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Friday 16 March 2012

Wigan school set for Premier League tournament

New Fold Primary School to play at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in May

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan hands over the trophy to winning school New Fold Primary

Wigan Athletic

More than 30 primary schools from across Wigan took part in the Latics leg of the national Premier League Schools Tournament at the PowerLeague opposite the club's DW Stadium.

Following four hours of matches, New Fold Primary School from Orrell beat St Andrew's Primary School from Astley in the final and will now represent Wigan Athletic at the finals of the Under-11 competition at the Emirates Stadium in May.

"It's great to see so many young people enjoying football in the town"
- Dave Whelan

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan watched the competition from the semi-final stages and he was joined by Latics stars Hendry Thomas and Maynor Figueroa to present medals and the trophy to the winning team.

Each school was also given tickets to the home match against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday 17th March.

"It's great to see so many young people enjoying football in the town," said Whelan after the event.

"I wish all the best of the luck to the lads heading off to the Emirates Stadium to represent Wigan Athletic and hopefully they will bring back the trophy."

The Premier League Schools Tournament was established six years ago and gives school football teams the chance to team up with their local Premier League football club. Each of the 20 clubs stage their own competition to select a school to represent them in the finals.

The tournament and New Fold's progress will be featured by Disney XD's Goalmouth programme.

Blackburn Rovers

Meanwhile, badminton players from an Accrington school are in a class of their own thanks to continued funding from Blackburn Rovers Community Trust's Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S) project.

Now in its third year, PL4S is a nationwide initiative which aims to encourage young people to participate in badminton, judo, volleyball and table-tennis ahead of this summer's Olympics.

"By working in partnership with the PL4S project, badminton has gone from strength to strength"
- Teacher Rapheal Parker

As part of the groundbreaking partnership, the Community Trust set up a PL4S badminton club at St Christopher's CE High School and has delivered talented training sessions to participants, which have played a major part in the school's current success.

In the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley schools badminton competition, St Christopher's won both the boys and girls Under-16 events, as well as the Under-14 boys competition.

This earned the players the right to compete against the best in Lancashire, with all three teams reaching at least the semi-final stage.

However, the Under-14 boys went one step further, winning the final 4-1 to qualify for the North West finals, where they will compete against other counties.

PE teacher/PL4S club coach, Rapheal Parker, said: "The recent achievements have been amazing and all credit goes to the pupils that represented the school."

"The school is very passionate about badminton and by working in partnership with Blackburn Rovers Community Trust's PL4S project, badminton has gone from strength to strength.

"Our clubs are very inclusive - we cater from beginner level to gifted, and offer training for participants that wish to excel."

Blackburn Rovers

Languages students from Westholme Upper School were recently given the opportunity to practise their speaking skills with two native Spanish speakers from Blackburn Rovers' Academy.

Hugo Fernandez and David Raya answered questions from the GCSE and A-level Spanish students in Ewood Park's Media Theatre.

The class, who were on a language activity day organised by the Education Department at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, interviewed the players about their life on and off the pitch in their native tongue.

The students had earlier also created a two minute film behind-the-scenes at Ewood Park, with commentary in Spanish, which Hugo and David enjoyed watching in one of the Education Centre's IT suites after the interview.

At the end of the day everyone received copy of their work on DVD in order to demonstrate their proficient command of the language to teachers, friends and family.

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Key Points

  • New Fold Primary reach Premier League Schools Tournament finals at Arsenal
  • PL4S aids badminton players from Accrington
  • Blackburn kids helped in Spanish lessons by native-speakers from Academy