7 Apr 2009

Youngsters across Flintshire are going sports crazy - dancing, dunking and dribbling their way through a wide range of sports - in the run up to the third annual Flintshire Festival of Youth Sport. (Taken from Flintshire County Council)

The one-day event, supported by Airbus and the Sports Council for Wales, takes place on Thursday 30 April at Deeside College and will see a record number of around 1,500 youngsters participating. As a result of its growing popularity, more sports than ever are on offer this year - including basketball, cheerleading, street dance, tri-golf, mountain biking, rugby, hockey, gymnastics and futsal, which is an indoor, five-a-side football game played in a confined area incorporating technical ability with creativity and ball control.

Sport Flintshire has offered all primary, specialist and secondary schools in Flintshire the opportunity to access coaching sessions in a number of sports delivered by qualified coaches through the Sports Council for Wales’ Dragon Sport*, 5x60** and PESS*** (PE and School Sport).

Schools can then enter up to three teams per activity to take part at the festival, with a view to encouraging them to continue developing their new found skills well into the future for a healthy adulthood.

This year’s event has celebrity endorsement with planned visits from FLAVA, the dance crew from Britain’s Got Talent, and BB from ITV’s Britannia High. Support is also coming from the BiG Storage Cheshire Jets basketball team and ex-Liverpool and Wales international footballer, Ian Rush.

Sport Flintshire Sports Development Officer, Sian Williams, said:

"We’re really excited about this year’s events and the wide variety of sports and activities we have on offer. We hope all the young people enjoy their chosen sports and continue to play them once the festival is over.

"We would also like to thank Airbus and the Sports Council for Wales for their continued support."

Airbus in the UK, whose manufacturing facility is in Broughton, Flintshire, are supporting the event once again, as are the Sports Council for Wales, through their business incentive scheme - Sportsmatch Cymru - matching Airbus’ investment pound for pound.

Jeremy Cieslik, Vice President Industrial Operations Airbus Wing and Pylon Centre of Excellence said:

"The Festival of Youth Sport is a brilliant opportunity for young people to learn new skills whilst also having fun participating in a wide variety of sports and activities. As a major employer in Flintshire, Airbus is proud to once again be part of this fantastic event within our local community".

Sports Council for Wales Member, Hywel Meredydd, said:

"The Sports Council for Wales is delighted to once again support Airbus and Sport Flintshire’s Festival of Youth Sport. This is our third year of involvement with this excellent event, which has made huge inroads in encouraging youngsters of all abilities to take part in a large variety of sports.

"The Festival of Youth Sport is more than just one day of fun. Sport Flintshire has built the foundations for a lifetime of fun through fitness for juniors and this innovative and forward thinking approach deserves a great deal of recognition."

The event is now firmly embedded as a major calendar event for schools and sports clubs in Flintshire and this years’ festival aims to be a day of celebration; where local young people are able to participate in sports and enjoy the skills which have been developed and nurtured by the coaching programme. A focus on school club links and sustainable exit routes into community sports clubs is also a fundamental principle of Sport Flintshire’s work and organisers hope that the festival can underpin and reinforce meaningful club links.