Ivybridge students open the UK School Games
STUDENTS from Devon have been centre stage at the opening of the UK School Games in Sheffield.
Pupils from Ivybridge Community College presented a singing, dancing and gymnastic extravaganza to a packed audience.
A total of 76 gymnasts, dancers and singers wowed the audience at the Motorpoint Arena. Among those watching the performance were Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockcroft and 1,600 athletes taking part in the multi-sport event.
Set to the Queen song 'Don't Stop Me Now', the five-minute audio and visual show included students aged 11 to 18. Combining a mixture of sport and performing arts, the piece aimed to celebrate the enjoyment of being involved in sport, the power of working together as a team, and the satisfaction gained from achieving personal goals – regardless of the obstacles that others put in your way.
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"It was an amazing feeling to be out there performing in front of so many people," said student Chloe Sneap.
"It's such a huge occasion, with people from all over the country watching."
The Ivybridge act was a culmination of almost a year of preparation, which began with a national search by the Youth Sport Trust to find a dramatic act to open the Games.
Helen Reddy, head of performing arts at Ivybridge Community College, said
"What began as just a seed of an idea has grown into a huge spectacle, showcasing the very best of what Ivybridge performing arts students are capable of."
Among those participating in the piece was 13-year-old Molly Thompson.
The Year 9 acrobatic gymnast, who balances on top of a three-man tower at the end of the performance, said: "I normally perform my gymnastics routine with just two partners and with music in the background, but it's much more fun to perform it when so many of your friends are all around you singing and dancing. It's a fantastic feeling to perform to such a huge crowd."