The 2016 School Games drew to a close on Sunday evening following four days of excellent competition and 100% me clean sport education – involving 1,600 of the UK’s most talented young athletes – at Loughborough University.
UKAD National Trainers and staff were active throughout the event, delivering face-to-face education via workshops, engaging with competitors, support staff, parents and spectators by way of roaming road shows at each of the major competition venues and at interactive outreach stands – situated in both the Athlete Zone and Spectator Zone.
Education workshops designed to explore the values of 100% me and the importance of clean sport were delivered by National Trainers – throughout the four days of competition – to athletes competing across athletics, cycling, gymnastics, judo, rugby 7s, swimming, table tennis, volleyball, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis. During each session one young athlete was chosen at random to partake in a mock doping control situation – introducing the young athletes to the testing process, whilst reminding them of their rights and responsibilities as clean athletes.
A bespoke anti-doping education workshop was also delivered to medical professionals in attendance at the Games – providing an excellent opportunity to discuss pertinent topics such as the Prohibited List and Global DRO whilst reminding them of their responsibilities within the anti-doping landscape.
During the first three days of competition athletes were provided with the opportunity to ask UKAD National Trainers about anti-doping processes via the 100% me outreach stand in the Athlete Zone. Athletes were also able to take part in interactive clean sport themed activities such as the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Hook a Duck’ challenges and were rewarded with a number of prizes – most notably the incredibly popular 100% me snapbacks.
Despite poor weather, the Spectator Zone 100% me outreach stand was also in action on Friday and Saturday – giving coaches, support staff, parents and spectators a chance to ask questions of the UKAD Team whilst discovering the most effective ways to support athletes throughout their careers.
Once again, UKAD sponsored the ‘Spirit of the Games Award’, which recognised four young athletes for their commitment to clean sport and for demonstrating the 100% me values of determination, respect, passion, integrity and hard work throughout the Games.
A panel of judges – made up of members of UKAD’s Education and Athlete Support team and the 2016 School Games Athlete Mentors – came together and the winners were announced during the Closing Ceremony at Shirley Peace Square, Loughborough University.
English javelin thrower, Rebekah Walton, Scottish volleyball player, Edward Oldbury, Welsh gymnast, Zoe Simmonds, and English wheelchair basketball player, Lanre Sowami, were named as this year’s winners and each took home a signed certificate, £50 Nike voucher and an assortment of 100% me prizes to mark their achievement.
UKAD’s Head of Operations, Pat Myhill, said:
“Year on year the School Games provides us with a perfect opportunity to engage with over 1,600 young athletes, as well as coaches, support staff, parents and spectators. This was our tenth year of delivering vital clean sport education at the School Games and we are extremely proud to have played a role in such a successful event alongside the Youth Sport Trust.
“Values-based anti-doping education provides young athletes with the information and knowledge necessary to make the right choices throughout their sporting careers in order to train, compete and stay clean. It is a fundamental part of our prevention strategy and helps support athletes to understand their role in clean sport, the responsibilities that brings and the tools necessary to minimise the risk of inadvertent doping.”