YOUNGSTERS from Wigan Youth Zone were taking over the pre-match entertainment at the DW Stadium today.
The match between Wigan and Fulham is being dubbed as Family Day by Latics with children and OAPs gaining entry for just £5.
The club’s Community Trust has teamed up with the boys and girls’ club to highlight the skills of local young people.
Starting from 1.30pm outside the DW Sports Lounge at the rear of the South Stand, there will be dance performances by youngsters with a football freestyler also showing off his skills.
From 2pm, inside the stadium, a specially choreographed dance routine by members of the Wigan Athletic half-term Community Trust dance camps will be performed on the pitch.
The Wigan Youth Zone Brass Band, which Latics chairman and amateur trombonist Dave Whelan helped set up, will perform classic hits and songs.
A spectacular free-running acrobatics display by Wigan Youth Zone will provide something never before witnessed at the DW.
At half-time, there will be a debut DW performance by 14-year-old singing sensation Owen Bolton from Scholes who is a huge Latics fan.
There will also be face-painters around the ground to make sure everyone has their colours on show.
Latics chief executive Jonathan Jackson said: “Wigan Athletic has always been a family-oriented club and we feel that the day will be an opportunity to bring along brothers, sisters, mums, grandmas, grandads, who may have fallen out of the habit of coming to the stadium, or who don’t feel it’s normally for them.
“Of course, the match is all about enjoying the game and getting behind the team but there will be so much more going on and it will hopefully make it a great day for every generation to enjoy – and give them an appetite to return.”
Nicola Varley, Wigan Youth Zone’s Performing Arts, Music and Media Manager, said: “We are so excited to play such a big part in the Latics Family Day. All the acts who are due to attend have been working tremendously hard on their performances and it’s set to be a real treat for the crowds.
“At the Youth Zone, we try and help young people develop as artists if that’s the career path they want to choose.
“To work with Wigan Athletic and their Community Trust to provide this opportunity for them is a dream come true.
“This is an experience they won’t forget, especially for someone like Owen whose dream is to perform on the pitch at the DW Stadium.
“We hope everyone comes along to show their support not only to Wigan Athletic, but the young people of the borough.”
The game has also been designated as Sporting Memories Network Awareness Day, the charity to raise awareness of dementia.
In order to promote the charity, Latics fans will be asked to share their favourite memories on camera and the footage will be used within the borough to support older people living in the community with dementia – with a signed first team shirt on offer in a special Spot The Ball competition.
Supporters are being encouraged to send in their memories on Twitter using #wafcMemories and by email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in the matchday programme on the day. Tickets for the day are priced at £20 for adults and £5 for under-18s and over-65s and are available right up to kick-off.