Day to remember as 1,400 children from 20 schools compete at the track
More than 1,400 children from 20 schools enjoyed a fantastic day of competition at the track on Friday.
The annual Rugby Primary Schools Athletics Championships saw new schools join in the fun this year in perfect summer sunshine. And with more parents than ever supporting the pupils, the vibrant atmosphere created helped produce some sizzling performances at the event organised by Rugby Primary Athetics Association and Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club.
Mayor Cllr Tom Mahoney was also on hand for photo opportunities, to talk to the children and award medals and flower garlands.
With temperatures soaring, schools even provided their own gazebos for much-needed shade, with a change of format enabling all the events for all year groups to run throughout the day.
“We always choose to hold the event on the last day of National School Sports Week, as a great celebration of all the sport that takes place at school,” explained RPAA organiser Angela Marsay.
“It is wonderful to see all those children being able to take part at a competitive level, at a proper athletics track in front of a huge audience.
“What is incredibly fantastic is to see so many children taking part in the variety of sports.
“I have been blessed with watching children just narrowly missing a medal one year, returning the following year to win a medal and then this year other children competing providing stiffer competition.
“Lots of children are working hard from previous years to beat the results they achieved previously, as are schools!” she added.
“It is such a lot of hard work to organise, however the rewards are endless, watching so many parents, children and enjoying a day of sport.”
The long list of thank-yous includes Mrs Knight from Paddox, Mrs Creswell from Henry Hinde and Mr Farinha from Boughton Leigh, who organised hundreds of runners in to their heats.
This year watchers were amazed at the quality of runners within the Rugby area.
Many of the heats needed to be decided using video evidence to determine who came in the first, second and third.
Thanks to R&N’s Janet Wright and her team of helpers all heats and races could be timed, making the event more formal and fair to those who taking part.
For each set of sprints about nine heats were needed, with finals being run based on the six fastest times. For the longer distances two heats were run for each race. This year Years 4, 5 and 6 were able to take part.
Organisers are very grateful to sponsors Hotdrinks Ltd for sponsoring the individual vest numbers for each athlete, again making the event appear more formal.
And they greatly appreciate the support of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Centre and Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club for allowing them to use the track.
Some of the talented youngsters have been invited to join in Star Track events which are running during the summer holidays and any children who would like to try more athletics at the camps can take part.
# For any children who enjoyed their day of athletics, Rugby & Northampton AC are running three action-packed weeks of activities as part of the Star Track scheme over the summer holidays.
For youngsters in school Years 2-9, to gain a taste of all running, throwing and jumping events, these will be held on July 23-27, August 6-10 and August 20-24 from 10am to 3pm. There will also be fun relays and challenges as well as a mini olympics.
The cost is £80 for the week or £25 a day, with breakfast and after clubs also available. See the club website www.randnac.org for further details.