Published: Thursday 2 September 2021

More than 150 schoolchildren took part in a feast of popular sports organised by Sandbach Police Station, ‘The Salt Wars’ named after the area’s salt heritage.

Run in partnership with Premier League Kicks and Crewe Alexandra Football Club, the free event involving football, rounders and rugby saw youngsters aged between 10 and 16 from Sandbach, Middlewich, Holmes Chapel and the surrounding areas do battle for the Salt Wars Cup.

Children competed against each other at Sandbach School on Thursday 5 August, at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School on Thursday 12 August and at Middlewich High School on Saturday 21 August.

The winners were announced in a celebratory event at Crewe Alexandra’s Soccer Centre on Saturday 28 August.

Clayton Parker, a 15-year-old from Wimboldsley, was the overall individual winner.

Ella Smart, 12, and Jessica Hulson, 10, from Alsager who are both from Middlewich, finished second and third respectively.

13-year-old Emily Edgar from Sandbach won the penalty shootout.

All four of them will receive a reward during the half-time interval of Crewe Alexandra FC’s home League One game against Burton Albion on Saturday 18 September.

The area of Sandbach won the Salt Wars Cup.

The initiative was devised in 2019 to help youngsters stay active and healthy and have fun during the school holidays and to strengthen relationships and build up trust between young people and the police, in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour and future offending.

Chief Inspector Rob Dickinson, who overlooks policing in the Sandbach area, said:

“Salt Wars is a free event that our Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) run with support from partner agencies to help children stay active and healthy and have fun.

“Restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic severely limited the amount of sport that children have been able to play over the past year or so.

“It was great seeing so many of them having fun at the third annual Salt Wars 2021, which was the biggest and best yet.

“We have had a lot of great feedback on the event from those who took part and their parents and guardians, and I would like to thank Premier League Kicks and Crewe Alexandra FC for all their support and to congratulate Clayton, Ella, Jess and Emily on their individual successes and Sandbach on winning the Salt Wars Cup.”

On the competition days, points were awarded for various activities.

Each competing area also received a point for every youngster who attended.

Bonus points were awarded by the coaches to participants for good behaviour and other reasons.

The participants each received certified coaching, including from Crewe Alexandra FC's coaches, drinks and lunch.

They also received certificates, medals, sweets and free tickets to Crewe’s game against Burton.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire John Dwyer, who handed out the trophies and medals at the celebratory event on Saturday 28 August, said:

“I had the pleasure of joining Sandbach PCSOs for their annual Salt Wars event.

“Building a positive relationship between local policing and communities is so important. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who made the event a success and well done to all the children that took part.”

John Dwyer at Salt Wars Event.jpg