The SPAR Lancashire School Games has become one of the largest youth sporting events in the county, with 94,000 Lancashire school children participating in last year’s competition alone.
Aimed at encouraging children and young people to take part in regular physical activity, the SPAR Lancashire School Games take place over a six month period, with winners of Level 2 events going forward to represent their schools and districts in Level 3 games at the county finals in July.
Bringing together 16 districts from across the county, there are two key partners in the competition; sub-regional sport partnership, Active Lancashire and Preston based SPAR UK wholesaler for the North of England, James Hall & Co.
Peter Dodding, sales and marketing director at James Hall & Co said: “We are delighted to be in our thirteenth year of sponsorship for the SPAR Lancashire School Games and to be able to support such an inspiring and invaluable programme.
“At James Hall & Co, we have over 640 SPAR stores across the North West and see a diverse range of community support within each local area – it is imperative that each child has access to sport, health and wellbeing opportunities, and Active Lancashire and the team of Lancashire school games organisers work incredibly hard to provide children with exciting, organised competitive sporting experiences.
Peter added: “Many of our employees have children who have taken part in the SPAR Lancashire School Games and it is wonderful to hear how much the children love the process. Active Lancashire and the team of Lancashire school games organises provide an invaluable part of educating children of the importance of being active and we are delighted to be supporting their work.”
Government statistics show that just 23 per cent of UK boys and 20 per cent of girls meet the national recommended level of activity, which proves the ethos of the SPAR Lancashire School Games and the work that Active Lancashire undertake, even more vital.
Launched in 2006, the SPAR Lancashire School Games continues to promote active sport programmes within Lancashire schools, supporting teachers and school curriculums whilst covering 24 varied sports such as netball, climbing, hockey and football, and inclusion events such as angling and orienteering.
Adrian Leather, chief executive of Active Lancashire said: “Our first conversation with James Hall & Co came in 2005, on the back of the announcement that London was to host the 2012 Olympics.
“The relationship with SPAR has enabled us to maintain the spirit of the London 2012 Olympics and the Olympic values, whilst celebrating young people’s sporting achievements and engaging over 100,000 young people across Lancashire in the biggest and most inclusive Schools sport event in the North West.
“James Hall & Co has been a great partner and key stakeholder in developing children and young people’s sport and physical activity across Lancashire. Reaching far above and beyond their financial contribution, they are heavily invested in making a difference and the in-kind expertise offered, provides the School Games with a larger reach and increased exposure.”
Adrian added: “James Hall & Co’s support of the SPAR Lancashire School Games has allowed Active Lancashire and the Lancashire school games organiser network to develop a calendar of events, allowing the games to expand, offer increased opportunities for young people and make the games more inclusive and diverse for all.”
The 2019 SPAR Lancashire School Games were launched at James Hall & Co’s Preston depot, with Paralympian Nathan Maguire and Commonwealth Gold boxer, Lisa Whiteside in attendance, alongside 120 school children and their teachers.
Inspiring the children with their determination and strength, both athletes delivered presentations and answered questions from the children, before enjoying a behind-the-scenes tour of James Hall & Co’s impressive 35,000 sq metre warehouse where children learnt about the breadth of career opportunities available within the grocery industry.
The 2019 SPAR Lancashire School Games promises to be bigger and better than ever with the showcase, county finals to be held at Stanley Park, Blackpool on July 2nd 2019.
To follow the children’s progress, visit www.lancashireschoolgames.co.uk