by Rebecca Hughes
Medway's secondary school games have been given the red card after academies said they wouldn’t be signing up this year.
At a full council meeting last Thursday, the cabinet member for housing and community service Cllr Howard Doe announced the games would not be returning in September.
Instead academies across the Towns are said to be setting up their own games.
Cllr Doe denied allegations from Liberal Democrat’s councillor Diana Smith that Medway Council had ‘withdrawn’ its support of the games and stated that schools had opted out instead.
He said: "As many secondary schools in Medway are now academies and are self-governing with funding coming direct from central government, for September 2012, they have decided to organise their own sporting competitions.
"The council is happy to provide any informal advice the schools may want to help them run successful games, and is happy to organise the games in future, if schools decide this is the way forward.
"We wish them every success."
Backed by the Medway Messenger, the Secondary School Games started in 2008 and are made up of 12 different sports during the school year.
Open to all secondary schools in the Town, the scheme is organised by Medway Council’s 2012 and Sports Development Team with the support of governing bodies of sport, local sports clubs, leisure facilities and school sport partnership.
Schools compete throughout the year at different activities before their scores are collated to create an overall league. At the end of the year the winning boys’ and girls’ school receive a trophy.
Last year’s girls’ and boys’ series were won by Rainham School for Girls and Greenacre School respectively.