Blackpool secondaries brought the schools indoor athletics season to an exciting close in great style when Year 7 and 8 competed in track and field for places in the Lancashire School Games County Finals.
Talented young athletes from Unity, Aspire, Montgomery, St Mary’s, Highfield and Park Community Academy donned their kit to do battle at Blackpool Sports Centre in events including the shot, triple jump and the energy-sapping 4x2 lap relays.
The weeks building up to the competition had seen training sessions and competitions to determine which athletes would be selected for the head-to-head school challenge. Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde Athletics Club were again trackside to officiate the events, alongside young leaders from Blackpool Sixth who took charge of the field events.
All of this was overseen by the Sport Blackpool School & Community Team as part of the Blackpool School Games Competition Calendar.
The indoor athletics competitions provide an ideal opportunity for students who are not enthused by the more traditional team sports, like football and netball, but still want their individual sporting ability to be recognised.
The relays made for an exciting finish to the event as all the competing athletes took to the track for the final time in an effort to claim the last few points up for grabs.
As with all Blackpool School Games Competitions, a celebration of sporting achievement took place that saw every athlete receive an individual School Games Award in recognition of their efforts.
With four places on offer for the County Finals, the schools gathered for the results, which saw St Mary’s come out on top in the Year 7 boys’ competition and Montgomery gaining a hat-trick by scooping the Year 7 girls’, Year 8 girls’ and Year 8 boys’ awards.
Dave Rohman, Blackpool School Games Organiser, said: “We have seen some great secondary school events in recent years but the atmosphere tonight will take some beating.
“From the moment the athletes began their warm-up through to crossing the finish line in the last event, they were focused on what their goals were but still displayed high levels of sporting behaviour as they congratulated other schools as well as their team-mates.
“The support we had had from the athletics club and the young leaders is second to none and they are all firmly embedded into the Blackpool School Games Family as we build up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio later this year with the hope of seeing athletes and competitors from Blackpool doing us all proud.
“I would like to wish St Marys and Montgomery the best of luck in the County Finals and hope they all enjoy their moment on the county sporting stage.”