COUNCILLORS have fired the starting gun on a competition for Blackburn with Darwen school pupils to submit designs to brighten the outside wall of new athletics facility in Witton Park.

Youngsters are being asked to come up with drawings of the first things they think of when they hear the word athletics.

The pupil with the winning design will work with architects and graphic designers to create the artwork for the cladding panels of the building.

The winner will receive £100 for art or sports equipment and their school will get £1000 for its art department. The competition is the brainchild of councillors Jim Smith, chair of planning, and Damian Talbot, leisure chief.

Coun Smith said: “I am excited about the wonderful concepts pupils come up with. The winning artwork will brighten the arena.”