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Virtual fishing and golf replace school games for thousands of children

PUBLISHED: 14:46 13 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:46 13 April 2020

School closures due to coronavirus means Norfolk School Games will be replaced with virtual sports for kids to take part in at home. Picture: Getty

School closures due to coronavirus means Norfolk School Games will be replaced with virtual sports for kids to take part in at home. Picture: Getty

Archant

A Norfolk schools sporting event designed to encourage pupils to get active will now take place online with virtual versions of golf, cricket, netball and even fishing.

More than 18,000 pupils take part in the Norfolk School Games. Picture: Neil DidsburyMore than 18,000 pupils take part in the Norfolk School Games. Picture: Neil Didsbury

The hugely popular Norfolk Summer School Games takes place every summer and sees thousands of youngsters from schools taking part in everything from beach volleyball to kite-flying, mini-tennis to athletics.

Usually the competition sees around 18,000 Norfolk school children taking part in sporting festivals and competitions in the lead up to the county-wide finals in mid-June.

However school shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic means this summer the format has had to be adapted with outdoor physical activities being replaced by virtual sports.

Norfolk School Games football tournament. Picture: Archant LibraryNorfolk School Games football tournament. Picture: Archant Library

The Norfolk School Sports Partnerships and Active Norfolk, who organise the school competitions and coordinate the county-wide finals, have teamed up to make it safe for kids to take part at home.

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Jo Thompson, Active Norfolk lead for the Norfolk School Games, said: “We wanted to make sure that the spirit of the School Games was able to carry on despite the social distancing restrictions that are in place.

“We have worked closely with the School Games Organiser network to ensure that schools, young people and families are supported to remain active and healthy during this crisis.

Both primary and secondary pupils take part in the hugely popular Norfolk School Games. Picture: Neil DidsburyBoth primary and secondary pupils take part in the hugely popular Norfolk School Games. Picture: Neil Didsbury

“These virtual challenges are a fun and safe way that children and their families can still enjoy the games.”

A new virtual challenge will be released for pupils to take on each week, starting on April 27 starting with mini-tennis, before virtual versions of kwik cricket, angling, quadkids, tri-golf and netball.

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Each week, primary and secondary school students will also be encouraged to submit photos and videos of themselves and their families completing the challenges, which will focus on personal improvement and reflect the sports and events that are currently in the Summer Games.

Pupils taking part in indoor golf as part of Norfolk School Games at the UEA Sportspark. Picture: Denise BradleyPupils taking part in indoor golf as part of Norfolk School Games at the UEA Sportspark. Picture: Denise Bradley

Active Norfolk and the School Sports Partnerships will then share and celebrate the entries via social media during the Norfolk School Games finals week, between June 15-19.

There will also be regular dance challenges on the social media site TikTok as part of the School Games movement and dance summer festival. Find them at @norfolkschoolgames.

To take part, pupils can take a photo or video doing the challenge. The video can be submitted via any of the Norfolk School Games social media platforms by tagging Norfolk School Games in the post including school name and year group. Entries can also be emailed to: schoolgames@activenorfolk.org


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