LOWER Darwen Primary School continued their Sportshall Athletics domination after they were crowned borough champions for the fifth consecutive year.

The multi-talented Year Five/Six team ran faster, threw further and jumped higher than their Blackburn and Darwen rivals to book a place in next month’s county finals in Blackpool.

The champions starred in both track and field events as they finished 30 points clear of second-placed Redeemer and 60 ahead of Longshaw who were third at the borough finals held at St Wilfrid’s High School.

The final was the culmination of six qualifying festivals that included 36 primary schools and was held at St Bede’s, St Wilfrid’s, Darwen Vale, Pleckgate, Witton and Our Lady & St John’s - with the winner of each qualifier for a borough final.

More than 700 youngsters have been involved in the competitions - one of the most popular events in the school sporting calendar - with around 150 Young Leaders from secondary schools overseeing proceedings.

The six schools that took part in the the final were Avondale, St Francis, The Redeemer, Longshaw, St Paul’s RC and reigning champions Lower Darwen.

Pupils competed in six track and six field events and Lower Darwen completed dominated the boys event - winning every race on the track and, in the field events, taking first place in the speed bounce, standing long jump and vertical jump while they were second in the other three disciplines - chest push, standing triple jump and soft javelin.

The boys racked up 138 points, 34 more than Redeemer who won the standing triple jump event.

St Pauls, who were fifth overall impressed in the boys field events, winning both the chest push and vertical jump and were joint second in the soft javelin which was won by Longshaw who finished in third.

In the girls event, the honours were spread out and Lower Darwen did not get it all their own way as it was Redeemer who were crowned winners.

Redeemer won three times on the track - obstacle relay, two lap relay and over/under relay - and also the standing long jump in the field.

They topped the table with 102 points, four ahead of Lower Darwen who also won four events; one lap relay, chest push, speed bounce, vertical jump and the one lap relay.

Longshaw finished third best girls team with 86 points thanks to winning both the standing triple jump and soft javelin.

In the overall standings, Avondale were fourth with 150 points, St Pauls fifth (134pts) and St Francis sixth (112pts).

Andrew Mercer, School Games Organiser, said: “I would like to congratulate all of the schools and pupils who have been part of Primary Sportshall Athletics over what has been a very busy couple of months.

“A massive thank you goes to all the secondary schools and their PE staff for hosting and running the events.

“The secondary young leaders who officiated and scored the events were brilliant and an absolute credit to their secondary schools.

“I wish Lower Darwen the best of luck as they progress to the county finals and we now move onto our Year 3/4 Sportshall athletics festivals with another 26 schools registered to attend over the next two weeks.”

Sportshall is an exciting indoor programme of adapted athletics activities. Sportshall provides fun ways to build core skills, gain British Athletics Sportshall Awards and is renowned for its exhilarating team competitions. Sportshall is the top school sports participation competition in the UK.

Peter Dodding from James Hall & Co said: “We are thrilled to be able to continue our support for the SPAR Lancashire School Games and to help to promote healthy, active lifestyles alongside our partners Active Lancashire and the Lancashire school games organisers. Last year the games reached over 94,000 Lancashire school children – an amazing achievement and one we can’t wait to repeat in 2019.”

* The SPAR Lancashire School Games are sponsored by Lancashire business, James Hall & Co - SPAR UK’s wholesaler and distributor for the North of England - who are based in Preston. This will be the 13th year that James Hall & Co have sponsored the SPAR Lancashire School Games and the company is delighted to be continuing the partnership.