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A weekend to remember at Ewood

19 May 2016

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Blackburn Rovers Community Trust had the honour of the final use of the Ewood Park pitch for the 2015/16 season, granting access to around 1,000 excited players.

Between Thursday and Sunday, dozens of small or full sided games took place alongside a selection of training sessions, aimed at giving as many people as possible a reward for their support of the Club's community arm.
Starting on Thursday, the stadium played host to four Blackburn and Darwen Secondary Schools Sports Association Cup Finals, with four different schools all enjoying the delight of winning a trophy at Ewood.

The following afternoon, the Kinder + Sport Move and Learn tournament welcomed 16 primary schools to take part in a friendly competition, with multiple pitches in action.
The participating schools are all regular visitors to the stadium through their participation in the regular Central Venue League, which sees rounds of junior fixtures played at the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre throughout the school term. However, there was no denying that moving the action outdoors onto a superb grass pitch was an even greater experience than usual for the regular players.
Saturday started in great fashion with the Ewood Park Soccer Day for children aged five to 11. Their coaching sessions and small sided games brought smiles to the scores of faces in attendance throughout the morning. That sense of fun continued into the afternoon when two teams of teachers from the town played out a scoreless draw as part of a promotional fixture to introduce them to our ever-expanding Premier League School Sport programme.
Later in the day, our BTEC in Sport scholars, who usually represent the Community Trust at futsal, had the chance to play a full 11-a-side fixture against their Blackpool counterparts, playing out a 2-2 draw, and then the Social Inclusion Football League - which provides football for players with a variety of challenges such as homelessness or mental health issues - played a special round of fixtures across four pitches to give as many players as possible the chance to play on a professional stage.
We also enjoyed the honour of hosting a staff fixture against our friends from Everton in the Community as a reward for the team who gave up their weekend to help make the weekend a success.

Sunday was no less packed, with five hours of junior fixtures played at the stadium between various local clubs, prior to a trial fixture for new BTEC in Sport scholars and a bonus reward fixture for all those who have already committed to join next season's programme.
The winners of our Motivate! futsal leagues at Blackburn Youth Zone also came along for bonus fixtures as their reward for their triumphs this season, while we also enjoyed wins in a hat-trick of special fixtures.
Players from our Premier League Girls Football development programme beat their Bolton Wanderers counterparts 1-0, our Premier League Kicks participants tasted a 3-0 success over derby rivals Burnley, and the Ewood Blues triumphed 4-3 against the Preston North End fans' team in an amazing match that saw the lead change hands several times.
Gary Robinson, chief executive officer of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, was proud of the weekend's achievements, explaining:

"To give around 1,000 people the chance to play on such an amazing playing surface in just four days is a very special feeling, and in total we engaged with around 2,500 people that weekend when you take into account the numbers that came along to spectate at certain events.
"I'd like to thank all the participants for coming along and all the staff within the club and trust who joined forces to make it happen. We've now already got one eye on hopefully putting on a similar event this time next year and making it an even greater success."

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