The Thanet Primary Sportshall Athletics events were always my personal favourites when I used to help run them with the Marlowe Academy Young Sports Leaders during my time there.
This was partly due to the number of competitors involved but also because of just how enthusiastic those young athletes, staff and the supporters were throughout the event.
As I arrived at the local Year 5/6 event, the Ursuline College Sports Hall was already well on its way to being at capacity. Darren, from Thanet Athletics Club, was giving last minute advice to the club’s Athlete Volunteers and Thanet PASSport’s Gary Rees was ensuring all the schools had everything they needed. Given the sheer numbers involved, it was a credit to all the organisers that the event was able to start bang on time.
There were a number of different activities taking place at any one time, with the school teams competing in a Girls’ Tournament, a Boy’s Tournament and, ultimately, for the Overall Winners’ Shield. The activities were split into two distinct categories; running events and indoor field events. While the girls competed in relays over a variety of distances, the boys took their places in the standing long jump, triple jump and medicine ball throwing events. Once this was completed, the young athletes swapped over.
After the teams completed these events, there was a quick change of equipment before the indoor javelin and speed bounce activities took centre stage. It wasn’t too long before I realised I was probably standing in the wrong place to capture some images of the javelin as I found myself looking down the lens at a set of projectiles that landed just a little too close for comfort at my feet. The tournament ended with the final relays which, as expected, were fiercely competitive with every single runner giving their absolute best to secure the highest possible points tally for their team.
At the end of the event, the schools and their supporters remained to hear the results. As is customary in these PASSport events, all the young competitors were given medals and, I have to say, they were definitely well deserved. The levels of effort and determination from every athlete throughout the event was impressive, matched only by the fantastic atmosphere generated and the spirit in which the tournament was approached.
My personal favourite moment from the morning was when every child, staff member and spectator rose to their feet to cheer one unfortunate runner who, having sustained a nasty fall, got back to their feet to bravely complete the race. This was just one example of how these local Primary School sports events are helping to showcase just how great these young children are.
As the final results were announced, applause could be heard from all areas of the hall as Upton Junior School A Team were crowned Girls, Boys and Overall Champions with a clean sweep across the competition. Congratulations to Upton’s team members and staff and a huge well done to all of the other schools who helped make this such a fantastic event.
I would like to thank Gary, Darren and the coaches from Thanet AC for inviting me along to this event. I would also like to mention how great the club’s young Athlete Volunteers were – these events really could not take place without their support.
Please enjoy our gallery of the event and feel free to share this article with anyone who may be interested.