Blackpool Youth Games: Special report

Almost 3,000 participants were involved as the 2018 Blackpool Youth Games were held last week.

Thursday, 28th June 2018, 6:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th July 2018, 6:24 pm
Thames Primary, winners of the large schools' athletics at the Blackpool Youth Games, with Paralympian Shelly Woods

Almost 3,000 participants were involved as the 2018 Blackpool Youth Games were held last week.A week-long sporting extravaganza awaited local schools as a huge collective of participants, teachers, coaches and clubs joined forces.Day one began with boys football and mixed dodgeball for primary schools.After a quick lunch break attention turned to Tri-Golf for the Primary Schools and to the first event for the secondary schools as more than 50 girls headed to Blackpool Cricket Club ready for the Years 7-8 and Years 9-10 competitions.The first day saw success for Revoe in the football, Holy Family in the tri-golf and St Mary’s in the cricket alongside the 170 smiling faces from the dodgeball festival.Kieran Newcombe from Layton Primary School said: “It’s been a really good BYG again with all of the children involved from all different year groups across the schools.“It has been great to see them all having fun in a competitive environment and showing good sporting behaviour.”Sarah Dow from Bispham Endowed Primary School added: “There are fantastic opportunities for all children of all abilities. We love being in new and different environments and spending time enjoying physical activities.” Day two started with the girls’ football festival, which saw more than 150 players in action.A fast-paced morning saw Anchorsholme Academy receive the football development award before the schools returned for the afternoon’s activities.Younger pupils also enjoyed a morning in the sunshine as they took part in a cricket skills festival at Blackpool Cricket Club which saw a series of batting, bowling and fielding challenges.The afternoon got going at Palatine Leisure Centre with the primary school Aqua-Splash Festival with almost 150 children at a fun festival that included ball relays, rookie lifeguard challenges and the turtle races.The secondary schools descended on Blackpool Sports Centre for the boys’ dodgeball competition.The players gave their all in the target throwing game while doing their best to keep out of the way of the incoming throws from their opponents; it ended with South Shore Academy taking the spoils.The day closed with the primary school road race as more than 500 children took in the sights of Stanley Park before a sprint for the finish line on the athletics track.The secondary school volleyball competition took place at the same time with Unity Academy claiming the winner’s shield at Blackpool Sports Centre.Day Three had a soggy start but it did not stop the primary school MATP festival at Blackpool Sports Centre.Children showcased their sporting talents as part of the Youth Sport Trust and Special Olympics Programme, designed to provide a platform for engagement and pathway for participations.Devonshire Primary Academy, Highfurlong School and Marton Primary Academy provided the Blackpool talent and were joined by Newfield Special School from Blackburn and Moor Hey School from Preston.Participants showed their ability before stepping forward to receive their MATP medals from guest of honour, Coun Maria Kirkland, Cabinet Member Third Sector Engagement and Leisure Services.The weather brightened up just in time for the afternoon’s primary school mixed cricket and the secondary school girls’ rounders competitions.The bat and ball-based afternoon got trickier as the temperatures got higher but that didn’t stop Hawes Side Academy and Montgomery High School from winning their respective events.The evening of the third day saw the secondary school girls’ football in Stanley Park with a barrage of goals being scored and South Shore Academy crowned champions.Danny Ogden, leisure manager at Blackpool Sports Centre, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many of Blackpool’s young people being active and enjoying the fantastic facilities Sport Blackpool have to offer.“Some of these children are taking part for the first time and we hope to see them back for many years to come.“We have also seen great support from parents this year and I hope this continues throughout the year.“Blackpool Council has a large number of sports groups and activities available and I would encourage all parents to use this week to find a regular activity for the children to enjoy.”Athletics and cheerleading for primary schools gave day four the perfect start as pom poms were waved and acrobatic lifts taking centre stage at intervals throughout the track and field competition.Holy Family were congratulated on their cheerleading success and Thames, Moor Park and Holy Family for claiming the top spot in the athletics groups.The afternoon’s action was split into two as primary schools headed for Stanley Park for hockey and the secondary schools met at Tee Time Golf Centre for the inaugural footgolf competition with Anchorsholme and St Marys the respective winners.Day five brought the week to a close with 500 primary school children taking on a day of sporty challenges at the table tennis, multi-skills, football and badminton festivals.It saw the children having lots of fun, trying activities and completing agility, balance and co-ordination challenges as well as trying their hand at table tennis, badminton and football festivals.A competition spokesman said: “BYG is my favourite week of the entire school year but we cannot deliver such a fantastic week of school sport without the support of some amazing people from local schools, sports clubs and sports organisations who work alongside the team from Sport Blackpool and students from Blackpool Sixth.“The weeks leading up to BYG are frantic with everyone making sure that things are in place for the children to be able to turn up and enjoy getting involved in sport and physical activities in a true celebration of what they have achieved throughout the year.“All of the stress and panic disappears when you see the children smiling and having lots of fun as it shows how important being active is for not only physical benefits but also for the mental health of our young people.”

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2018 winning schoolsPrimary School Boys Football: RevoePrimary School Tri-Golf: Holy FamilySecondary School Girls Cricket: St Mary’sPrimary School Girls Football: AnchorsholmeSecondary School Boys Dodgeball: South ShorePrimary School Road RacesYears 3/4 Boys: Holy FamilyYears 3/4 Girls: St Bernadette’sYears 5/6 Boys: NorbreckYears 5/6 Girls: NorbreckSecondary School Volleyball: Unity AcademyPrimary School Mixed Cricket: Hawes SideSecondary School Girls Rounders: MontgomerySecondary School Girls Football: South ShorePrimary School AthleticsLarge Schools: ThamesMedium Schools: Moor ParkSmall Schools: Holy FamilyPrimary School Cheerleading: Holy FamilyPrimary School Hockey: AnchorsholmeSecondary School Boys Foot-Golf: St Mary.s