Blackburn Youth Zone heroes in double triumph

Blackburn Citizen: The Blackburn team taking part in dodgeball The Blackburn team taking part in dodgeball

BLACKBURN Youth Zone reigned supreme for the second year running after battling it out with other Youth Zone teams from across the North West.

The annual inter-Youth Zone tournament, the OnSide President’s Cup, saw 150 young people, aged eight to 19, from Blackburn, Carlisle, Manchester, Wigan, Bolton and Oldham compete against each other in a range of sporting and fitness activities.

As the current title holders, Blackburn Youth Zone hosted this year’s event and trained ‘extra hard’ to ensure they retained their status.

And their hard work paid off as they scored an impressive 110 points, beating Wigan, who came in second with 69 points by a long chalk.

This year was the first year featuring ‘inclusion teams’ made up of youngsters with disabilities and Blackburn’s inclusion team received high praise from the organisers after they won every single game they played.

Laura Walker, inclusion manager at Youth Zone Blackburn, said: “We were all so proud and it was fantastic to see the looks on their faces when they won.

“It is even more impressive that this is the first time that inclusion teams have been entered into the President’s Cup and our team won every time.”

The teams played dodgeball, unihoc, boccia and other sports games as well as taking part in dance and fitness challenges.

Laura said: “Everyone had a fantastic day and Blackburn just absolutely smashed it. They did so well and we had a party with pizza and cakes afterwards.”

David Barton, Young People’s Participation Manager at OnSide, said: “With over 20,000 members across the Youth Zone Network, the President’s Cup is a great opportunity for young people who don’t travel outside their local area, or compete with existing and established sports teams, to take part in a challenging, competitive and exciting event.

“Although the Youth Zones compete against each other regularly on an informal basis, this is the only time that all Youth Zones come together to compete on this level.

“The event is a fantastic testament to the impact Youth Zones have on the lives of young people.”

Blackburn Youth Zone, opened in June 2012 and offers a range of facilities to young people aged eight to 18.

The youth zone is open 365 days a year with youngsters paying amembership fee and then just 50 per session.

Young people are at the heart of the organisation with a dedicated number of Young Leaders having been developed to play an active role in both the life of the Youth Zone and in the wider community.

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