The UK School Games are set to take place in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea next week.
The UK School Games is a multi-sport event for the nation’s most talented school age athletes, designed to replicate the feel of major events like the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, with opening and closing ceremonies and an athlete village.
Running from Thursday September 3 to Sunday September 6, the Games will take place in six sporting locations across Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. The three cities will witness over 1,600 elite school aged athletes competing in 10 different sports, include swimming, athletics and gymnastics.
The opening ceremony will take place at Roald Dahl Plass, in Cardiff Bay, from 8.30pm on September 3 and will feature a number of GB Olympic greats, including sprinter Darren Campbell.
As well as the entertainment element to the ceremony, which will reflect the unique culture of Wales, the public will get the opportunity to see a parade of all the 1,600 athletes – a number of whom will undoubtedly go on to be future Olympic and Paralympic stars if not in 2012 definitely by 2016.
Cardiff International Sports Stadium, opposite the new Cardiff City Football Stadium, will host the athletics competition from September 5 to 6. Over 600 athletes from 13 athletics teams will take part, making it the largest participation sport at the UK School Games.
Cardiff Council leader, Rodney Berman, said: “I am delighted to welcome all the athletes competing in the UK School Games to Cardiff and wish them every success.
“Cardiff has established itself as a city which has an international sporting reputation and I am sure that everyone taking part will be impressed both by the facilities we have in place and what the city has to offer.
“The young athletes who will be taking part in the Games can look forward to a great deal of support during their time here and I am excited of the prospect of Cardiff showcasing the talents of young athletes, some of whom have a real chance of going on to compete in the 2012 Olympics.”