The countdown to the largest youth sporting event in the county, the SPAR Lancashire School Games, has kicked-started after it was officially launched across Lancashire.
Now in its tenth year, over 2,400 youngsters are expected to take part in the SPAR Lancashire School Games county final this summer. Organised by Lancashire Sport Partnership, the event is implemented by the county’s school games organisers and sponsored by James Hall & Company Ltd, the SPAR distributors for the North of England. It is part of the national £128m school games programme.
The Lancashire Lion, the school games mascot, was on hand to cheer pupils on at the series of launch events, which saw students from three specially selected schools prepare for months of inter-district competitions.
Pupils from Leyland-based St Mary’s Catholic High School, Laneshaw Bridge Primary School in Colne and Lancaster’s Bowerham Primary School took part in a range of activities including dancing, cheerleading and physical education key skills development.
Keith Harling, manager of SPAR’s Bowerham Road store in Lancaster and Kevin Hunt, managing director of Lawrence Hunt & Co Ltd, which operates 28 SPAR stores across Lancashire, were also in attendance to see in the official start of the games.
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 will take place on March 16 at Lancaster’s Salt Ayre Sports Centre, while the county finals will be held at Stanley Park in Blackpool on July 5.
Schools across Lancashire will now battle it out for a place at the SPAR Lancashire School Games county finals, where they will compete against pupils from 15 county districts to be crowned champions in sports including rounders, tennis, orienteering, handball, gymnastics, athletics and netball, as well as two new sports for 2016, triathlon and tri-golf.
Peter Dodding, sales and marketing director at James Hall & Company Ltd, said: “We’re so pleased to be throwing our support behind the SPAR Lancashire School Games for the tenth year running. It’s great to be involved in an event which encourages young people across Lancashire to get active, keep fit and participate in competitive sport.
“This year is particularly special as it marks a decade of the games, so it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. Excitement is really building now as we countdown to the finals.”
Adrian Leather, chief executive at Lancashire Sport Partnership, added: “We’re thrilled to have SPAR on board as a sponsor for yet another year of fantastic events.
“The SPAR Lancashire School Games is now a prolific component of the county’s school sporting calendar, with the event being a driving force to encouraging many young children into sport. It’s often the start of their lifelong relationship with competitive sport so it really is instrumental in helping to achieve our aim of improving people’s lives through sport and physical activity.”