GUNNEDAH'S next generation of sporting superstars have had their first taste of carnival action during the weekend's National Primary Games in Tamworth.
Competing in soccer, rugby league, tennis and netball, the youngsters battled it out against players from all over the state and the region.
The Gunnedah and District Soccer Association had a strong showing, entering eight teams in the weekend-long competition.
Entering eight teams in the soccer event meant Gunnedah was represented by 95 kids throughout the event.
Meanwhile, Gunnedah's junior rugby league, netball and tennis players continued to give a good account of themselves.
Flanked by parents, volunteers and coaches, the youngsters competed for pride as well as bragging rights over teams from all over the state and the region.
Hosted by the Northern Inland Academy of Sport (NIAS), the fifth-annual event saw more than 2000 junior athletes strut their stuff.
Such was the popularity of the event, almost every hotel in Tamworth was booked out, meaning many of Gunnedah's accommodation hot spots benefited.
NIAS chief executive officer James Cooper said while this year's event was the biggest in terms of participation, there was still room for growth.
"We're very aware of what the National Primary Games brings to the region," Cooper said.
"It's unique because NIAS is based in the region, so it can stay here long term and have an impact for many years."