The Paula Radcliffe Stadium was buzzing, with athletes still feeling the excitement from the previous night’s Opening Ceremony, as the young athletics competitors got ready to fight for their spot on the podium.

William Hughes made a lightning start as he crossed the line first in a tense men’s 200m, bringing in a gold for the England North team.

He said: “It’s been great, I really wasn’t expecting to win and the weather is great, so it’s really good.”

Elsewhere, lifetime bests were being shattered by the girls. Belfast’s Anna McCauley stormed to victory in the girl’s high jump for Northern Ireland, setting a new PB when she cleared the 1.71m on her third attempt! Abbie Birch threw her own personal record in the ambulant discus combined and Emma Howe threw her way to gold with a new lifetime best of 50.34m in the javelin.

Meanwhile, England Midland’s Karim Chan ended the day victorious in the ambulant long jump with a gold medal, after his jump of 5.90m. He had recently won the long jump gold medal at the World Junior Para-Athletics Championships.

Rhea Southcott of England North set a new School Games record in the girls shot put, blasting the previous record of 14.20m with a huge throw of 14.62m.

The England North carried on their success, as the 4x100m relay girls smashed through the existing 46.44 sec School Games record, running an incredible 45.98 seconds.

In a thrilling men’s 100m race, it was England North’s Daniel Afolabi who stole the top spot on the podium, crossing the line at a phenomenal 10.86 and beating Midland’s Raphael Bouju, who just came in second with 10.88.

Daniel said: “It was a really close race, but I came out strong at the end. I’ve had a busy season; I’ve won at the ESAA English Schools’ Championships and the SIAB International this year. I’ve got the 2020 Olympics as a goal in the future.”

Wales managed to taste glory at the Rugby 7s, in an impressive game against Scotland, winning 27-5. They then won 40-5 against England North.

A strong performance from Lucy Packer meant that they were hard to beat. The Welsh team recently came third at the Commonwealth Youth Games.

The Wheelchair Basketball squads showed some talented performances. England Central left the court confident for their next game after some fantastic teamwork saw them leave with a 78-39 win against Scotland, the highest scoring game of the day.

On the other side of campus, the young judoka were gearing up. Hannah Niven was well deserving of her gold medal, conquering the opposition in the >48kg final, who she had previously lost against in the earlier rounds.

Of her success, Hannah said: “I thought it was really good, the whole experience is great because I’ve never done anything like it before! It was good to meet new people, too.”

In the boys’ competition, Artur Patemian clinched it for Scotland in the >50kg.

It was Fencing’s first display bright and early today, with a jam-packed day of skilled young competitors representing their country.

Dominic de Almeida made a great come back from his first match, winning the rest of his round, quite unstoppable. It seems like the Fighting Fit Fencing Club has trained Dominic well!

Over in New College Leicester, the first day of Cycling took place. It was the East Midlands Girls who celebrated, as they came in first in the Team Time Trial with a time of 15:12.744, with Wales girls coming in a close second at 15:12.862.

It was the West Midlands boys who came away with the men’s TTT win.

In the Table Tennis, it was England North-East and England North-West making the biggest impact, winning 5-0 over Northern Ireland and Scotland respectively.

With plenty of other sports displayed all over the campus, it was a thrilling and bustling day all round, with plenty more excitement to come over the next two days.