West Lancs’ medal glory

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life -

YOUNG­STERS from schools across West Lan­cashire scored a haul of sil­ver­ware af­ter swim­ming their way to suc­cess at this year’s SPAR Lan­cashire School Games Dis­abil­ity Swim­ming Gala.

More than 200 chil­dren rep­re­sent­ing schools across the county joined to­gether at Salt Ayre Leisure Cen­tre in Lan­caster on March 15.

Team West Lan­cashire stormed to suc­cess, bring­ing home an im­pres­sive 11 medals in­clud­ing three gold, three sil­ver and five bronze.

West Lan­cashire Com­mu­nity High School rep­re­sented the district at the event, amass­ing ti­tles in a num­ber of swim­ming dis­ci­plines.

Amy Stan­drell did the school proud, com­ing first place in the key stage three 50m front crawl race, while Kee­gan scooped gold in the boys’ key stage four 25m breast stroke com­pe­ti­tion.

Team West Lan­cashire’s suc­cess was also helped by Libby Led­bet­ter, who im­pressed spec­ta­tors af­ter snatch­ing sil­ver in one of the com­pe­ti­tion’s most fought-af­ter ti­tles – the key stage three 25m breast.

The gala was kicked off by an en­er­getic dance per­for­mance cour­tesy of stu­dents from Our Lady’s Catholic Col­lege, be­fore the Mayor of Lan­caster Robert Redfern de­liv­ered an in­spir­ing speech to be­gin the games.

He was joined by coun­cil­lor Darren Clif­ford, Fiona Ad­di­son, mar­ket­ing man­ager at spon­sors James Hall & Co Ltd, and Rachel Atkin­son, man­age­ment trainee at James Hall & Co Ltd to cheer the com­peti­tors on.

Young sports lead­ers from Lan­caster and More­cambe Col­lege and Our Lady’s Catholic Col­lege were on hand to help co-or­di­nate the event and en­cour­age the pupils, along with the Lan­cashire Lion, the of­fi­cial school games mas­cot.

Fiona Ad­di­son said: “The Dis­abil­ity Swim­ming Gala is al­ways a high­light of the SPAR Lan­cashire School Games cal­en­dar and a thor­oughly en­joy­able event which en­ables chil­dren of all abil­i­ties to par­tic­i­pate in com­pet­i­tive swim­ming.

“It demon­strates the legacy of the Lon­don 2012 Olympic and Par­a­lympic games and how the fan­tas­tic work done by Team GB con­tin­ues to in­spire all chil­dren to en­gage in sport.

“There were some fan­tas­tic per­for­mances and ex­cel­lent sport­ing spirit on dis­play both in and out of the pool, so well done to ev­ery­one in­volved.”

Chris Hart, school games or­gan­iser for West Lan­cashire, added: “It was bril­liant to see such en­thu­si­asm on show at this year’s Dis­abil­ity Swim­ming Gala, with ev­ery­one putting in a lot of ef­fort in the hope of se­cur­ing a medal.

“Well done to all our com­peti­tors, and a spe­cial thank you must go to our young sports lead­ers and vol­un­teers.”

Or­gan­ised by the Lan­cashire Sport Part­ner­ship, the SPAR Lan­cashire School Games is an in­clu­sive scheme pro­vid­ing com­pet­i­tive sport­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for all school chil­dren across the county.

The Dis­abil­ity Swim­ming Gala is the first of two main events in the pro­gramme, with schools across Lan­cashire now com­pet­ing for a place at the county fi­nals which will be held at Black­pool’s Stan­ley Park on July, 4, where more than 2,000 chil­dren are ex­pected to bat­tle it out in a range of sports in­clud­ing gym­nas­tics, foot­ball and ath­let­ics.

Now in its 11th year, the com­pe­ti­tion is im­ple­mented by the county’s school games or­gan­is­ers and more than £128m of National Lot­tery and Gov­ern­ment fund­ing has been in­vested in the pro­gramme.

Team West Lancs dur­ing the medal cer­e­mony and (right) com­pet­ing in the boys re­lay

Phil Hey­wood

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