Thursday 22nd November, 2018
Thousands of primary school children across Wales have taken part in their annual regional cross country events over the past two months. Welsh Athletics’ Development Team, including eight Club Network Officers, have been hard at work in coordination with local sport authorities to organise over 70 primary school cross country events in recent weeks; providing around 10,000 children aged 7-11 with the opportunity to compete in fun and friendly environments across all corners of Wales.
This comes after Sport Wales' School Sport Survey results yesterday, which indicated that running and jogging are among the most popular school sports for young people.
The South Wales region saw a total of 2,162 primary school children participate in 15 cross country events between mid-September and mid-November, culminating in the South Primary Schools Cross Country Championships at Trelai Park, Cardiff a fortnight ago.
Welsh Athletics Club Network Officer for South East Wales, Hannah Pretty, commented “It’s great to see so many schools being proactive and providing pupils with the opportunities to experience cross country running. The support and dedication that we receive from the local authority sport development teams like Sport Cardiff is instrumental to the success of these events. Our aim is to inspire and encourage as many children as possible to participate in our sport, and it’s great to be able to offer these opportunities at various levels across our regions”.
Following the Regional Championships in Cardiff, Danescourt Primary School teacher Mel Rees commented; “It was a great morning of cross country, and our Danescourt pupils had a fantastic time, they loved the course and the whole atmosphere at the event.”
The East Wales Regional Championships in Blackwood saw an equally impressive turnout with over 400 primary school children participating. Welsh Athletics Club Network Officer for East Wales, Ryan Spencer Jones, worked in collaboration with the development team from Sport Caerphilly to set up races for children from Year 3 through to Year 6. Additionally, around 25 student volunteers from Coleg y Cymoedd helped with the event set-up and organisation, encouraging the children as they raced around the course and providing additional support throughout the day.
Similarly, the Flintshire Championships took place this morning, with around 300 primary school children participating in an event organised by Welsh Athletics Club Network Officer for North East Wales, Eva Brewer in collaboration with Flintshire 5 x 60. Additional support at the event was provided by student volunteers from Coleg Cambria, once again proving that volunteer support at these events is integral to their success.
These annual primary school cross country events have taken place across all regions of Wales over the past two months, and highlight the hard work and commitment being shown by Welsh Athletics’ Development Team to drive athletics forward throughout the country. These events provide opportunities for schools, pupils and parents to access the sport of athletics, and continue to highlight the outstanding work being done by Welsh Athletics Club Network Officers to drive grassroots athletics forwards in Wales.