Blackpool Wyre and Fylde’s splash hits

The Highfurlong team
The Highfurlong team

Children from schools across Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde 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 last Wednesday to go head-to-head in a bid to achieve sporting glory.

Team Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde stormed to success at the event, bringing home an impressive 54 medals including 23 gold, 17 silver and 14 bronze.

Highfurlong School and Park Community Academy represented Blackpool at the event, amassing nine gold medals between them.

Jack Howard and Corey Black from Park Community Academy took gold in both the key stage three 25m front crawl and back stroke races respectively, while Katy Hocking from Highfurlong School impressed spectators after snatching first place in both the key stage five 25m breast stroke and front crawl competitions.

Meanwhile, team Fylde was helped to success by Pear Tree School, which sealed two gold, seven silver and three bronze in a number of swimming disciplines including front crawl, back stroke and breast stroke – races aimed to give each pupil the opportunity to have fun and compete. Elsewhere, Great Arley School’s Jessica Reid did team Wyre proud by bagging gold in the key stage four 50m front crawl and breast stroke races as Red Marsh School secured eight titles thanks to the efforts of Lewis Perry and Callum Perry.

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. 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.

Dave Rohman, school games organiser for Blackpool, 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 & Company Ltd, SPAR distributors for the North of England.

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, when 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.