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Elias and Jonas helped Bromley triumph in ‘Virtual Inclusive Games’ from London Youth Games
Elias and Jonas helped Bromley triumph in ‘Virtual Inclusive Games’ from London Youth Games

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Bromley win London's Virtual Inclusive Games

Bromley have been crowned champions in London's Virtual Inclusive Games after a hugely successful campaign which saw more than 80,000 entries submitted during the third covid-19 lockdown.

The Inclusive Games, and other online activities co-ordinated and supported by London Youth Games, were organised to help keep young people motivated and engaged in sport and physical activity.

Kensington & Chelsea finished as runners-up with Haringey and Havering sharing third place with the Games aiming to keep young people ready to re-engage with in-person activities when restrictions allowed.

Elias and Jonas (pictured) were just two of the stars in the Bromley team and participated in the challenges each week, picking up the MVP (most valuable player) Award in rugby week.

Elias, aged nine, said: 

“I really enjoyed taking part in all the London Virtual Inclusive Youth Games challenges. I looked forward to each new challenge being released and it was fun doing the challenges with my younger brother. 

"My favourite challenges were the basketball challenges - especially the shooting challenge - I got them all in! I play a very similar sport to basketball called korfball so I love shooting challenges like this.”

Jonas added:

“I loved taking part in the London Virtual Inclusive Games challenges. They were really fun. My favourite ones were the basketball challenges and anywhere we had to score by throwing balls into hoops or baskets. 

"I also really liked the keepy-uppy challenge for cricket where we had to bounce a ball on a bat as many times as possible in one minute - I did 60!"

London Youth Games has been working with London Sport to deliver the Virtual Inclusive Games through Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund, created to help reduce the negative impact of Covid-19 and the widening inequalities in sport and physical activity.

The Inclusive Games, which ran for eight weeks, put young disabled Londoners at the heart of the competition with three challenges set by young disabled athletes released each week.

Paralympic and world champion sprinter Sophie Hahn showed her support while all challenges were accompanied by suggested adaptations to ensure as many young Londoners as possible could get involved.

Recent research from Activity Alliance shows almost twice as many disabled people (27%) said the pandemic greatly reduced their ability to do sport or physical activity compared to non-disabled people (13%).

London Sport’s Deputy Director of Operations, Alex Gibbons, said:

“London Sport is delighted by the incredible impact of the Virtual Inclusive Games over the last three months.

"The Games perfectly embodies the ethos of the Tackling Inequalities Fund, reaching deaf and disabled young Londoners most adversely affected by the pandemic, and providing a variety of opportunities for them to have fun and stay active.

“We’re committed to continuing our partnership with London Youth Games and will work together to learn from the many successes of the Virtual Inclusive Games, which will help us reach and engage many more deaf and disabled young people across the capital.”

Chair of London Youth Games, Mickela Hall-Ramsay, said: 

“The Virtual Games have played a hugely important role in keeping young people active, engaged, confident and resilient during this incredibly confusing and difficult period in their lives.

“We know they have helped to reduce feelings of isolation and frustration, and prevented young people from potentially dropping out of sport and physical activity. 

"As restrictions are relaxed and the vaccine programme rolled out, it’s so important that we keep working hard to keep young Londoners involved in sport and physical activity so that it can play its part in tackling a wide range of social issues.

“From helping to reduce unemployment and anti-social behaviour, to increasing mental wellbeing and educational attainment, sport really can be the secret weapon to help get our communities back on an even keel."

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