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Preston Olympian launches SPAR Lancashire School Games 2023-24

Posted on - 6th December, 2023 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Fulwood, Kid's stuff, Preston News, Ribbleton, Sport
Attendees at the SPAR Lancashire School Games 2023-24 Launch
55 schoolchildren attended the launch

Preston’s Team GB Olympic bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw inspired schoolchildren with her career achievements at the launch of the SPAR Lancashire School Games 2023-24.

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Held at James Hall and Co. Ltd’s SPAR Distribution Centre in Preston, 55 schoolchildren from nine of Lancashire’s districts attended the launch with staff members, Active Lancashire, and the School Games Organiser Network.

They were greeted on arrival for photos with SPAR mascot SPARtan before enjoying a tour of the distribution centre.

Schoolchildren being given a tour of the James Hall and Co. Ltd’s SPAR Distribution Centre
The schoolchildren enjoyed a tour of the distribution centre

Sandwiched in between was an inspirational presentation from Holly, 32, who became the first-ever British athlete to win a pole vault Olympic medal, during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

Holly said: “I was very excited to be asked to come back and speak at the launch the Lancashire School Games.

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“I was very sporty at school and took part in the Games myself when I played football, so it was an honour to speak to schoolchildren about my time as a School Games participant and the career I have had as a Team GB athlete.

“I am currently in my winter training programme as I prepare for one last swansong at the Paris Olympics next year, after which I will retire from the sport, and I am looking forward to my final season of competition.”

Holly Bradshaw with a schoolchild at the SPAR Lancashire School Games 2023-24 Launch
Holly Bradshaw inspired the children who attended the launch

Christoper Baron, age 9, from Heskin Pemberton CE Primary School, said: “I had fun at the School Games launch. Holly’s talk taught me to keep on trying to achieve what you want, and I think she has shown courage and bravery to succeed after surgeries.

“I also thought the warehouse tour was amazing. I loved seeing the food manufacturing area and learning about the deliveries to SPAR stores in Northern England.”

India Elkington, age 9, from Holy Trinity RC Primary School in Brierfield, said: “It was very interesting to learn how the food is made in a factory, especially all the sandwiches. I liked the big freezer best, but I think it gets colder in Brierfield!

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“I loved Holly’s talk, especially learning that she played football when she did the School Games as I really like football. I learned that if you believe in what you can do, you can do it.”

Read more: James Hall & Co celebrates Preston employees achievements

The Lancashire School Games are run by Active Lancashire and the School Games Organiser Network and have been sponsored by SPAR through its association with James Hall and Co. Ltd since 2006.

In 2022-23, the Games engaged 24,000 children in sport and activities across Lancashire through 23 feature events and competitions.

Adrian Leather, Chief Executive at Active Lancashire, said: “It was a pleasure to launch the Lancashire School Games once again at SPAR’s North of England Distribution Centre. It always amazes the schoolchildren who visit, and huge thanks go to James Hall & Co. Ltd for arranging this and for their continued partnership and support of the School Games for another year.

“It was also a huge privilege to welcome Holly along as our guest speaker for an inspirational presentation. I think everybody present in the room left feeling extremely motivated and we wish her well at the Paris Olympics next summer.”

Niels Dekkers, Retail Development Director at James Hall and Co. Ltd, said: “We had a fantastic morning of fun welcoming schoolchildren to our distribution centre. Opening their eyes to the scale of the business is always an honour, and the reactions to our freezer area in particular are always priceless.

“Thanks very much to Active Lancashire and the School Games Organiser Network for arranging for Holly to come along and inspire us all. Holly’s career journey is one to be proud of, adding wow factor to the event, and I would like to say good luck to her from everyone at James Hall and Co. Ltd in her preparation for the Paris Olympics.”

For more information about the School Games, visit the Lancashire School Games website.

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