Friday saw fierce competition, fireworks and friendly, familiar faces marking the official opening of the 2022 SGNF!

Friday saw fierce competition, fireworks and friendly, familiar faces marking the official opening of the 2022 SGNF!

The first full day saw a variety of sports kick off, the arrival back of alumni and the highly anticipated Opening Ceremony.

Kicking off the day’s schedule there were field events over at Paula Radcliffe Athletics Stadium including High Jump, Long Jump and Pole Vault as well as a packed house and brilliant buzz for the highly anticipated Wheelchair Basketball competitions.

The highlight of the day came from Wales’ own Michael Jenkins who set a new World Record for para discus with a whopping 61.19m! An amazing achievement that has made history at this year’s event and set a European Standard!

Jessica Lee took home gold in the girl’s Long Jump with an impressive 5.19m, while it came down to the wire in a Wheelchair Basketball battle as England Green edged a close 10-9 victory against Wales. In Hockey, Ulster Girls earned a hard-fought victory to take the win.  

Other events throughout the day were packed full of excitement with a variety of sports from Netball to Modern Pentathlon, Cycling and Cricket kicking off their competition with a bang.

We were delighted to have ITV Central on hand who spoke to Paralympian and SGNF alumni Hannah Cockroft and Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of Youth Sport Trust, to chat about the joys of the School Games National Finals being back at full capacity and the importance of sport for children and young people. While the athlete lounge was open, and had the pleasure of welcoming Liz Johnson, James Wilby and Emma Reid to speak to the young athletes about their experience competing in high-profile events.

UK Anti-Doping were onsite with informative resources as part of their Education-first Programme for aspiring athletes with a team of professionals to emphasise why clean sport matters. They have a range of activities for young athletes to engage in including educational quizzes and informative games, so make sure to head down to the Athlete Lounge in James France when you get a chance over the weekend!

Taking the stage for the highly anticipated Opening Ceremony, some of our SGNF alumni paid us a visit to officially open the 2022 School Games National Finals, including Hannah Cockroft, Nathan Maguire, Oscar Kelly, Shannon Archer, Natalie Powell, and Daniel Wiffen, who all went on to compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games earlier in the year.  

For a full list of today’s results click here. To see a selection of photos from the event click here!

To get ahead of the game for the rest of the weekend, check out the full competition schedule and livestream links here.