Former England Captain, David Beckham, has given his support to the players ready to compete at the 2013 Sainsbury’s School Games in his role as a Sainsbury’s Active Kids Ambassador.

Beckham, 38, who also holds the record for the most outfield appearances for England, is helping to raise the profile of the Sainsbury’s School Games, which begins it’s eighth edition in Sheffield this September.

The former footballer congratulated all the players taking part in the event, including the South West’s Maria Tsaptsinos, whom he encouraged to enjoy every minute.

He said: “Maria should be incredibly proud of being selected to compete in the Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games. To be given the chance to compete in a multi-sport event and experience a major sporting occasion like this is a huge opportunity for these young people.

“I wish everyone the best of luck and encourage them to enjoy every minute.”

Tsaptsinos, a junior international in her own right, is ready to represent the South West of England once again after competing last year in the Olympic venue, ExCeL.

She said: “After taking part in the Sainsbury’s School Games in London last year I’m absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to compete again. I’m looking forward to once again experiencing the camaraderie in the team and want to help England South West repeat last year’s performance.

“After being lucky enough to go to the Olympic Games last summer as a spectator I am determined to try and qualify for Rio 2016 and this is the next step on that journey.”

Table tennis has been a part of the School Games programme since its inception eight years ago. The event, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, is a major event for the nation’s talented young athletes.

This year’s table tennis event will take place at Ponds Forge in Sheffield from September 13-15th. Tickets are available from the official Sainsbury’s School Games website: or ticket hotline: 0114 256 5567