The 2018/2019 Spar Lancashire School Games was different from previous year’s in many ways. Our aim for this year was to encourage a wider and new audience to the games, whilst continuing to host events for those who see the Games as a pathway into competitive and elite sport. The games aimed to cater for all young people in Lancashire.
From the county finals events held across 2018/2019 we had:
- 5202 young people involved in activities and events
- 2557 Boys (557 SEND)
- 2645 Girls (402)
- 18 Events
To encourage a wider and a new audience to the games we trialled some new ideas and sports. These included; inviting smaller rural schools, hosting less formal competitions, spirit of the games award, widening the cultural offer, and including new sports such as Climbing, Angling, Volleyball and Dodgeball.
We also continued to host our annual Swimming Gala, Dance competition and other standalone events to compliment our summer games.
From a number of these events we carried out some research with participants to gauge; what motivates them to engage in activity and what is most important to them as participants? Feedback from this research showed that:
- 33% of Primary School Boys and 37% of Primary School Girls thought that having fun was of the most importance when at School Games events.
- 26% of Primary School Boys and 13% of Girls thought that winning was of the most importance.
- 25% of Primary School Boys and 26% of Girls thought that being with friends was the most important aspect of the games.
*Data from 173 primary school children
We also asked secondary school children the same question. Winning for Boys was of the most importance at 44% and having fun at 36% was the most important for girls.
*Data from 90 secondary school children
This data along with some additional research carried out at the Spar Lancashire Summer School Games (2nd July 2019); What is the first word that comes to mind today (top 5 answers only below), shows the need to ensure the games are fun, social and competitive.
60 Girls/30 Boys
- 24 Fun
- 11 competitive
- 11 excited
- 7 sport
- 6 teamwork
By utilising this data and information from Sport England regarding Actives Lives CYP data (See link below) we are ensuring our games for 2019/2020 will listen to what young people want, and what national data is telling us. Therefore the 2019/2020 games will be fun, inclusive, developmental and competitive.
We officially opened the Spar Lancashire School Games 2019 on the 14th February at James Hall & Co (Spar) in Preston. To celebrate the opening of the games and 13 years of James Hall & Co sponsorship, a launch event was held. A school from each local authority area was invited to learn more about the games, tour the site and meet athletes Nathan Maguire and Lisa Whiteside.
A couple of months in April the showpiece Spar Lancashire School Games winter event ‘The Spar Lancashire Swimming Gala’ was held. Once again it was a great event with over 280 young people from 15 schools participating in swimming and fun run activities (Photo’s can be accessed via the link below to the Gallery).
The Spar Lancashire Summer School Games held on the 2nd July 2019 engaged over 1800 young people and 150 schools across the 16 competitions and activities delivered. New sports as highlighted earlier allowed new children to experience the games for the first time. Young People who showcased the School Games values of; Passion, Self-Belief, Respect, Honesty, Determination and Teamwork were awarded with the new ‘Spirit of the Games’ award and recognised during the closing ceremony with the winners of their respective competition.
New activities Angling, Climbing, Volleyball, Dodgeball and Pickleball were great successes and will be in the 19/20 programme.
Chorley were once again the Overall champions of the Spar Lancashire School Games.
For 2019/2020, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the Spar Lancashire School Games, School Games Organisers and Active Lancashire have created a mission and vision for how the games will aim to be going forward.
Lancashire’s mission is “To provide a School Games programme that provides relevant and meaningful opportunities for more and different young people in the county to engage in festivals and competitions, based on the local demographic and cultural needs of young people.”
We will continue to utilise our diversity, youth led insight and relevant wide range of partners (NGB’s, YST, and Community Clubs) to help encourage a wider audience to School Games events. Whilst ensuring the national focus of the School Games is adhered to. Furthermore each activity and competition that is run will have a focus for the audience of that competition.
The 3 focuses are;
- Involvement – Targeted at schools and pupils who rarely get the opportunity to represent their school or district. These events will be fun, energetic and memorable.
- Growth- Aim to motivate young people to continue their progression in sport and develop their skills further. Competitions will have entry criteria so teams are on a level playing field (I.e. No county players).
- Variation- Provide alternative competition and less traditional sports to ensure personal best, working as a team and meaningful and developmental activities. Hopefully these events provide a platform for young people to enter growth events.
Information on the 2019/2020 Spar Lancashire School Games will be available on the Spar Lancashire School Games website- https://lancashireschoolgames.co.uk/
Thanks to all this year’s participants,volunteers, School Games Organisers, community clubs and sponsors James Hall & Co.
We’ll see you in 2019/20!!!