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Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games achieve multi-sport with Blackout

The Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games recently transformed venues across Sheffield to create bespoke sporting environments,with the help of Blackout. The UK multi-sport event delivered in partnership with Youth Sport Trust and Sport England attracted over 1,600 elite young athletes who competed over the three days in twelve sports including athletics, badminton, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, hockey, judo, rugby sevens, swimming, table tennis, volleyball and wheelchair basketball, along with an integrated programme of disability events.

Commissioned by event organisers Fast Track for the seventh consecutive year, Blackout supplied draping and rigging to transform two back-to-back ice rinks in Ice Sheffield and the main hall in the English Institute of Sport (EIS).

Blackout installed two 145sqm flown drapes suspended 8m high on truss attached to the ceiling to create independent areas for judo and gymnastics. The installation required five experienced crew members to ensure each venue was completed within the allocated time of four hours so they could be re-opened to the public.

In the EIS, which played host to fencing, Blackout constructed a ground support structure 140m by 7m high. The company utilised black wool serge drapes to create the visitor and competitor walkway areas and production offices, with the material providing much needed acoustic absorption for the hall.

Tim Searle, Project Manager at Blackout, commented:

We have built up a strong understanding of the appropriate environments required by the School Games and worked closely with Fast Track throughout the planning to ensure that we met the brief for each event. Each venue was required for a variety of purposes, from the actual sport and spectator stands to the production offices. Through the use of drapes and rigging, we were able to provide a cost effective solution for breaking up a large venue into smaller spaces whilst maximising on space. It was also important to consider the most effective solution to utilise our equipment that didn’t detract from the sports. It has been great to see how the Games have developed over the years and we are looking forward to seeing how the organisers plan to progress the event further in the future.

Charlotte Russell, Event Director at Fast Track said:

The venues in Sheffield undergo a complete transformation for the Sainsbury’s School Games and Blackout were a key part in supporting the presentation particularly of EIS. The 2013 event was a huge success once again and we were pleased to work with Blackout for another great year.