Two Chorley school pupils have been selected to represent thousands of sporting youngsters across Lancashire after being appointed as youth ambassadors on the Lancashire Local Organising Committee (LOC).
Southlands High School students Kate James and Anouska Jones, both 15, have stepped up as student representatives on the steering group. Made up of members from the education and community sectors, the LOC helps deliver the largest youth sporting event in the county, the SPAR Lancashire School Games.
As part of their roles on the committee, gold sports ambassadors Kate and Anouska will drive forward the views of students from across the county by contributing new ideas and helping to plan and implement the county-wide event.
Youngsters involved in the SPAR Lancashire School Games have a history of going on to achieve sporting success. Runshaw College student Jade Eccleston, who has volunteered as a school games helper for the past two years, jetted to Dubai in February to represent England Under-19s in rounders.
Jade was also part of the team from Balshaw’s Church of England High School in Leyland which triumphed at the 2013 county finals and saw team South Ribble crowned champions of the sport.
Now in its tenth year, the SPAR Lancashire School Games comprises two main events designed to give all children the opportunity to participate in competitive sport. The Disability Swimming Gala took place on March 16 at Lancaster’s Salt Ayre Sports Centre, while the county finals event will be held at Stanley Park in Blackpool on July 5 where over 2,400 youngsters are expected to participate.
Organised by the Lancashire Local Organising Committee (LOC) in partnership with Lancashire Sport Partnership, the SPAR Lancashire School Games is implemented by the county’s school games organisers and sponsored by James Hall & Company Ltd, SPAR distributors for the North of England.
Gemma Stokes, who is the school games organiser for Chorley, said: “The SPAR Lancashire School Games is the pinnacle of school sport across Lancashire, providing children the opportunity to participate in competitive sport no matter what their ability or background, while encouraging them to keep fit and healthy.
“It’s incredibly fitting to have pupils have a real say in how the games are created and delivered, and Kate and Anouska will bring a fresh perspective to the table as they act as the voices for the thousands of children who participate in the SPAR Lancashire School Games each year.”
Kate, who plays netball as part of the Leyland League, and basketball and handball for Southlands High School team, said: “For me, being a member of the LOC is an excellent opportunity, which has increased my confidence and leadership skills and will benefit me when I leave school. I would like to study sport at college and university, with the aim of eventually becoming a physio therapist.”
Anouska, captain of the Southlands netball team and a member of the handball team, said: “I’ve attended the SPAR Lancashire School Games previously as a volunteer with Rock FM, which was an amazing experience, so it’s fantastic to actually be a part of creating the event itself.
“My goal is to inspire younger children to keep playing sport and stay fit and active.”