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Children as young as one have been kitted out in sporty attire, had their ‘support staff’ apply sunscreen and got active in a series of races in honour of Team GB’s Olympic success in Rio.
Double Triathlon Olympic gold medal winner Alistair Brownlee and his silver medal winning brother Jonny Brownlee may have wowed the world with their 1,500m open water swimming, 40km cycling and 10k run but they were not the only Yorkshire boys stealing the limelight this summer.
Nurseries up and down the country have been putting their homegrown toddlers to the test in a series of sporty pursuits.
‘Head, shoulders, knees and toes’, proved to be a fitting warm-up for pre-schoolers, with staff on hand to discuss the importance of warming up and cooling down before and after each physical activity.
Press-ups, assault courses and running races were just some of the tests of endurance devised for the budding sports stars.
By 9am, the Swineshead nursery in Boston, Lincolnshire, part of the Mon Ami Nurseries group, had raised over £100 for the charity the British Heart Foundation from children’s parents, with a percentage of the money going back to the nursery group to fund more sporting activities for the children throughout the year.
The nursery said: “Our staff have arranged for as many of the children as possible to take part in our homemade games to make use of their balancing skills and team building abilities.”
Children at Bright Horizons Active Learning Finchley Nursery celebrated the Rio 2016 Olympics by taking part in athletics.
Never too young to throw a javelin
The children competed track and field events including javelin, long jump, shot put and an obstacle course.
“The children have thoroughly enjoyed the day and have been captivated by the Olympics,” said Poppy Hinton, nursery principal. “We are delighted we were able to turn that into themed physical activity.”
But it wasn’t just the physical prowess of pre-schoolers being pushed to the limit. Points were also awarded for artistic merit.
Paying homage to Rebecca Adlington, the double Olympic Gold medalist in Beijing 2008, who says she ‘first got into swimming at the age of three as my parents wanted me to learn a life skill’, children at Busy Bees Nurseries made a scarecrow to honour the Olympic swimmer.
Children from Busy Bees nurseries across the country created their very own Olympic villages in celebration of the Rio Olympics 2016.
A scarecrow version of Rebecca Adlington, the swimmer turned BBC Olympics presenter, was made alongside other Team GB athletes.
Fay Gibbin, training manager at Busy Bees Training, said: “The 2016 summer Olympics in Rio are a great excuse to hold a competition involving our learners, staff and children in nursery.
"We’ve seen some real effort put into the scarecrow villages and the apprentices have been especially creative with the themes – it was brilliant for the children to get involved too.”