Tom Beeley and Cameron Cox, swimmers from Banchory and Dinnet respectively, are two of 1,600 youngsters competing at this year’s Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games (4-7 September), a major multi-sport event for elite young athletes.
Tom and Cameron will represent Scotland in the swimming, just one of 12 sports being contested at the four day event in Manchester which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.
While at the event, Tom and Cameron will get a taste of the pressure and excitement of competing at the highest level. They will experience an athlete’s village, take part in opening and closing ceremonies, and perform in front of a crowd of thousands.
A delighted Cameron, said: “I’m very excited, proud and honoured to be selected for the Sainsbury’s School Games. I have never been to the School Games before so I’m really looking forward to the event. It is going to be very interesting being part of a big team and to be able to get to know a lot of new people.”
Tom added, “I feel honoured to represent Scotland at the Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games. It will be an incredible experience.
I have competed at a lot of national events but to swim at a multi-sport event will be a great experience. This will give me a chance to race against people that I have never raced against before. I am also looking forward to seeing other sports. It’s fantastic that these games bring together athletes from all parts of the UK.”A number of British stars have all been on the same journey as Tom and Cameron and experienced competing at the Sainsbury’s School Games before going on to sporting success at a senior level.
In 2008 Team GB’s rising star of the heptathlon, Katarina Johnson-Thompson bagged a gold medal and with it the record of 1.78m in the Girls’ High Jump. Paralympic Swimming Gold medallist, Ellie Simmonds took gold and two silvers in the pool in 2006. Paralympic Gold Medallist sprinter Jonnie Peacock came first in 2009’s Ambulant 100m, setting a then record time of 12:85.
Alongside the competing athletes, there will be around 400 budding volunteers under 25 years old to help bring the Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games to life for the young athletes, along with thousands of spectators. Young reporters will be among the journalists reporting on the action and many of the officials will also be young people.