Splat fest unites young

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MORE than 500 young people will take part in one of Wigan borough’s biggest amateur sporting events next week.

Splat Fest will see hundreds of nine to 11-year-olds taking part in a host of events including athletics, tag rugby, football and volleyball at Leigh Sports Village.

Watched and supported by some of the borough’s most talented athletes, children will be encouraged to work as a team with the focus of the event about encouraging participation rather than winning.

Splat, which stands for Sport, Participation, Leadership, Achievement and Teamwork, is a programme run in the borough’s schools by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s Sports Development Unit.

Throughout the year pupils take part in various tasks and activities allowing them to gain rewards and points to receive free stickers, badges and T-shirts all culminating in the inter-schools Splat Festival.

Lyndsey Johnson, Manager of Wigan Sports Development Unit, said: “The Splat programme is a great way to show young people that sport is fun and that whatever your ability it’s the taking part that counts.

“If they enjoy themselves when they take part in school sports then they’re more likely to continue to take part in healthy pursuits outside of school which will have a huge benefit for their health later in life.

“Splat Fest is a wonderful way to celebrate the achievements of those that have taken part throughout the last year and a chance for them to show off the skills they have developed, such as leadership and teamwork.”

Local athletes from track and field, including Laura Riches, 19, a regular in the GB youth team for steeplechase, will be on hand to inspire and offer top tips to the youngsters.

Academy players from Wigan Warriors and American Footballer Cameron Burrell, 17, who has been selected to play for Great Britain later this year, will also be on hand to give sporting advice.

A total of 17 schools from across the borough will be taking part during the event held at Leigh Sports Village on Thursday June 21.

For more details visit www.wlct.org.