September 2 - Ali Oliver (pictured), director of sport at the Youth Sport Trust, has revealed that her organisation is already gearing up for the start of the new School Games next year, which are due to take place in the Olympic Park in Stratford in May.
The final edition of the annual Sainsbury's UK School Games, which is organised by the Youth Sport Trust, is currently underway here in Sheffield and will close on Sunday (September 4) but next year the event will evolve into the School Games.
Unlike the UK School Games, the new event will see schools and their pupils compete at local level before potentially going through to national finals in a pyramid structure that its predecessor did not have.
The 2012 School Games will be a four-day event that takes place across sporting venues in London, with the final day of action set to take place in the Olympic Park with key venues - including the main Stadium - set to be used just two months ahead of the of the start of the Games.
"We are hopeful that the 2012 event will build on everything we have done over the last six years since we staged the first UK School Games in 2006 in Glasgow," Oliver told insidethegames.
"Of course the stakes a higher because it is 2012 and it is in London but to have such incredible Olympic venues to use makes it very exciting for us.
"It means the world to have the Olympic Park.
"It is an unrivalled opportunity and I don't think that any host city has done something like this before so it is great London 2012 have made that happen.
"You cannot put a price on the athlete experience and significantly, we will be able to open up the Olympic Park venues to spectators and a number of school children will be able to be inspired not only by their peers but by sitting in that environment."
The new School Games are designed across four levels, for both primary and secondary pupils and will offer an opportunity for all young people to compete in intra-school, inter-school and regional competitions, while athletes could go on to compete at the major national multi-sport event at the end.
Oliver has backed the new format and stated it could allow more talent to come through.
"Competition has always been a major part of school sport but I think we acknowledge that it has been dominated by the most talented young people," she said.
"What we are trying to do going forward is expand the opportunity for more young people and reach out to people who are very keen but maybe are not the very best.
"So that is the principle behind the new competition that will perhaps also throw some more new talent to the top of the pyramid."
There are a number of high profile dignitaries currently in attendance at the 2011 UK School Games, including Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King and the Youth Sport Trust chair Baroness Sue Campbell.
King indicated at the event that Sainsbury's are likely to continue their sponsorship of the competition by partnering with the new School Games.
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