Pupils from schools across Lancashire stormed to success at this year’s SPAR Lancashire School Games county finals after bringing home a whole host of medals.
Over 1,600 youngsters took part in the largest youth sporting event in the county, which saw pupils from 15 Lancashire districts battle it out at Blackpool’s Stanley Park to be crowned county champions in 16 sports including cricket, tennis, athletics and gymnastics.
An opening ceremony hosted by Rock FM presenter Jordan North kick-started proceedings, which saw pupils create a sea of colours as they marched in the district parade before enjoying a rousing dance performance by students from Chorley’s Parklands High School.
Team GB handball athlete Chris McDermott, who competed in the London 2012 games, was on hand to provide extra inspiration to the children before the competitions began, while the SPAR Lancashire School Games mascot the Lancashire Lion was also present to cheer pupils on.
Celebrations were in order for team Burnley whose pupils put on a series of impressive sporting displays to clinch the title of overall county champions, beating team Chorley into second place by just one point, followed by third placed team Blackburn with Darwen.
Team Burnley was helped to success by Holly Grove School, which scooped bronze in the inclusive gymnastics team event, thanks to sterling displays by Ubayd Al-Ghazzi who took gold in individual floor and bronze in the individual vault, and Bronte Duggan who scooped bronze in individual floor.
For team Wyre, a gold medal secured Shakespeare Primary School’s place as county champions in girls’ football yet again, after St Mary’s School in Hyndburn stole the school’s winning streak by scooping the title at last year’s county finals event.
Buckshaw Primary School, representing team Chorley, secured the top title in tri golf – a new sporting addition to this year’s county finals, while Haslingden High School pupils did team Rossendale proud with a victory in duathlon, another addition to the SPAR Lancashire School Games line up.
Now in its tenth year, the SPAR Lancashire School Games, which is part of Sport England’s national £128m school games programme, is designed to give all children the opportunity to participate in competitive sport.
Organised by Lancashire Sport Partnership and implemented by the county’s school games organisers, it is sponsored by James Hall & Company Ltd, the SPAR distributors for the North of England.
In the lead up to the county finals, pupils across Lancashire competed in a series of inter-school competitions to secure a highly-coveted county finals place and the opportunity to be crowned Lancashire champions.
Peter Dodding, sales and marketing director at James Hall & Company Ltd, said: “This is the tenth year SPAR has supported the Lancashire School Games and we’re thrilled to be a part of the largest sporting event in the Lancashire school sporting calendar. As we’re committed to encouraging young people of all abilities to participate in competitive sport, it’s fantastic to see how enthusiastic and passionate children across Lancashire are about keeping active and fit.”
Adrian Leather, chief executive of Lancashire Sport Partnership, added: “There has been so much excitement and anticipation in the lead up to this year’s SPAR Lancashire School Games county finals, with all pupils eager to get their hands on a medal and make their district proud.
“As ever, there were some outstanding sporting displays and it was fantastic to see such a positive sporting spirit. I’d like to congratulate everyone who took part and all those who helped to make the county finals such a success.”