Coaches aim to keep Lancaster youth games alive

The Lancaster International Youth Games squad.
The Lancaster International Youth Games squad.
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Sport coaches are planning to keep Lancaster kids involved in an annual international youth games.

A group of local sport leaders have got together to try to ensure Lancaster can host next year’s International Youth Games after all.

This comes after Lancaster City Council pulled the plug on the district’s involvement in the 2016 games due to budget cuts.

The International Youth Games takes place every year and usually sees young people from Lancaster compete against youngsters from its twin towns including Aalborg, Denmark, Almere, Netherlands and Rendsburg, Germany.

Although Lancaster will not compete in Rendsburg later this year, city badminton coach Mike Tyrrell said he hopes the newly-formed volunteer committee can organise a smaller-scale event in Lancaster in 2017.

Mike, who coaches youngsters at Ripley school, said he was “gutted” when he heard Lancaster would not be involved this year.

“We go to the event each year with other families and get to know them,” he said.

“The kids get to learn about other cultures and make friends for life.

“In badminton, they get to play against the top players in Europe as many of them come from Holland and Denmark.”

Mike said the committee, made up of tennis, athletics, swimming and karate coaches as well as himself, is already in talks over funding and facilities for the 2017 event.

The last time Lancaster hosted the games in 2013 it cost Lancaster City Council around £53,000.

But Mike said the 2017 event would be run off a smaller budget.

“It will be low key and it will be what we can afford, but we would put the sports on and have an opening and closing ceremony,” he said.

The group is looking for sponsors. If you can help email Chris Haggan at cphaggan@hotmail.com .