Park Academy crowned county champions
Talented young swimmers from Park Community Academy made an early morning trip across Lancashire to Accrington Academy to compete in the Lancashire Key Stage 2 Panathlon Challenge.
Competitors from special schools across Lancashire awaited the Blackpool team and stood in their way of being crowned Lancashire champions.
The event combined traditional aquatics-based events and saw the swimmers race out of the blocks in the front crawl races before flipping on to their backs for a series of 25m races fiercely contested by all 10 participating schools.
The team of six Blackpool swimmers successfully completed the fast-paced heats before gathering their composure for the challenge events of push and glide, raft race and the ultimate test, the treasure hunt.
Points were awarded throughout the event based on the ability level of every competitor which kept everyone guessing on the final results until the wall had been touched in the very last event.
A loud cheer went up at the end as competitors and spectators gathered to thank the organisers and the young leaders who had given them an amazing day and had encouraged everyone involved, especially as legs were beginning to tire.
The results were announced in reverse order and the anticipation of everyone in Team Park grew with every school announced and the possibility of claiming a medal getting ever closer.
With just the top two schools to be announced, the Blackpool team held their breath until their name was read aloud and they were handed the title of Lancashire champions.
Dave Rohman, Blackpool School Games organiser, said: “The tension was unbearable as we were waiting for the final scores to be announced, but I would like to thank Park Community Academy for allowing me to be part of the backroom team and cheer them on from poolside.
“Congratulations need to go to every member of the team as they all played their part and contributed to the fantastic tally of 92 points that were amassed by the team.
“Mr Johnson and Mr Mooney leapt with joy and sheer pride when their team stepped forward to claim their gold medals and trophy to take back to display in the already bustling school cabinet.
“I would like to thank all of the Panathlon Challenge Team for delivering such a great event and for providing such opportunities for our children in Blackpool.
“Days like today prove how powerful school sport can be and the joy it can bring to so many children in Blackpool and across Lancashire.”