THE LeAF Academy School has hosted the Dorset Winter School Games Finals.

Active Dorset sponsored the event, which saw more than 900 students from 60 schools participate in competitions in handball, rugby and volleyball at the Bournemouth school.

The day began with an opening ceremony featuring a motivational speech from volleyball sensation Kirk Pitman, who represented New Zealand for 10 years on the FIVB World Beach Volleyball Tour.

Pitman encouraged the students during their competitions and felt the School Games were an “amazing opportunity for them to compete for their school”.

Martin Kimberley, Active Dorset chief executive, said: “A huge thank you to the LeAF Academy for all their support and to all the young leaders, athletes and school staff who make this event such a success.”

Many of the young leaders at this event were trained at the Dorset Leadership Academy in January. The academy provides quality support and development for young people who would like to be actively involved in volunteering and leadership within their school and/or community.

Dan Moody, school games organiser for Christchurch and the Isle of Purbeck, said: “The Dorset School Games events wouldn’t happen without the fantastic young leaders and volunteers who officiate and run the competitions. Each year around 1,500 young people are trained through the Dorset Leadership Academies and support not only the School Games, but also PE and school sport back at their own schools as leaders and role models.

The School Games is fully inclusive competition for school children in England, designed to motivate, enthuse and inspire young people across the country to take part in more competitive school sport.

n Active Dorset work in partnership with the local organising committee, school games organisers, local authorities and national governing bodies of sport to deliver a calendar of sporting activities which take place throughout the school year, culminating at the winter and summer finals.