campus on Saturday and the speed element at Derby BMX track on Sunday. There were para competition formats in Athletics, Cycling, Triathlon, Wheelchair Basketball, and Wheelchair Tennis. 

The event was established after London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and demonstrates the legacy of our home Games. The event has evolved and adapted since its inception in 2006. It was previously named differently as UK School Games. The Games have since been hosted by Glasgow, Coventry, Bristol and Bath, Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, Gateshead, Newcastle and Sunderland, Sheffield, London, Manchester, and now Loughborough University.

Did You Know?

  • 1,000 school-age athletes from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland competed at venues across Loughborough University campus/area, Derby, and Donnington. 
  • By the end of the event, 22,900 young athletes have competed at the School Games National Finals since 2006. 
  • 265 School Games National Finals alumni represented the Home Nations at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Alumni have secured 100 medals that include 31 golds, 35 silvers, and 34 bronzes placing them 3rd if they were all to compete as a nation in the medal table. Medallists included Katarina Johnson-Thompson (England), Hannah Cockroft, Adam Peaty, Eilish McColgan, Olivia Breen, and Bethany Firth. 
  • 84 of the athletes representing Team GB at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo have competed at the School Games National Finals. Alumni secured 29 medals across 21 events, including 8 golds. Medallists included Adam Peaty, Max Whitlock, Dina Asher Smith, and Alex Yee. 
  • 38 of the athletes representing Team GB at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo have competed at the School Games National Finals. Alumni secured 36 medals across 34 events, including 12 golds. Medallists included Hannah Cockroft, Aled Davies, and Lauren Steadman.