IT’S the greatest sporting extravaganza in junior sport in the county and East Lancashire’s schools triumphed at this year’s SPAR Lancashire School Games county finals.

The biggest event of its kind saw around 2,000 sporting youngsters from across the county battle it out to be crowned champions at Stanley Park in Blackpool.

Team East Lancashire brought home a total of 19 medals including seven gold, shooting them to the top of the medal tally and making them the overall Lancashire champions.

The success was helped by St Augustine’s R.C High School who won three gold medals – taking gold in both the girls’ and boys’ athletics events.

The school also secured gold in the rounders tournament while Ridgewood from Burnley took the top spot in an inclusive orienteering competition.

The success did not stop there as Blacko Primary School from Pendle took gold in the tag rugby cup and St Joseph’s RC Primary School from the Ribble Valley grabbed the top title and the plate in tag rugby.

The PAN disability footballers also shot to success as East Lancashire secondary schools secured all three of the top spots.

St Bede’s from Blackburn took gold, while Accrington Academy secured silver and Park from Pendle the bronze.

The SPAR Lancashire School Games, now in its eighth year is part of the national £128m School Games programme, aimed at motivating and inspiring millions of young people to take part in competitive school sport.

The event is the culmination of a host of inter-school and inter-district competitions with finals in 13 sports including; girls football, tag rugby, athletics, tennis and gymnastics.

The day was kick-started with a colourful opening ceremony and GB athlete Holly Bleasdale and Paralympian Shelly Woods on hand to give pupils top tips before they competed. Karen Stephens, Chair of the Lancashire School Games organising committee, said: “This event rounds off a brilliant year of sport for Lancashire’s schools.

“The SPAR Lancashire School Games is fully inclusive and enables every school and child to participate in a host of competitive sports, boosting sport participation within the county.”

Andrew Barnes, director of Trading & Marketing at James Hall & Co. Ltd (SPAR distributors for the North of England), added: “The atmosphere throughout the day was electric with pupils not only competing in their sports, but also enjoying the cultural activities on offer, and I’d like to congratulate all those involved in making the event such a success.”

To get to the final, schools competed internally at Level One, before progressing to Level Two district inter-school competitions in an attempt to be crowned champions at the Level Three county multi-sport games.