Sporting Challenge awarded funding from Skipton Building Society September 2012




Sporting Challenge have been awarded £1050.80 from the Skipton Building Society to go towards the cost of various sporting activities over the next year. This funding will allow the Sporting Challenge to try new activities as well as ones tried before. The donation will enable the group to introduce more people in the area who have learning difficulties to creative and fun exercise sessions.

Sporting Challenge is made up of parents and carers who have been providing sporting activities for around 30 people with learning difficulties in West Lancashire for nearly three years. They organise evening and weekend activities including ten pin bowling, aerobics, swimming and now kurling golf. The classes are a great way for their service users to have fun, make friends and lead an active lifestyle. And they also provide some respite care for their families and carers.

It can be difficult for people with learning difficulties to access sport and exercise activities. Barriers include parents or carers being unable to physically take them and stay with them at classes, and they can also experience physical difficulties with participating in mainstream sport and exercise classes.

This is where Sporting Challenge can really help. It provides special workers who can collect participants from where they live and provide much needed support while they are having fun, before dropping them off back home.

Chairman of Sporting Challenge, John Haggart said that he was delighted with the donation Sporting Challenge had received from the Skipton as it has enabled us offer more activities for our members. Thank you very much on behalf of everyone.



Football in West Lancs


In West Lancs are the Skem Men-aces who aim is to provide football to all adults with a learning disability in a safe and friendly environment. The club is not only unique to Skelmersdale but also West Lancs. The club has also been visited by the Special Olympics. The team plays in Skelmersdale and much more information can be found on their website. For more information click below-

Skem Men-aces Website





Sponsored Walk 2nd Sept 2012


Sporting Challenge, a group of parent carers providing sporting activities for local adults with learning disabilities held a sponsored Walk on the 2nd September. It started at the Ring O’Bells and we walked along the canal to Parbold and back. The walk was about 4.5 miles and took 2 hours to complete. The walkers included members of the Sporting Challenge board, staff, parents and people who take part in our sporting activities. The weather stayed dry and the walkers enjoyed a nice afternoon, whilst raising much needed funds for the group.

Said Edward McCarthy, Sporting Challenge trustee and secretary: “We aim to keep members fit and healthy, and also arrange evening and weekend activities include 10 pin bowling, aerobics, swimming , zumba and boccia/kurling, dance/ drama all sat local venues in West Lancs.”

“Many people with a learning disability don’t take part in any exercise activity because the family carers who support them are either not motivated or unable to take them on such activities which they can’t attend on their own,” he added.

If anyone would like to sponsor the walkers please get in touch by calling our chairman John Haggart on 01704 893835 or find out more information on our website





Councillors’ praise for Sporting Challenge Olympic themed night


Young adults with learning disabilities from right across West Lancashire were praised after taking part in an Olympic-themed evening.

Sporting Challenge organised the event at Skelmersdale Cricket Club, which ended with a prize giving ceremony with special guests Cllr David Sudworth, West Lancashire Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Community Safety, and County Cllr Carolyn Evans, Lancashire County Council’s Champion for the Disabled.

The event was the brainchild of Sporting Challenge secretary and trustee, Edward McCarthy, who had himself gone to watch the Olympic Games, and thought it would be a great idea to hold an Olympic themed night. Together with Chairman John Haggart they got to work with some more unusual ideas, including javelin throwing, circus skills and welly throwing!

The evening was funded through a grant awarded by County Cllr Evans and regional radio station Real Radio supplied the event with “Olympic”  medals to give out to all the participants.

Cllr Sudworth said: “I was delighted to attend Sporting Challenge’s event along with Cllr Evans and present the participants and their carers with their prizes. They were extremely enthusiastic and it was clear everyone had a great time.

“It was very interesting to hear about the good work undertaken by Sporting Challenge to give people with learning disabilities the opportunity to participate in different sporting activities and encourage them to improve their health and wellbeing.”

For more information on Sporting Challenge, visit

Attached photos shows Cllrs David Sudworth and Carolyn Evans handing out medals at the prize-giving at Skelmersdale Cricket Club and the evening itself.





































Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation Award August 2012


Sporting Challenge are a group of Parent/Carers who from 2008 have been providing sporting activities for around 30 people with learning disabilities in West Lancashire to keep them fit and healthy. These evening and weekend activities include Ten Pin Bowling, Aerobics, Swimming and Boccia/Kurling at local Sports Centres. Many people with a learning disability don’t take part in any exercise activity because the family/carers who support them are not motivated or are unable to take them on such activities and they can’t go on their own. We provide Sessional Workers who will collect them from where they live, support the people whilst they are at the sports centres and then return them home after the activities.

Sporting Challenge has obtained a grant of £540 for Boccia/Kurling from the Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation.  This will allow us to run sessions of Boccia / New Age Kurling at Burscough Wharf. Many thanks to the Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation. For more information click their logo below.












Olympics Night 30th August 2012



Sporting Challenge are celebrating the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics by organising a special evening event.  The evening will be a lot of fun in what has been a brilliant summer of British sport. Have you got what it takes to win a medal? The Medals will be awarded by special guests. There will be a variety of usual and unusual games , an Olympic Torch too and flags.

Taking place at Skelmersdale Cricket Club on Thursday 30th August, please get in touch for more details.




Sponsored Walk 2nd September 2012


Sporting Challenge are holding a sponsored Walk on the 2nd of September starting at 1.30pm at the Ring ‘O’ Bells pub (L40 5TE). The walk will be to Parbold and back, which is around 4.5 miles and should take about 2 hours. Your support is gratefully received. For more details please get in touch.

Please click below for a sponsorship form-

Sporting Challenge Sponsored Walk Form









Southport Bowling night 23rd July 2012


On 23rd July 2012 it was the latest ten pin bowling night at Southport Premier Bowl, on Ocean Plaza. Everyone really enjoyed the evening and there were quite a few strikes. Please get in touch for more information on the activities on offer.