A CHARITY sports event aimed at promoting participation in the community signalled the official launch of the Cheshire Mentoring Project in Crewe on Saturday.
Six teams from organisations as varied as St John Ambulance and Asda battled it out at the Oakley Centre for the honour of becoming the inaugural champions of the South Cheshire Mentoring Games.
Organised by children's charity Toc H, the games, modelled on TV's We Are The Champions, were set up to promote the group's work offering one-to-one advice and guidance to youngsters from a care background.
The games comprised six events - five were 'point-scoring' and included shoot-outs in basketball, football and hockey, with the sixth 'time-trial' obstacle-course determining how long other teams could score points for.
After two circuits, Crewe's YMCA team clocked a winning total of 179 points and were crowned champions just ahead of London North West Railway (LNWR) and St John Ambulance.
Toc H's Peter Muirhead, a former social worker who dreamt up the games with help from the Crewe and Nantwich Sports Development team, said: 'It was a fun day - everyone enjoyed themselves.
'We wanted to promote our ethos of participation in the community to the people of South Cheshire.
'The Mentoring Scheme will now get under way properly in South Cheshire, and we are seeking volunteers to befriend young people who don't have anyone else to turn to.
'The work is very much in the same spirit as Saturday's event, with people coming together, meeting for the first time, sharing differences and similarities, leaving prejudice at the door and breaking down barriers.'
On hand was Toc H chief executive, the Rev Geoff Smith to receive generous sponsorship cheques from LNWR and the Sport England-run SportsMatch scheme.
The money will not only go towards the costs of Saturday's event but also help fund training for new volunteers and further benefit existing Toc H projects in Crewe's West End.