SPAR has renewed sponsorship of the Lancashire School Games, continuing a successful partnership with Active Lancashire for an 18th consecutive year.

What is more, the 2023-24 Lancashire School Games are being reformatted this academic year, with an increased focus on running events and competitions in three distinct clusters in Lancashire – Coastal, Central, and Pennine – ensuring schoolchildren enjoy a programme of activity better aligned to local needs.

To celebrate the exciting announcement, schoolchildren from Brindle Gregson Lane Primary School acted as Games Ambassadors where they joined members of the Active Lancashire team and the School Games Organiser Network at SPAR Alder Drive in Gregson Lane near Preston.

Also attending the sponsorship renewal was award-winning independent SPAR retailer Bhavesh Parekh, owner of the store, and senior members of staff at James Hall & Co. Ltd, SPAR’s primary wholesaler and distributor for the North of England.

Over the course of 18 years, SPAR, through its association with James Hall & Co. Ltd, has invested more than £250,000 into the Lancashire School Games, ensuring schoolchildren from across the county have the chance to enjoy hours of physical activity and skills development through events and competition.

Willow Latham-Malova, age 10, from Brindle Gregson Lane Primary School, said: “I play tennis and I swim. I like playing sports as I enjoy improving my skills and seeing how far I have progressed.

“I am looking forward to the Lancashire School Games as it is a chance to meet new people. I am really excited for the dancing as a I do ballet but this competition is more contemporary so it will be different.”

Alfred Wright, age 11, also of Brindle Gregson Lane Primary School, said: “I play basketball and football. I enjoy these because they are all about speed, agility, and fitness.

“The Lancashire School Games give me an opportunity to challenge myself against children from other schools and we have done really well so far in the football tournament. I am looking forward to representing South Ribble and my school through the rest of the year.”

Sarah Walker, Director of Business at Active Lancashire, said: “We are delighted to once again be working with James Hall & Co. Ltd and SPAR to bring the School Games to schoolchildren across Lancashire.

“After seeing the success of previous Lancashire School Games, we have decided to reformat the events this year to support even more children across Lancashire. Alongside SPAR and School Games organisers, we are working to create bespoke events for each cluster area within Lancashire, providing each child with the opportunity to access sports and activities, find a hobby and increase their confidence.

“This vital work could not be done without SPAR’s support, and I would like to once again thank them for their continued commitment to helping Active Lancashire support children across the region.”

Niels Dekkers, Retail Development Director at James Hall & Co. Ltd, said: “Over many years we have seen first-hand the value that SPAR’s sponsorship has brought to the Lancashire School Games with hundreds of thousands of children enjoying the benefits of challenge, competition, and physical activity in that time.

“With a new vision for the Lancashire School Games going forward, with an even greater localised agenda to programme delivery, we at James Hall & Co. Ltd and SPAR look forward to seeing the positive impact of these changes on young people living in communities across Lancashire.”

The Lancashire School Games are run by Active Lancashire and the School Games Organiser Network and have been sponsored by SPAR since 2006.

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

For more information about the Lancashire School Games, please visit the website at: