School pupils from East Lancashire have enjoyed skateboarding, scootering, and BMXing as part of the SPAR Lancashire School Games.

Held at Junction 4 Urban Skatepark in Darwen, 240 primary and secondary school boys from 24 schools in Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale learned new skills, developed confidence, and picked up a few tricks along the way.

The sessions were run across two days and the pupils were under the expert eye of professional coaches including skateboarder Cath Shanks, scooter rider Indy Clayson, and BMX rider Leon Perkins.

In the 2023-24 academic year, the Games have been reformatted with an increased focus on hosting 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.

Schoolchildren and staff from schools participating at Junction 4 gave a big thumbs up to the activities, and the programme of events that have been held so far this year.

Yusuf Khansia, a Year 7 pupil at Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School in Blackburn, said: “I have ridden a bike before, but I had never done skateboarding or scootering. It was really good fun. The BMX was my favourite and I learned how to do the surfer move on it.”

Zak Ali, a Year 5 pupil from Heasandford Primary School in Burnley, said: “The skatepark was amazing and I really enjoyed all the activities. Scootering was my favourite, and I couldn’t believe I was being taught by a professional. It was great day, and I would like to do it again.”

William Cawley, Head of PE at Whitworth Community High School in Rossendale, said: “With the changes to the School Games this year the activities have offered a wider pathway of opportunities for our children. The skating, scootering, and BMXing are something new and exciting and we have children here that have not previously taken part in the Games.

“By encouraging children to try new things they are gaining confidence and learning that they can play sport. The Games have had a positive knock-on impact on levels of participation in both intra and inter-school sport this year. Participation is significantly higher than we have previously seen, and I’m delighted at this development.”

Andy Clark, Schools Partnership Officer at Active Lancashire, said: “We had a fantastic two days at Junction 4. It was awesome to see the children enjoying the sessions and I was hugely impressed by how quickly they picked up the techniques they were being taught.

“Two of the three activities in skateboarding and BMX cycling will be sports at the Olympics in Paris later this year and it would be brilliant if the sessions have inspired the children to take up any of the activities going forward.”

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 & 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.

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

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