Bexhill’s Ben going for gold in judo

Ben Jackson
Ben Jackson
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A Bexhill athlete will be competing in the upcoming Sainsbury’s 2015 School Games from September 3 to 6 in Manchester.

Ben Jackson, 16, who attends Robertsbridge Community College, is one of the 1,600 athletes taking part in this year’s event, and will represent England in judo.

In total, 12 sports, seven of which include disability disciplines, will be contested at the four-day spectacular which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.

Ben will be following in the footsteps of some of Britain’s biggest sporting stars including Paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock, world-record breaking swimmer Adam Peaty, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, World Junior Champion heptathlete and high jumper Morgan Lake and sprinter Adam Gemili, who all competed at the games before going on to elite success with Team GB and Paralympics GB.

Ben said: “I am very pleased to be participating in the School Games, it’s a great opportunity and hopefully I will gain a lot of experience.”

Tracey Crouch, minister for sport, said: “The Sainsbury’s School Games continue to go from strength to strength and I am pleased to see so many young athletes embracing this fantastic opportunity to showcase their talents.

“Grassroots sport is where it all starts. It’s where the coaches and sports teachers mould our future stars, inspiring generations to get involved and be the best that they can be.”

Mike Diaper, Sport England director of community sport, said: “The Sainsbury’s School Games is a fantastic event, launching the careers of some of our brightest sporting stars. This event is an amazing opportunity for our next generation of aspiring athletes to compete against one another in a fun environment while also experiencing what it’s like to be part of a major multi-sport event. Congratulations to all those who have qualified for this year’s event in Manchester, I wish you the best of luck.”

Ali Oliver, Youth Sport Trust chief executive, said: “The 1,600 athletes attending the Sainsbury’s 2015 School Games in Manchester will discover what competing at a major multi-sport event is really like. Many sporting superstars have used the Games as a platform to elite success including the likes of Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Adam Gemili and Ellie Simmonds and we hope Ben will be inspired to do the same.”

Peter Ward, Sainsbury’s sponsorship manager, said: “We’ve seen just how important Sainsbury’s School Games events are for young athletes, from building confidence and encouraging participation in sport, to forging the way to Olympic medals. We’re looking forward to this year’s competition and wish all the young athletes the best of luck.”

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