FORMER football referee and goalie turned Mayor Cllr Derek Hardman went back to his roots this week to take part in a ‘Sports for All’ event,

Blackburn with Darwen's 'First Citizen' and his wife Colette joined more one hundred people with disabilities and their families at a festival at Creative Football’s home, the 3G football pitch at Witton Park.

It was organised for people who are supported by Creative Support, Creative Football’s sister organisation which provides care for people with physical and learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs.

Cllr Hardman, Blackburn with Darwen's Mayor and his Mayoress played 'bat and ball' during their visit.

Sport England’s latest survey shows disabled people or those born with a long-term health condition are twice as likely to be physically inactive.

Disabled people have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus.

The activities included wheelchair races, bat and ball, football and guided walks around the park.

Cllr Hardman, said: “The Mayoress and I were really honoured to attend the 'Sports for All' festival and take part in the activities.

"It was a lot of fun and was a fantastic inclusive event. It was great to see so many people there taking part and being active in so many different ways.”

Creative Support team leader Debra Gago said: “The event was fabulous and really enjoyed by everyone who attended.

"Many of the people we care for live in residential and domiciliary care and didn’t see their families for long periods of time during lockdown so this event enabled families to spend quality time together.

"It was such a success that we’d like to hold more events like this in the future.”