Athletes from 20 Northland Schools are among the more than 10,000 who have descended on Tauranga for the AIMS Games.

The games are a sporting championships which provide year 7 and 8 students with an opportunity to compete as an individual or in a team against the best of their age group.

This year's event officially started yesterday with an opening ceremony and a handful of sporting codes.

Read more: Young Northland table tennis star to play home open

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Teams travelled from around New Zealand and the Pacific Islands to take part in the week-long event which finishes on Friday.

The first Northlanders to compete were those in the cross country, gymnastics and rock climbing which all kicked off yesterday.

Northland athletes will compete in events ranging from rugby sevens and basketball to futsal and BMX.

Huanui College's Takaimaania Ngata-Henare will be one to watch as she hopes to go one better than last year in the table tennis where she finished second.

Northland Schools taking part: Ahipara School (gymnastics, netball), Bream Bay College (gymnastics, swimming), Dargaville Intermediate (gymnastics, netball), Huanui College (cross country, futsal, gymnastics, hockey, multisport, netball, table tennis), Kaikohe Intermediate (rugby sevens), Kaitaia Abundant Life School (netball), Kaitaia Intermediate (basketball, gymnastics, netball, swimming), Kamo Intermediate (BMX, cross country, football, gymnastics, hockey, multisport, netball, rugby sevens, squash, tennis), Kerikeri High School (football, netball, swimming, tennis), Matauri Bay School (netball, rugby sevens), Ngunguru School (rock climbing), Otamatea High School (gymnastics, netball), Parua Bay School (cross country, gymnastics, hockey, netball, squash, swimming), Pompallier Catholic College (cross country, gymnastics, hockey, swimming), Purua School (squash), Ruawai College (netball), Springbank School (football), Taipa Area School (basketball, netball), Te Kapehu Whetu (basketball, netball) and Whangārei Intermediate (basketball, cross country, football, gymnastics, hockey, multisport, netball, rugby sevens, squash, tennis).