Olympic gold medalist to visit award winning youth project

PC Andrew Wright, the brains behind the Nowt2Do project
PC Andrew Wright, the brains behind the Nowt2Do project
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A WIGAN borough project to keep children off the streets has made such an impact that now an Olympic big gun has asked to see it.

On Thursday athletics legend Jonathan Edwards will drop in at Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley to find out what all the fuss is about Nowt2Do.

The former Olympic gold medalist, who 17 years on is still triple jump world record-holder, has specially requested to see the project which recently won a Chief Constable’s Excellence Award for PC Andy Wright who runs it.

A key part of the Olympics is its wider legacy in getting youngsters engaged in both sporting and cultural activites, and Nowt2Do has ticked all the boxes to such an extent that it has caught the eye of event organisers.

In the last four years PC Wright has helped to keep no fewer than 17,000 local youngsters busy with leisure activities based out of school hours at Fred Longworth, Lowton, Bedford, St Mary’s, Westleigh and, until it closed, Hesketh Fletcher High Schools.

For the Edwards visit, youngsters involved in the scheme have prepared a special welcome banner which is exactly 18.29m long - the distance he sprang to attain sporting immortality at the World Championships in 1995.

PC Wright said: “This is such a big coup. That Seb Coe’s right-hand man should come to see our scheme so close to the Olympics’ starting is a wonderful endorsement.

“We have been going for four years now but suddenly everything is now coming to a head, what with the recognition we have been receiving.

“The project will give Jonathan Edwards a very warm welcome.”

By a pure coincidence another Olympic legend will be in the area this week too.

On Wednesday Dame Kelly Holmes will officially open West Lancashire College’s new £42.8m Skelmersdale building.

The state-of-the-art college will provide thousands of learners with world-class facilities, including specialised real working environments and vocational teaching spaces, designed to meet the needs of local employers.

Double gold-medallist Dame Kelly will meet staff and learners at an Olympic-themed event which showcases the building. She will be joined by the Mayor of West Lancashire, representatives from the local councils, community groups and schools in the celebrations.