A Teesside academy hosted young athletes from across the north of England in an annual inter-school ‘Olympics’.

Around 400 students from six schools across the north came together for the biggest ever Emmanuel Schools Foundation competition, which this year was hosted by The King’s Academy, in Coulby Newham.

This year the 16thannual contest also involved competitors from Emmanuel College, Gateshead, Bede Academy in Blyth, and Trinity Academy, from Thorne, near Doncaster.

The event also saw the Foundation’s newest schools, Grace College in Gateshead and Christ’s College, Sunderland, which joined ESF last year, make their debut in the competition.

A fiercely fought day of sport featured multiple matches in football and rugby 7s, netball and hockey, as well as cross country.

Students were welcomed to the event by Nathan Bulley, principal of The King’s Academy. He said: “This year’s Olympics was the largest yet and we were delighted to welcome students from Grace and Christ’s Colleges for the first time.

“Our Olympics is held in the true spirit of the foundation, of humility, determination, resilience, courage and integrity and every competitor played their part in making the day one to remember.”

One of the organisers, The King’s Academy’s head of PE Chris Lynch, added: “We have witnessed a great day of sport which was enjoyed by all the students. The weather was perfect, the students eager to compete and the competition featured closely fought battles played in good spirit and sportsmanship.”

Grace College made their mark from the outset winning the football in matches that were limited to just 15 minutes taking the win with an impressive display of skill, accuracy and strength.

In the cross country, the boys’ competition saw Trinity Academy’s Year 7 boys continue their dominant year with another impressive performance, while Grace College was beaten on the line by The King’s Academy team having been second until the final lap.

The girls at Emmanuel College proved too strong for the opposition leading from the very first corner and showed their dominance in the netball too, remaining unbeaten until the final whistle. Second place saw a battle royale with Bede Academy just edging out The King’s Academy for the runner’s up slot.

Rugby 7s proved to be a trial of strength, speed and endurance. The tournament came down to two teams who battled until the clock ran out. Emmanuel College and Trinity Academy ran side by side each having both won three and lost one and the competition being decided on points difference. Emmanuel managed 56 points but Trinity took the honours with 87.

Hockey was the tightest tournament of the day. Three schools recorded three victories and two draws each with first, second and third places going down to goal difference and Bede Academy securing the victory with an impressive 27 goals in five games.

The event ended with the handing over of the mantle by The King’s Academy to next year’s host, Emmanuel College.