The Kent Challenger Games on Friday 12 July brought together about 700 children from a wide range of schools to do something out of the ordinary.
Inspired by the Invictus Games, Councillor Winston Michael initiated the Kent Challenger Games in 2017 and intends to hold the next one in 2021. The idea is to use sport as both a healer and an enabler. Just like the returning military veterans, many of our young people can be damaged by the pressures of modern day life. The purpose of the Games is to bring about self-belief through fun activity that draws out inner strengths and illustrates the power of teamwork to show what is possible.
With the Ashford Sea and Royal Marines Cadets band and a combined schools choir of 140 children helping to create the occasion, and the Towers School Cheerleaders adding to the spectacle, teams of primary and secondary school children competed in the sunshine at the Julie Rose Stadium. The event was opened by Team GB runner Jack Green and Invictus Games gold medalist Kushal Limbu. British Olympic Association Chairman Sir Hugh Robertson was also in attendance and delighted to see schools encouraging children that may not normally participate in outdoor activities or get to represent their school, having a go and being encouraged by their peers.
Everyone enjoyed exploring the display tents of the Challenger Troop and Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment the Tiger, who, as part of the project team, helped to plan and put on the Games together with the support of 50 volunteers.
Cllr. Winston Michael said,”I thank everyone who helped make this a very special day, but, most importantly, I thank the children for giving us a day that leaves us all with a treasure trove of memories. Everyone is looking forward to the next Games in 2021. I am passionate about helping all our young people, regardless of their personal circumstances. I think that it can be tough growing up in this modern world. In the past life was a lot simpler and it was easier to realise your dreams. The Games anthem is One in Million, the children’s version, and that says it all – this event is my way of letting young people know that there are people around who care and are prepared to help.”