Blackburn Rovers' nearest primary school neighbours enjoyed virtual home advantage as they won the Kinder +Sport Move and Learn Tournament at Ewood Park.
The Redeemer Church of England Primary School were the overall winners on a big day of football, as hundreds of year five and six pupils got the chance to compete in a 16-team strong seven-a-side tournament on the pitch.
The competing schools were invited as a reward for their participation in a variety of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust projects throughout the course of the year, including Premier League Primary Stars, the Kinder +Sport Kids Cup and Kinder +Sport Move and Learn.
14 sides from Lancashire schools were joined by two more traveling teams who made an extra effort to attend - Millom St James Catholic Primary School from Cumbria and Stanhope Barrington C of E Primary School from County Durham, both of whom have been keen participants in a number of Community Trust initiatives over the past couple of seasons.
Four groups of four teams went head-to-head in an initial round-robin stage, followed by a further three-game ranking group stage, with all the schools playing off against the sides that finished in the equivalent position to them in other group.
Eventual winners The Redeemer were joined by Stanhope Barrington, St Peter's Darwen and St Francis in the title play-off group as a high standard of football was displayed and a great deal of enjoyment taken by those involved in the experience.
Nick Jackson-Cooney, who organised the tournament in his role as senior sport and education development officer at the Community Trust, was delighted with the outcome of the event, explaining:
"Our ongoing work with dozens of schools all over the county and in areas even further afield is a real two-way partnership, with the schools becoming passionate advocates of Blackburn Rovers and our staff giving their pupils an amazing educational and sporting experience.
"Certain schools have gone above and beyond what is expected to support us this year, so this tournament was a perfect chance to thank them for their continued participation in our projects and give the children a memory they'll never forget.
"With the buy-in from the football club to allow us to use the stadium facilities, we can use that to inspire hundreds of families every day to connect with Blackburn Rovers.
"These events are not only beneficial for the all-round development of the children, but a key chance to ensure that everyone taking part loves the experience of visiting Ewood Park and leaves them wanting to come back time and again."
Primary schools that are keen to discover how they can play themselves into contention for an appearance at similar events in future years can contact Nick via firstname.lastname@example.org
for a background of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust's offering, or schools can register their interest for the Premier League Primary Stars package directly at www.plprimarystars.com
, making sure to select Blackburn Rovers from the 'local club' option at the registration stage.