Ribbleton schoolchildren attend VIP launch of 2020 SPAR Lancashire School Games

Posted on - 24th February, 2020 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Health, Preston News, Ribbleton, Schools, Sport
The children on a warehouse tour
The children went on a warehouse tour to learn about production and how products reach their local shop floor

Children from St Maria Goretti Catholic Primary School in Ribbleton have attended the VIP launch of the 2020 SPAR Lancashire School Games.


The Games, which is the largest youth sporting event in the county, is part of the national sporting initiative, School Games. The initiative aims to provide the opportunity for children to take part in competitive sport, regardless of their school’s size, area or financial resources.

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The event to officially open the Games was held at James Hall and Co.’s SPAR distribution centre in Preston.

The pupils from St Maria Goretti were among 100 children who listened to inspirational talks, and received a tour of James Hall and Co.’s 35,000 square feet warehouse, lunch and SPAR branded goodie bags.

Special guest professional boxer Brian Rose from Blackpool was also in attendance. Brian told the children stories from his career, and explained how sport can ensure good physical and mental health.


Brian said: “So many kids could benefit from using sport as a way to channel frustration and aggression. I was quite a mischievous child and focusing on boxing definitely helped keep me on the straight and narrow.

“Sport can teach you so many life lessons including how to deal with setbacks and disappointment. I have had both amazing highs and devastating lows in my career and have found you need dedication, hard work and the strength not to give in when times get hard.”

Brian with children from St Maria Goretti Catholic Primary School
Brian with children from St Maria Goretti Catholic Primary School

During Brian’s first title fight in 2009, his opponent, Jason Rushton, suffered serious brain damage, which Brian really struggled to come to terms with.

He said: “I didn’t box for a year after my fight with Jason and couldn’t face getting back in the ring. 

“As a boxer, you’re meant to be unbreakable but I just wanted to give up. I only started to accept what had happened after I admitted I needed help and went to see a psychologist. I really want children to understand the importance of talking and that asking for help shouldn’t be taboo.”

Read more: UCLan top of the league for investment in student wellbeing

Adrian Leather, Chief Executive at Active Lancashire said, “The SPAR Lancashire School Games is a unique programme which was designed around the magic of the 2012 Olympics and aims to motivate and inspire children to live active, healthy lives. 

“Our network of fantastic Lancashire School Games Organisers work throughout the year to inspire teachers’ confidence in delivering regular sport sessions to ensure that children in Lancashire have opportunities to take part in competitive sport, regardless of their school’s size, location or financial resources. 

“Now the largest youth sporting event in the county, the games provide not only traditional sports such as netball and athletics but also inclusive events such as angling, PAN ability football and a dedicated disability swimming gala. With the added excitement of Tokyo 2020, it promises to be a very inspirational year for young people and sport!”

Peter Dodding, Sales and Marketing Director at James Hall & Co. said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be in our fourteenth year of sponsorship for the SPAR Lancashire School Games. 

“The ethos of the games fits perfectly with SPAR’s commitment to the sponsorship of British and European Athletics, and we are proud to be able to support Active Lancashire in promoting the importance of good health and physical activity across the county.”

Read more: ‘Try Everything’ video shows off the work of children at Royal Cross school

Will your child be taking part in the SPAR Lancashire School Games? Let us know in the comments.

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