SCHOOLS across Oxfordshire are being reminded they have just a few days left to enter our School Olympic SOS conmpetition.

This year primary schools can win £7,500 of work to upgrade or build sports facilities for their pupils.

The Oxford Mail has teamed up with Abingdon construction company Leadbitter for the second year running to offer one lucky school up to £7,500 improvements or refurbishment work in our Olympic themed competition.

Organisers are looking for imaginative ways of spending the money to make a real difference to the schools sporting facilities – and the wider community – and will pick 10 schools based on their applications.

Applications could be for:

  • New or improved changing rooms
  • A refurbished toilet block
  • Swimming pool improvements like lane markers
  • Tennis/basketball court upgrades
  • Pitch improvements, viewing areas
  • Vital equipment for the refurbishment of existing facilities.

In fact applications could be for anything with a sporting flavour that can help inspire children to be our sporting stars of tomorrow and get enthused over the London 2012 Olympics.

Applications, if possible, should be accompanied by drawings, photographs, and statements from parents, pupils or teachers to back-up the application.

Projects must not need planning permission or building regulations.

Oxford Mail promotions manager Jo Coady said: “The calibre of the entries we have already received has been very impressive.

“A lot of thought has gone in to proposals that could really make a difference to children at the various schools and there are some really inspirational ideas. But we don’t want any school to lose out on the chance to win this money, so we would really urge all schools to think carefully about how they could use the cash, and apply.”

A shortlist of applications will be profiled in the Oxford Mail, with special tokens printed in each edition.

Then the race will be on to collect as many tokens as possible.

The tokens will be mathematically weighted according to the size of the school, to ensure larger schools do not have an advantage over their smaller rivals.

Last year, North Kidlington Primary School collected thousands of vouchers and children are now enjoying the use of a new bird hide. Runner up Eynsham Primary received improvements to its swimming pool.

An application form will be printed on page 14 of Thursday's Oxford Mail.