"The Sainsbury's 2014 School Games is a multi-sport event for the UK's elite young athletes held between 4th-7th September. The competition re-enforces the experience of Olympic and Paralympic Games complete with Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Several School Games alumni went on to be part of London 2012 Team GB & Paralympics GB with around 1,600 of the nation's finest young future sports stars competing. Competition is held in 12 current and future Olympic and Paralympic sports: Fencing, Rugby Sevens, Gymnastics, Hockey, Badminton, Athletics, Cycling, Judo, Swimming, Table Tennis, Volleyball and Wheelchair Basketball.
Here is team table tennis Gold medallist Ella Patel’s blog….
"I thoroughly enjoyed my experience of the Sainsbury's School Games. Initially it was quite intimidating and slightly overwhelming but it was also really inspiring to be around such like-minded people. I was part of the South East team that represented the whole region against the rest of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
For me, just being part of the team was incredible because we also had a Commonwealth silver medallist on the team. My team consisted of four girls, four boys and three disability players who became very close by the end of the games. What struck me most was the camaraderie and teamwork; if the girls were playing, the boys and disability team came and supported us and vice versa and the willingness to coach and practice with each other.
Another thing that made an impression on me was the professionalism of both the players and the organisation of the event, it reminded me very much of what I saw when I went to watch the Olympic table tennis; there was a friendly but highly competitive atmosphere. I am pleased to say that out of all the girls teams in the UK, my team, the south east, won the team event, with the boys’ team winning silver and the disability team winning bronze which resulted in the South East, as a whole, winning the overall gold medal.
I can definitely say that it has so far been the highlight of my table tennis career and has left me inspired, enthused and re-energized for this coming season. From this tournament I have gained a greater understanding of how I play and cope under pressure and the confidence to be more daring and adventurous with my match play. I am itching to put the things I have learnt into practice."