Big stage for Leigh athlete Lucas

Lucas Warburton
Lucas Warburton

Lucas Warbuton from Leigh will chase high profile success at the upcoming Sainsbury’s 2015 School Games (3-6 September) in Manchester, when he competes in this prestigious multi-sport event for school-age athletes.

One of the 1,500 athletes taking part in this year’s Games, 15-year-old Lucas from Westleigh High School will represent England North in fencing. In total, 12 sports, seven of which include disability disciplines, will be contested at the four-day spectacular which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.

Lucas will be following in the footsteps of some of Britain’s biggest sporting stars including Paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock, world-record breaking swimmer Adam Peaty, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, World Junior Champion heptathlete and high jumper Morgan Lake and sprinter Adam Gemili, who all competed at the School Games before going on to elite success with Team GB and ParalympicsGB.

At the event, Lucas will experience the excitement of competing at the highest level. He will live within the Athletes’ Village, attend show-stopping opening and closing ceremonies and perform in front of a crowd of thousands at world class sports facilities in Manchester.

Lucas said: “I am very excited about being selected for my first ever Sainsbury’s School Games competition. It will be great to compete alongside my friends against other athletes and experience wheelchair basketball in a different tournament atmosphere.”

Alongside the competing athletes there will be 400 young volunteers bringing the Sainsbury’s 2015 School Games to life. Young reporters will be among the journalists reporting the action and many of the officials and coaches will also be young people.

Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch said: “The Sainsbury’s School Games continue to go from strength to strength and I am pleased to see so many young athletes embracing this fantastic opportunity to showcase their talents.”

“Grassroots sport is where it all starts. It’s where the coaches and sports teachers mould our future stars, inspiring generations to get involved and be the best that they can be.”

Sport England Director of Community Sport Mike Diaper said: “The Sainsbury’s School Games is a fantastic event, launching the careers of some of our brightest sporting stars. This event is an amazing opportunity for our next generation of aspiring athletes to compete against one another in a fun environment while also experiencing what it’s like to be part of a major multi-sport event. Congratulations to all those who have qualified for this year’s event in Manchester, I wish you the best of luck.”

Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver said: “The 1,500 athletes attending the Sainsbury’s 2015 School Games in Manchester will discover what competing at a major multi-sport event is really like. Many sporting superstars have used the Games as a platform to elite success including the likes of Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Adam Gemili and Ellie Simmonds and we hope Lucas will be inspired to do the same.”

Sainsbury’s sponsorship manager Peter Ward said: “We’ve seen just how important Sainsbury’s School Games events are for young athletes, from building confidence and encouraging participation in sport, to forging the way to Olympic medals. We’re looking forward to this year’s competition and wish all the young athletes the best of luck.”