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 for the 100 disabled athletes taking part, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ellie Simmonds MBE, Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games gold medallist, who is also the face of the Sainsbury's Active Kids scheme, said: "Sport is something that everyone can enjoy, no matter what their ability. It fosters the 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."
Jat Sahota, Sainsbury's head of sponsorship, said: "This is the second year Sainsbury's has sponsored the games and we are really pleased to see a more inclusive programme of events included in the Games this year.
"We launched our Active Kids scheme seven years ago in order to help ensure that as many children as possible are involved in activities and sport, and that's why we are so proud to sponsor the UK School Games."
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