THE town’s Blaguegate Sports Fields will once again play host to around 1,500 young footballers when the Skelmersdale Athletic National Girls Tournament kicks off for the 10th time on Saturday, June 10.
Held in association with the NSPCC, the two-day event has raised more than £30,000 to date to enable the charity to help keep children safe from abuse and neglect.
Four years ago the tournament nominated Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) as their charity partner and already £10,000 has also been donated to help screen more than 350 young people for potentially fatal heart defects believed to affect up to 600 every year.
One of the organisers, Michael Vella, said: “The tournament is home to some of the very best amateur teams, coaches and players in girls football, with many of its past participants going on to play the game at the very highest level.
“Each year it has grown, with more and more teams being given the opportunity to take part.
“The tournament is now running at capacity hosting 108 teams and up to 1,500 players, from across the UK and Ireland.
“Due to the hard work and dedication of a small but passionate group of organisers, Skem Athletic AFC have realised their ambition of promoting the benefits and values of women’s football on a national and international level.
“This is grass-roots football at its very best, and the tournament is a great example of the impact that football can have on the development and attitudes of young players, across the age groups.
“We have excellent facilities, generous sponsors, great referees and a dedicated team of amazing volunteers who over the years have helped to make the event what it is today.
“This tournament has become a fantastic platform for players to express themselves and play the game in the right spirit.
“On behalf of everyone at Skem Athletic I would like to thank you all for the last 10 years.”