The School Games, funded by Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, is a government led programme designed to deliver competitive school sport to all young people. A network of School Games Organisers (SGOs) and Local Organising Committees (LOCs) work alongside the Youth Sport Trust in delivering three distinct levels of competition since the Games' began in 2010:
- Intra-School Competition (Level 1)
- Inter-School Competition (Level 2)
- County Final (Level 3)
Additionally, the School Games National Finals is often referred to as Level 4 which is supported by National Governing Bodies as in some sports County finalists then go on to attend National finals.
The Tonbridge & West Kent School Sport Partnership currently delivers the School Games programme in two areas: Tonbridge & High Weald which comprises Tunbridge Wells and Cranbrook.
We annually deliver a broad and diverse competition calendar for 75 local primary schools and 30 secondary schools. We have three types of events that we deliver:
- Pathway (competitive events leading to County finals)
- Development (introduction to new sports and activities)
- Festival (targeted events for year 3&4 students)
For every sport that we deliver, two teams are sent through to County Finals at Level 3. One team represents the Tonbridge area and the other team represents Tunbridge Wells/High Weald.
As well as delivering competitions that progress to County Finals we also deliver a range of development competitions and events aimed at increasing participation and physical activity opportunities for young people in Tonbridge & West Kent.
Currently, our inclusive events are organised county wide by our Project Ability Lead. We are also introducing more local inclusive events for our participants.
The School Games also strives to create an exciting and inspirational environment for children to engage in school sport and create a lifelong participation in sport and physical activity. To do this, the Youth Sport Trust works closely with Change4Life to deliver and maintain special 'Sports Clubs' for primary schools that target the less active seven-to-nine-year-olds. Primary sports clubs have been created to increase physical activity levels through multi-sport themes and assist in meeting the Government's plans for childhood obesity and the ambition to have all young people active for at least 60 minutes every day.
For all schools that are involved in the School Games there is the opportunity to gain a recognised award that rewards schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community. The School Games Mark is a Government led award scheme launched in 2012 whereby registered schools can apply annually through a short application form which will be marked by their local School Games Organiser (SGO). Their application will be graded as either bronze, silver, or gold. Those schools which consistently achieve the gold award will also be offered the opportunity to upgrade this to platinum.