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Photo gallery: Dozens of youngsters get a taste for sport at Active Norfolk Youth Games Festival

PUBLISHED: 15:17 19 June 2014 | UPDATED: 15:17 19 June 2014

Active Norfolk youth games at Sportspark. Archaery. Photo: Bill Smith

Active Norfolk youth games at Sportspark. Archaery. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2014

More than 250 Norfolk youngsters had a special day of sporting fun at the University of East Anglia’s Sportspark.

The pupils from the county’s special schools gathered to take part in the 11th annual Active Norfolk Youth Games.

There was light drizzle but that did not dampen the spirits of the youngsters as they threw their hearts and souls into trying new activities.

The day started with an opening ceremony including a performance by the ‘D for Dance’ group from The Garage and then a number of activities were on offer from badminton to archery, cricket and indoor canoeing.

Ellen Vanlint of Active Norfolk said it was a really popular event with a great turnout from the schools.

She said: “This is our festival event for the year, which is all about participation and having a go at different sports, and everyone’s a winner today.

“It’s a really nice fun day out and a number of other volunteers get involved including staff from Waitrose.”

Matthew Shackshaft, 18, from Hall School in Norwich, said he was thoroughly enjoying a round of golf on the hockey pitches, and had quite a smooth swing with the club despite rarely having the opportunity to play.

Will Gant, PE coordinator at Hall School, said: “We try to get out and about as much as we can to do sports so we come to UEA quite often, but the benefit here is that we meet with all the other special schools and so the children get some really good interaction with the other students, and they get the chance to see students that they’ve met before in the past.

“The special schools collaborate quite a lot on PE anyway, but this is the icing on the cake in the sporting calendar.”

Sam Walsh, 13, from Fred Nicholson School in Dereham, said he was keen to try tennis and golf, neither of which he had played much before.

He said: “I’m not really into sports, it can be a bit difficult with my legs because I have spaced hips, so it’s really good.”

Teaching assistant Sharon Jones said: “These aren’t our regular children who get involved in sports activities and it’s a good opportunity for those who don’t very often come out of school.

“It’s just a fun day and not at all competitive – we do have a lot of sport in school but it’s good for those that struggle with different locations to come out without any pressure.”

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