The School Games Programme is a national initiative designed to deliver competitive school sport to all young people and is funded by Sport England National Lottery funding and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust. There is a network of over 500 School Games Organisers (SGOs) and 55 Local Organising Committees (LOCs) who have worked alongside the Youth Sport Trust in delivering three distinct levels of competition since the Games’ inception in 2010.
SGOs are funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and the National Lottery through Sport England to deliver the School Games programme for three days a week. This network currently services in excess of 17,500 registered schools who compete across School Games’ competitions.
The School Games Programme consists of four unique types of competition:
- Intra-School Competition
An intra-school competition is a sporting activity taking place between pupils who attend the same school. For example, this can be in the form of a class vs. class or house activity. These competitions should culminate in an annual School Games Day, or Sports Day, to celebrate a school’s sporting success.
- Local Inter-School Competition
A local inter-school competition is a sporting activity taking place between schools from the same area – either as a one-off fixture or as part of a league. These competitions may act as qualifiers for county finals or can be run as developmental competitions or festival events to meet the needs of a local area.
- County Final
A county final is a showcase event held either as the culmination of a series of local inter-school competitions or as open entry events, with invitations made by the Local Organising Committee (LOC).
- School Games National Finals
This biannual four-day multi-sport event is hosted between late August and early September once every two years in elite sporting venues across the country. Since 2016 the event has taken place at Loughborough University, who have worked alongside the Youth Sport Trust to create an inspirational and motivational setting which helps accustom the country’s most promising young athletes to a high quality, high pressure environment.
Other areas of development in the School Games Programme include the inclusion of the Personal Challenge / Personal Best activities, development of clubs working with the less physically active in school (including C4L Clubs), development of links with external organisations such as sports and community clubs, and the development of the workforce through leadership training for secondary and college students.