Winter Games Begin This Week

The Norfolk School Games are coming and with only a few days to go until the first event, we have already seen thousands of primary and secondary school children access a variety of level 2 competitions and sporting festivals. Want to know more about what’s involved in the Games? Then read on to find out more.


What is The School Games?

The School Games is a nationally funded programme and open to all schools across the country. Its aim is to keep competitive sport at the heart of schools by providing engaging opportunities for young people to help them develop as characters, realise their potential and continue their pathway to an active, healthy, happy and prosperous life.


Who organises the competitions?

The School Games are organised by Active Norfolk and the 8 school sports partnerships (SSPs) in Norfolk.  SSPs run competitions throughout the year and children aged between 5 and 16 get the chance to compete in different kinds of sports to make it to the county finals. This year’s winter finals start on the 8th February.


How are sports chosen for the games?

At the end of every year, the 8 school games organisers and school games lead officer from Active Norfolk meet to discuss the year of competitions and festivals and look for new ways to engage even more young people. This winter games, following feedback from schools across the county, handball for secondary children is included in our provision and lots of young people have been competing in level 2 competitions. The handball final will kick start the week-long competition on Monday 11th February at Sportspark and we can’t wait to see all 16 teams take part.


Pathway competitions for this year

The School Games are made up of four levels of activity: competition in schools, between schools, at county/area level and a national finals event:

Level 1 – sporting competition for all students in school through intra-school competition
Level 2 – individuals and teams are selected to represent their schools against other local schools in School Games qualifying competitions run by the eight School Sport Partnerships (SSPs). The winning individuals and teams are selected to represent their SSP at Level 3.
Level 3 – the Norfolk School Games Finals are two week long multi-sport competitions (Winter and Summer) where the most talented pupils from across the county represent their SSP whilst competing against each other. At the end of the week the most successful SSP is crowned over all champions.
Level 4 – the School Games finals: a national multi-sport event where the most talented young people in the UK will be selected to compete in the countries sporting venues.

This year, the sports which have run as a competition pathway to the winter county finals are; handball, keysteps gymnastics, sportshall athletics, girls football and cross country.


Which sports are not pathway competitions?

As well as pathway competitions that feed into the level county finals, partnerships also run tag rugby and swimming competitions. These events happen once a year and give children the chance to represent their school in these sports.  So far this year, 6 competitions in both sports have already taken place in the county with further competitions to be run in the next few months. Well done to all competitors who represented their school and to those who won these events.

The school games also include inclusive festivals for children with disabilities. Panathlon Challenge and a special schools festival will take place next week and children will get the chance to experience competitive sporting opportunities throughout the events.

Our Alternative Days aim to provide a range of exciting opportunities for secondary students who might not normally engage with school sport. The festival runs as a carousel of activities to provide taster sessions throughout the day in the hope that they might find an activity which they enjoy and will want to continue. This year’s activities include climbing, an assault course and box fit.


How can a school get involved?

If your school doesn’t take part in the School Games but you would like to be part of it this year, then get in contact with your school games organiser. Their details can be found on this page. Or you can email for more information. We always look forward to welcoming all schools to the games and we hope that all of the young people taking part this year go away feeling excited and wanting to do more.