Labour councillors on Lancaster City Council have given a massive thumbs up to hosting the International Youth Games in Lancaster in 2013. When the Games were last due to be held in the District in 2009 the council withdrew support as a cost-cutting measure.
Now councillor Eileen Blamire, leader of the council, has suggested that the cost could be spread over two financial years.
“All my Labour colleagues were strongly in favour of hosting the games which are likely to cost around £53,000 in total," she says. "We have been sending out teams to our twin towns each year, and not to take our turn in hosting the event every four years would have seemed very unsporting.
"The Games will attract parents, competitors and supporters from our twin towns and will benefit our visitor economy," she argues. "They will provide a uniquely rich experience for participants and spectators alike”.
“Competitors are not just confined to sports like athletics, badminton, rowing, tennis and swimming, but will also provide opportunities to participate in cultural activities such as drama, dance and music," added Councillor Ron Sands, cabinet member responsible for young people said. "There will also be provision for youngsters with disabilities”.
“The window of opportunity for schoolchildren at these games is very narrow," Coun Blamire notes. "If we did not host the games in 2013 those children would be denied an opportunity that they will remember for the rest of their lives”.