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Youth Games: Cross-country start for London youngsters

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 November 2017

Havering and Hackney girls at the start of the 2017 cross-country race (pic LYG)

Havering and Hackney girls at the start of the 2017 cross-country race (pic LYG)

Archant

London’s most talented cross-country runners will be out in force when the 2018 London Youth Games gets underway this weekend.

Tower Hamlets and Haringey boys at the start in 2017 (pic LYG) Tower Hamlets and Haringey boys at the start in 2017 (pic LYG)

More than 1,800 school children from all 33 London boroughs are set to take to the start-line at Parliament Hill on Saturday with the race marking the official opening of the 2018 season.

Organized in partnership with the South of England Athletic Association, boys and girls will race in under-11, under-13, under-15 and under-17 races, with their results recorded and added to an overall borough score to determine the male and female champions.

Bromley were victorious in the male and female cross country events in 2016, and retained the male title in 2017, but couldn’t make it a clean sweep of victories after finishing as runners-up to newly-crowned winners Wandsworth in the female category last season.

The London Youth Games is Europe’s largest annual youth sports festival which sees children compete across 30 sports, culminating in a finals weekend at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

Camden's Conor Sayles (right) in action in 2017 (pic LYG) Camden's Conor Sayles (right) in action in 2017 (pic LYG)

The games celebrated its 40th anniversary year in 2017 where more than 125,000 children took part in sporting activities across nine months and Bromley were crowned Jubilee Trophy champions for the second year in succession.

Jon Hughes, chief executive officer of the London Youth Games said: “The 2018 Games Year will be as special as ever, enabling young people to play at some of London’s best and most historic sporting facilities, such as Lord’s, the Olympic Park and Crystal Palace.

“As ever, participants can look forward to high quality events and competitions which we hope will enable and inspire them to push themselves to find out just what they are capable of.

“They will have the opportunity to pull on their borough shirt and represent their communities alongside other young people from all of the diverse backgrounds that make London such an amazing city, in a fun and supportive environment.

Brent's under-11 girls at the start line in 2017 (pic LYG) Brent's under-11 girls at the start line in 2017 (pic LYG)

“After our 40th anniversary last year, we’re really excited this year that we should be reaching our 1,500,000th participant.”

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