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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK
UK children's 'Olympics' launched
Young athletes pose for the cameras at the UK School Games launch
The first UK School Games in Glasgow will involve 1,200 children
Children across the UK are to be given the chance to compete in their own version of the Olympics.

The government hopes the UK School Games will help unearth British talent for the London Olympics in 2012.

The first event in Glasgow from 7-10 September will feature sports such as athletics, swimming and gymnastics.

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said: "This will be a fantastic celebration of sport for young people and a real legacy for generations."

The Glasgow Games will receive 1.5m funding from the Millennium Commission, which distributes Lottery money.

They will be staged by the Youth Sport Trust, a charity that supports young people through sport.

It will be the biggest schools event ever to be held in Britain.

Children will compete at local, regional and national level for the chance to represent their region in Glasgow.

The four-day competition will allow them to experience what it is like to stay in a Games village, attend opening and closing ceremonies and win medals.

This is a brilliant way to capture the power of sport across the UK
Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell
There will be athletics, swimming, gymnastics, table tennis and fencing finals, plus disability events in athletics and swimming.

More sports will be added in the build-up to 2012, and other cities across the UK will get the chance to bid to host future events.

Sports minister Richard Caborn said: "These Games will become the pinnacle of the school sport competitive calendar.

"This sporting event will build on the Government's plans for putting competitive sport back into schools so that kids across the country, regardless of background, have the chance to go for gold on their own school sport stage."

Chancellor Gordon Brown has pledged 6m towards staging the UK School Games up to 2011.

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dr Lesley Sawers said: "The Children's Olympics is a wonderful idea and the city's business community will be keen to play its part.

"The current success of the Scotland and England teams in Melbourne will encourage more young people to take part in sport and lead to the best of them competing at the London Olympics and hopefully at Glasgow's own Commonwealth Games in 2014."

For more information, visit the UK School Games website.

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