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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-24-03

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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West Lancashire pupils make a splash at Disability Swim Gala

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. Over 200 children representing schools across the county joined together at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre, in Lancaster, on 15 March 2017, to go head to head in a bid to achieve sporting glory.

Team West Lancashire stormed to success, bringing home an impressive 11 medals including:- 3 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze.

West Lancashire Community High School represented the district at the event, amassing titles in a number of swimming disciplines; races aimed to give each pupil the opportunity to have fun and compete.

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 3 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 James Hall and Co Ltd and Rachel Atkinson, management trainee at James Hall and 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 coordinate the event and encourage the pupils, along with the Lancashire Lion, the official school games mascot.

Fiona Addison, marketing manager at James Hall & Company Ltd, 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 without whom we wouldn't be able to deliver such a successful event."

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. It is sponsored by James Hall and Company Ltd, SPAR distributors for the North of England.

The Disability Swimming Gala is the 1st of 2 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 4 July 2017, where over 2,000 children are expected to battle it out for glory 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. Over £128m of National Lottery and Government funding has been invested into the school games programme.


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