THE sky stayed clear as hundreds of people took to the netball courts to celebrate the life of Emma Grandison.
Emma, from Longton, passed away in February aged just 32 after losing her battle with cancer.
But friends of the inspirational young mother clubbed together to host a netball tournament and raised more than £1,000 for two charities that were close to Emma’s heart, the Preston Neonatal Unit and the Rosemere Cancer Foundation.
One of the organiser’s Alicia Stothert said they even gave out a special Emma Grandison Award in honour of their late friend to the two most sporting teams.
The 22-year-old said: “We had a netball tournament because Emma played netball, I play netball and lots of my friends play netball.
“Since Emma passed we made two trophies in her memory to give to the most sporting team in each section. The winners were Wyrescough and Visionaries.
“We will be doing it again next year annually in Emma’s memory.
“It is just giving something back to the charities that she believed in.
“Rosemere and the Neonatal unit were really close to her heart.
“Something that Emma always said is that it is nice to be nice. That is why we do it.”
The Saturday tournament featured 19 teams and was held at UCLan Sports Arena, Cottam and raised £1373.48 that will be split between the two charities.
Disco Divas won the first open ladies section and Different Mix won the mixed and Back to Netball section.
Emma’s friends organised a netball fundraiser last June and Alicia is pleased to have topped last years total.
She said: “It was a brilliant day.
“The rain held off which was amazing considering it was forecast to rain.
“We had a raffle, local businesses donated money, our sponsor Cox Motor Group donated raffle prizes and trophies and we had a bake sale too.
“We did it last June and raised £1,100.
“So we set that as our target and we smashed it.
“Without the other ladies that helped me organise the day, Chantelle Mason, Natalie Jaques, Asma Khan and my Stepmum Sarah Stothert it wouldn’t have been as much of a success as it was!
“All we wanted to achieve was to raise as much money as we could. It is amazing. Hopefully we can raise even more next June.”