An Olympic-style sports challenge organised by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service involved 13 schools across Merseyside.

The Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Fire Fit Active Challenge, held at Litherland Sports Centre, was the culmination of work by Fire Service volunteers to encourage healthy lifestyles through sport at schools.

During the project each Community Fire Station adopted schools in their area, where Fire Service volunteers delivered a variety of sports.

It culminated in Sefton’s own mini Olympics-themed event, with schools taking part in a host of sports activities.

Owen Fennell-Rutherford, from Bootle, who is one of the torchbearers of the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, kicked off the event with a lap of honour on the running track with his torch.

He said: “I think it’s a fantastic event. It has been really good linking in with the fire service.
“It is about encouraging children to not to give up on their ambitions.”

The challenge, which was staged in partnership with Merseytravel and Liverpool Primary Care Trust, saw schools representing their districts in activities ranging from rugby, the Fire Fit Inflatable Assault Course, the Fire Fit Climbing Wall to blind football.
MF&RS Watch Manager Paul Kay, who came up with the idea and organised the event, said: “It turned out fantastic, from a concept 12 months ago, which aimed to create formal partnerships between community fire stations, local communities and junior schools.

“We were able to put on a mass participation event showcasing MF&RS’s Fire Fit programme and how it is able to engage with schools across Merseyside.

“Looking at the future we are aiming to have upwards of four primary schools engaging with each of the fire stations. We welcome any interest from primary schools to be part of our Fire Fit family.

“Fire Fit sees firefighters and Fire Service volunteers acting as role models in the community to increase and enhance participation in physical and cultural activities, promote healthier lifestyles and in doing so play a significant part in enhancing the wellbeing of individuals and communities, whilst also assisting in the reduction of anti-social behaviour.”

The Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Fire Fit Active Challenge saw Fire Service volunteers visiting 20 schools across Merseyside to deliver a range of fire and health-related safety messages in an informal setting through sport.

The new concept saw the Fire Service volunteers’ time converted into a value which could then be used to buy sporting equipment for the pupils to use and keep for the future.

It is part of the Service’s Fire Fit programme, which has been developed since the World Firefighter Games were staged in Liverpool in 2008.

Trinity St Peters Primary School, Formby took part in the Fire Fit Active Challenge

Do you have a story to tell? Please text or phone 07930717137 or email

Follow OTS (Onthespot) on Twitter