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Young Harrogate athletics stars return with gold medals from Sainsbury’s 2012 school games

Poppy and Serenity Howell, twin 16 year old athletics stars from Harrogate, returned home from competing at London’s Olympic Park earlier this month, as part of the Sainsbury’s 2012 School Games finals. The non-identical twins, who each took part and won ambulant track events, brought back gold medals.

Backed by National Lottery funding from Sport England, the Sainsbury’s 2012 School Games is a multi-sport event for school-aged elite athletes that takes place each year, taking place this year at the beginning of May 2012. 1,800 young people competed across 12 sports, including six disability competitions. The finals of the games took place this year at the Olympic Stadium, Velodrome, Aquatics Centre and ExCeL Centre in London.

Serenity (left) and Poppy Howell who recently won their events in the Sainsbury’s School Games pictured with Steve Thompson, Store Manager at the Sainsbury’s store in Harrogate and colleagues 


More than 35,000 spectators attended the event, with young people from schools across the country heading to London to watch the action.  The sports included in the Sainsbury’s 2012 School Games are athletics, badminton, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, hockey, judo, rugby 7s, swimming, table tennis, volleyball and wheelchair basketball. The event also saw demonstration events in disability judo, gymnastics display and sitting volleyball.

A delighted Poppy, said:

Taking part in the Sainsbury’s School Games was such a great experience for both of us. To be able to compete in an event with so many other young athletes in London was really inspiring. Serenity and I are really pleased with what we achieved at the games – for both of us to come first in our races and bring home gold medals is great. I hope that the performance we gave will inspire other young people to get involved in sports and maybe compete at next year’s games!


Steve Thompson, Sainsbury’s Harrogate Store Manager said:

We’re very proud of Poppy and Serenity. To have two champion sports stars in our midst here in Harrogate is very exciting. We know both girls worked very hard ahead of the games and earned their gold medals. Sainsbury’s is committed to engaging young people in sports and the colleagues here at the store are, as I’m sure the whole community is, very impressed with the success both Poppy and Serenity have achieved.


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