Sainsbury's stores in Sheffield are teaming up to raise awareness of this year's Sainsbury's UK School Games. Colleagues at nine Sheffield stores will take part in the ‘Sainsbury's UK School Games Relay Race' - an event which will see a Sainsbury's UK School Games flag carried between 13 Sainsbury's stores in total in the run up to the Games, which take place in Sheffield from Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th September.
The relay begins at 10am on Monday 29th August at Sainsbury's Mansfield and on Tuesday 30th August at 1pm, Dan Crofts, Chris Sanders and Paul Pryor will be flying the flag for the Crystal Peaks store by cycling to Sainsbury's Archer Road - a distance of seven miles. From there, the flag will be transported across eight more Sheffield stores, including The Moor main store and six convenience stores.
Every store will also use the relay to raise money for local charities. This includes Crystal Peaks, who will be raising funds for St Luke's Hospice.
The flag will be carried between all 13 participating stores over Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, arriving at the opening ceremony of the Sainsbury's UK School Games at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield at 8.30pm on Thursday 1st September.
With just a few days to go before the start of the relay, Sainsbury's Regional Operations Manager Alan Ormrod said: "My team can't wait to play our part in raising the profile of this year's Sainsbury's UK School Games and it's great for Sheffield to be the host city for the games this year. We hope our customers across Sheffield can cheer our team on and we would like to wish all of the young athletes in Sheffield the very best of luck at the Games, which Sainsbury's is proud to be sponsoring."
One member from all nine Sheffield stores taking part will also be involved in the final leg of the relay, from Sainsbury's Arundel Gate Road in Sheffield to the Motorpoint Arena on Thursday 1st September. The final leg will see 15 Sainsbury's colleagues carry the flag to the arena, where Ellie Simmonds, Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games gold medallist and London 2012 hopeful, and face of the Sainsbury's Active Kids scheme, will be handed the flag to officially launch this year's Sainsbury's UK School Games.
Ellie said: "Sport is something that everyone can enjoy, no matter what their ability. It fosters competitive spirit, teaches team work and builds confidence among kids.
"The UK School Games was among the first national competitions that I took part in and I am sure that many of the top sports people of the future will be competing in Sheffield in this year's Games."
Through £750,000 of additional National Lottery funding provided this year by Sport England, two new sports - wheelchair basketball and rugby sevens - will be included in the 2011 Sainsbury's UK School Games. Wheelchair Basketball is the first sport to be included purely for disabled athletes.
The UK School Games has been funded since 2008 with a £6million grant from Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to help build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Games, which began in 2006 and are run by the Youth Sport Trust, will showcase 1,600 of the UK's most talented young athletes. Sainsbury's is the headline sponsor for the second year in a row.
Sainsbury's support for the Games reflects the retailer's passion for supporting local communities. With Active Kids and Sport Relief, Sainsbury's colleagues and customers have helped to really make a difference to the lives of school children, and people in need. The Active Kids scheme has donated over £100m worth of activities and equipment to schools since it launched in 2005.
Notes to editors
The 2011 Sainsbury's UK School Games will be the most inclusive ever. The event will see 1,600 of the UK's elite school aged athletes compete across 12 sports, five of which have a disability element incorporated including wheelchair basketball, a new sport for this year.
The Sainsbury's UK School Games programme now includes cycling, athletics, badminton, fencing, gymnastics, hockey, judo, swimming, table tennis and volleyball with disability events in swimming, athletics and table tennis which are contested by disabled and non-disabled young athletes.There will also be a number of disability sport demonstration events in judo (visually impaired), cycling (visually impaired), and sitting volleyball.
Through £750,000 of additional National Lottery funding provided this year by Sport England, two new sports - wheelchair basketball and women's rugby sevens - will be included in the 2011 Sainsbury's UK School Games. Wheelchair Basketball is the first sport to be included purely for disabled athletes.
This year's games, hosted by Sheffield over four days from 1st September, will also see a number of disability sport demonstration events in judo (visually impaired), cycling (visually impaired), and sitting volleyball.