More than 1,400 children took part from 21 schools
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
In a fantastic feat of organisation, more than 1,400 children from 21 schools took part in Rugby Primary Athetics Association’s annual championships on Friday.
Run in conjunction with Rugby and Northampton Athletics club, this year’s event included schools that have not taken part before.
With children from Years 5 and 6 competing in the morning and Years 3 and 4 in the afternoon, the day was supported by Rugby FM and Ollie, who recorded messages from staff and children who were taking part.
The occasion proved so popular there wasn’t enough room on the field for everyone and for the first time it was necessary to use the the area on the bend of the Rugby track too.
Schools even provided their own gazebos for children to shelter under.
The Association’s Angela Marsay was delighted at the event’s continued success. “Even more parents attended this year which is fantastic to see so many children being supported,” she said.
“Thanks to Mr Farinha from Boughton Leigh Junior School being trained in how to use the starter pistol even the Year 3 and 4 sprinters had an official start , which they have never had before!
“In the morning the Year 5 and 6s competed excellently, the children working brilliantly as teams and encouraging every singe athlete, which is fantastic.
“From 1pm onwards the events for the Years 3 and 4 kicked off with some very close results.
“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.
“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.”
Deputy Mayor, Cllr Tom Mahoney was on hand to award medals and flower garlands - which were new this year, making it more like a formal medal ceremony.
Thanks to Rugby & Northampton AC’s Janet Wright and her team of helpers they were able to time all heats and races, making the event more formal and fair.
For each set of sprints there was roughly eight heats, with finals being run based on the six fastest times. For the longer distances two heats were run for each race. This year saw the Year 6 boys and girls competing over 800m and Year 5 boys and girls over 600m.
Mrs Marsay added: “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 final 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
“It is such a lot of hard work to organise, however the rewards are endless, watching so many parents and children enjoying a day of sport.”
Next year they are looking to be even bigger by asking all schools to provide a banner, so parents can easily locate each school group.
Organisers are very grateful to all the sponsors: Hotdrinks Ltd (formerly known as Cafe Marseilles) for sponsoring the individual vest numbers, again making the event appear more formal and to Webb Ellis for providing all the children with certificates.
Also the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee for allowing the event to use the track and Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club.
Some of the talented youngsters have been invited to join the Star Track events which are running at the track during the summer holidays.
Any youngsters in Years 2-9 who would like to take part in the Star Track athletics can also sign up.
Full details on the club website: www.randn.org