Blackburn Community Sports Club enjoyed their annual trip to Northern Ireland – and for the first time, its disablity football teqam was joined by the club’s boccia players.

Due to the size of the group – which included children with disabilities, siblings, parents, coaches and volunteers – the boccia and football club members travelled over on separate flights but met up again safely at the Millennium Centre, Ganoway.

On the first day, the boccia team took part in a round robin competition against a local special school, Killard House. Blackburn Community Sports Club had two eams competing with matches played in a competitive yet fun manner, and were narrowly beaten to the trophy by Killard House B team.

The football squad split in to three teams to play against Carrick Fergus – supported by mainstream players form Bangor Young Boys.

Again all the players worked hard for each other withsome superb skills on show but the BCSC were edged out by a very good Carrick Fergus ‘A’ team.

The next day, the group had the opportunity to take part in outdoor activities such as archery, climbing and the ever popular zip slide before setting off to Green Island Community Club where we were treated to lunch. At around 6.00pm the party divided once more for their return to England.

BCSC committee member Ian Jones said: “Winning their respective competitions would have been a bonus for the two sports teams but that was irrelevant in the end. “The biggest winner was the number of new friendships that have developed between children, adults and families, both within the club and with our hosts in Ireland. “Long may these friendships continue.”

The club thanked the John Bury Trust who provided financial support for the trip to go ahead.

n The club’s National 3 Peaks Challenge has raised £9,800. A total of £5,800 went to the club which paid for a defibrillator and contributed towards a Summer Holiday Scheme for Children with Disabilities. The remaining £4,000 was donated to Ellie Leathert who is to go to America for an operation to aid her to walk without support.