The SPAR Lancashire School Games 2022-23 have been launched in style with support from dozens of schoolchildren from across the Red Rose County.
Held at James Hall & Co. Ltd’s SPAR Distribution Centre in Preston, more than 60 children were invited to launch the event with Active Lancashire and the School Games Organiser Network, which runs the games throughout the academic year for the 17th year of the SPAR Lancashire School Games.
Schoolchildren from across Lancashire were greeted at the event by the SPAR mascot who was on hand to pose for photographs too.
There was an inspiring personal account shared by School Games Ambassador Kieran Tait on the impact of the Games on him, and in the week of International Women’s Day 2023, retired hockey star Charlotte Hartley made a guest appearance to share her professional career story.
Charlotte, from Burnley, won a Commonwealth Games bronze medal in 2006 representing England, and she also took the time to do a short Q&A session with the schoolchildren.
Talks were also provided by James Hall & Co. Ltd directors Niels Dekkers and Fiona Drummond, and Active Lancashire chief executive Adrian Leather, on the importance of the Games and their value to SPAR.
Children and school staff then enjoyed a full tour of the James Hall & Co. Ltd warehouse and were treated to a SPAR branded lunch.
In 2022-23, Active Lancashire will continue to provide events within the SPAR Lancashire School Games that will help young people recover from the effects of the pandemic while supporting those who may have been impacted the most. The Games will culminate with a celebration finale held in Blackpool’s Stanley Park in July.
The 2021-22 academic year was the first time in three years that a full programme of activities was able to be put on because of the pandemic, and the Games engaged more than 21,000 children.
SPAR is sponsoring the Lancashire School Games for the 17th consecutive year through its association with James Hall & Co. Ltd, SPAR UK’s primary wholesaler and distributor for the North of England.
Niels Dekkers said: “It was a pleasure to host the launch of the SPAR Lancashire School Games at our Preston depot, the first time we have been able to do this in several years due to the pandemic.
“In alignment with our brand values, we are proud to place SPAR’s name in support of the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles across Lancashire through the Games, particularly among the younger population.
“By holding the launch at our distribution centre, we were delighted to show schoolchildren what we do as a business having seen what benefits the Games delivered for them in 2021-22.”
Adrian Leather said: “With the triumphant return of the SPAR Lancashire School Games in 2021-22, a return to normality never felt so good, and it was fantastic to have such strong engagement in the Games last year.
“There is still a tremendous amount of recovery work to do to support young people across Lancashire to participate in physical activity after the pandemic, and it is testimony to the hard work of the School Games Organiser Network who help us deliver this day in and day out to meet that demand.
“We also cannot achieve this without the unwavering support of SPAR and James Hall & Co. Ltd, and I would like to thank them sincerely for their continued sponsorship of the Games, and for hosting us with a successful launch event.”
James Hall & Co. Ltd serves a network of independent SPAR retailers and company-owned SPAR stores across Northern England six days a week from its base at Bowland View in Preston.
You can find out more about James Hall & Co. Ltd at www.jameshall.co.uk.
For more information about Active Lancashire, please visit www.activelancashire.org.uk.