The Virtual Games 2020
Over the last four weeks, young competitors from across Havering have been taking part in a unique competition set by London Youth Games.
Typically, at this time of the year, we would have competed in a variety of different sports tournaments across the city including both Redbridge Weekend and The Finals Weekend at Crystal Palace, in a bid to capture the Jubilee Trophy. However, due to the challenges associated with Coronavirus, all of that had to be cancelled and The Games went virtual.
Each week the team at London Youth Games HQ set three online challenges and our job was to rally as many competitors as we could for Team Havering. Being a virtual event, the idea was for everyone to complete the challenge, film and post their efforts across social media as well as submitting final scores which count towards our overall tally. It was a fantastic opportunity for many to represent the borough and get creative with the sport-related challenges. These included a 60 second Burpee Challenge, Kick-Ups Football Challenge, a Dance-Off Challenge and Throwing Accuracy Challenges.
We were blown away to see so many jumping on board and simply having a go. The local schools played a major role in helping spread the word with teachers uploading their own example videos and encouraging the students to complete their attempts from home, school or whilst out for their daily exercise. We even had Mums, Dads and Grandparents getting behind the movement. Our youngest participant was just four years old and his videos were a massive hit.
The biggest incentive, no doubt, were the Nike prizes that were up for grabs. At the end of every week, London Youth Games announced an MVP based on the creativity of a video or an exceptional result whereby the winning individual was given a pair of shoes of their choice. Incredibly, two Havering participants received this award. Ollie from Marshalls Park Academy was named MVP of Week Two thanks to his Basketball Crossover entry and Jak from Abbs Cross Academy picked up the award in Week Four for setting the fastest 1 mile run. Out of the 40,000 competitors that took part, this is a fantastic achievement for Havering.
Whilst we finished in 13th out of 33 boroughs, we discovered so many talented, passionate and enthusiastic young people along the way. A huge thank you goes out to everyone that dedicated time to participating week after week. We appreciate all of you.
Looking ahead, we are hopeful that the 2021 Youth Games season will be able to kick-start safely in November as planned with the Cross Country event at Parliament Hill. But in the meantime, please be sure to look out for all updates across our social media platforms and the Havering Active website for information about future trials and the restarting of leagues.
Until then, “Mission LYG Gold is still GO” – Abbigail Cleary
Your Sports Development Team