Gallery: Sports day fun helps pupils from Ipswich schools gear up for Olympics

Thousands of people turned out despite the weather to celebrate a day of young sporting talent.

Sidegate Community Primary School held its Olympic Sports Day at Northgate High School’s Athletics Stadium.

Around 650 children from four to 11 years old enjoyed a day of sporting fun watched by friends and family.

Headteacher at the Sidegate Lane school, Wendy James, said: “The day was fantastic.

“Many hours of planning went into the day. Despite heavy showers being forecast, we decided to go ahead.

“We had one heavy shower at lunch time and some drizzle during the afternoon. Everybody brought their brollies and rain coats so we carried on regardless.

“The spectacular opening ceremony consisted of 25 countries and their flags representing all six continents.”

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Each continent wrote their own anthem, which they sang for the spectators and youngsters from year six took part in a torch relay with a real Olympic Torch.

The ceremony concluded with the lighting of the Sidegate Olympic Cauldron.

During the morning, children took part in collaborative games.

Mrs James said: “The older children supported the younger children and points were awarded for team work.”

After a slightly damp picnic lunch, the afternoon activities got underway with a fiercely competitive sprint, followed by throwing and jumping events.

VIPs in attendance were Ipswich mayor Mary Blake, inset, Paralympian torchbearer Brian Alldis, torchbearers Richard Game and Derrick Thomas and Adam Baker, Suffolk project manager for London 2012. Mrs James said: “The three torchbearers who joined us for the day were fantastic. They spent their time talking to and being photographed with the children.

“All children received a commemorative medal for taking part and bronze, silver and gold medals were awarded to winners of the sprinting, throwing and jumping events.

“Many of the children were so proud that they wore their medals to school for the rest of the week.

“We received many, many positive comments from our parents and children.

“It really was a day to remember and will be etched on children’s memories for the rest of their lives. A real Olympic legacy.

“I would like to thank all of the VIPs who made the day so special and all of the 70 Sidegate staff who helped to make the event run so smoothly.”