Blackpool indoor athletics raises the roof

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Blackpool Sports Centre played host to some all-action indoor athletics events for primary school pupils from years five and six.

Sporty children from North Shore and South Shore schools took it in turn to test themselves in a School Games Level Two Competition, with places in the Final and Plate competitions at stake.

The South Shore event at the Stanley Park venue was contested by children from Marton, Our Lady OTA, Mereside, Stanley, St John Vianney, St Kentigern’s, Hawes Side, Revoe and Thames.

They all got together to run, jump and throw their way through the 10 events and took the total number of children who have competed in Level One and Level Two competitions this school year past the 1,000 mark.

The event brought a close to the qualifying competitions for the 2016/2017 indoor athletics programme and the standard of athleticism was very high.

After the obstacle races had been completed, the boys and girls split off for their track and field events before coming back together for the speed bounce, javelin and all-important relay races.

Coaches and officials from Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Athletic Club took their places trackside, while young leaders patrolled the field events to ensure that the children remained focused on their jumps and throws.

The medals and certificates were on display throughout the competition to provide focus for the young athletes as they progressed through the individual and team events to achieve as many points as possible.

Every participant received an individual School Games Award, presented by the young leaders from Blackpool Sixth in recognition of their efforts.

Thames Primary Academy stepped forwards to receive their winners’ medals to a great cheer from everyone and made it a double celebration adding to their success in the years three/four competition in November.

In the equivalent event for North Shore schools, Holy Family, Westcliff, Bispham Endowed, St John’s, Boundary, St Teresa’s, Anchorsholme, Norbreck, Moor Park, Devonshire and Christ The King got their game faces ready and headed straight into action.

The years five/six competitions sees the introduction of the triple jump and the six-lap paarlauf, which puts the children’s stamina and teamwork to the test on the track.

A great crowd of family and friends provided encouragement throughout the competition and provided the children with a welcome boost when the energy levels were starting to drop.

Again the coaches from BWFAC and young leaders from Blackpool Sixth worked alongside the Sport Blackpool School and Community Team to ensure the events ran smoothly.

After the young athletes had caught their breath after the relays, they gathered for a group celebration photo before heading over for the presentation of the awards by the Blackpool Sixth young leaders. The final placings saw Westcliff and Bispham Endowed make it through to the plate Competition and Moor Park, Norbreck, Holy Family and event winners Anchorsholme claim their places in the final.

Dave Rohman, Blackpool School Games organiser, said: “The introduction of the triple jump and the six-lap paarlauf really tests the children and they proved tonight that hard work pays off as we saw some great jump distances and run times being recorded. The events that make up our indoor athletics competitions test the all-round athleticism of the children, and reiterate the importance of working as a team and encouraging team-mates when it is their time to perform. I am sure that the children can’t wait to show off their medals.”

Bispham Endowed, Stanley, Westcliff and Mereside go head to head in the Plate competition and Anchorsholme, Thames, Holy Family, Marton, Norbreck, Hawes Side, Moor Park and St John Vianney contest the final for the right to represent Blackpool at the Lancashire County Finals.