YOUNGSTERS from across Hambleton have claimed podium places in more than half of sporting events in the North Yorkshire School Games.

The games, on June 29, involved schools from eight North Yorkshire districts, and resulted in finals in cricket, football, gymnastics, tennis, badminton, swimming, hockey, modern pentathlon, netball, rugby union, and disability sports.

Thousands of children from Hambleton primary schools competed in heat events to win a place in the school games finals where they represented the Hambleton district in the North Yorkshire Sport event.

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North Yorkshire Sport is dedicated to improving the access to sport and physical activity for all disabled people in the county, and promotes this ethos in the school games.

Hambleton District Councillor Bridget Fortune, who attended the finals, said: “The successes this year were overwhelming with Hambleton gaining top three placings in badminton, tennis, cross country, netball, swimming, gymnastics, hockey and cycling.

“The cycling event alone saw Mowbray School, from Bedale, finish second overall in the inclusive event, Stokesley School third overall in the main team event and Katie Thornton, a member of the Stokesley School team, was third in the girls individual event.”

Former British Olympic swimmer and double Commonwealth gold medallist Chris Cook opened the event held at Queen Margaret’s School, in York.

He said “Through the Olympics we want to leave a legacy which inspires the next generation of young people.

“It is all about being the best you can be, having fun and developing and improving your skills.

“We are up against the lure of computer games and poor diet which inevitably leads to child obesity. Days like this can counteract that - health and activity go hand in hand.”