26th March 2015
West Yorkshire School Games 2015
On Wednesday 25th March, 14 children and 2 adults boarded a coach at 7:30am. This was ridiculously early and the adults were still mostly asleep. Unfortunately the children were very awake, and talked very noisily and excitedly all through the rush hour traffic up the M1 and through Leeds to the Becketts Park campus of Leeds Becketts University. The children continued to be very excited and chatty as we staggered off the coach with all our food and drink and made our way to Registration. Once registered for the games, we were given passes and games t-shirts to wear for the opening ceremony. Then it was time for a rest and a snack (‘just a snack, not too much now. Put your sandwiches away – it’s only 9am!’).
We watched as more and more children appeared – some as individuals with an adult, others in huge groups; some very small primary children and some extremely tall secondary students; some children in wheelchairs and others with walking frames.
Eventually, after several trips to the toilet and much remonstration to ‘stop eating, you are going to be running soon’ it was time to gather for the Opening Ceremony.
We all collected together by Local Authority grouping – all Wakefield schools wore red t-shirts.
Finally it was time to line up ready to go in…
We paraded into the hall and sat down:
Some of us only just made it back from the toilet in time….
We watched dancers and cheerleaders and listened to people making vows for sports people, volunteers, judges and referees. Mrs Allen was particularly taken with the display of skipping.
And then, it was time!! We all made our way over to the field where the cross country course was laid out. Each team had a manager who was responsible for ensuring that the team were at the start on time, and also recorded the finishing position of each member of the team.
We began to realise that there were some very good runners who had qualified from all over West Yorkshire – the number of children in ‘Harriers’ kit from various clubs was quite daunting!!
We only had Y5 and Y6 children so we could use the Y4 races to work out the course and how the system worked – our children ran across the corners to see what happened at the bottom of the track.
Then it was our turn. Y5 girls were first. They lined up at the start which seemed a long way away in itself. Then the starting gun went and they were off. They set off at a steady pace which seemed sustainable somewhere in the middle of the pack and disappeared over the brow of the hill. We stood and waited until a shout was heard ‘The front runner’s here’ and a tiny girl with long legs and lots of hair materialised through the trees, followed by lots of others in green, purple and red t-shirts. We strained our eyes to see our pale blue school kit and there it was – flying down the slope to the finish. Abbie Womack running her hardest! She came in 53rd out of over 100 and did us proud. The other girls had taken a more leisurely approach and were spotted chatting to one another when they thought they were out of sight!! They came in at a run and finished enthusiastically. One team done….
Then it was Year 5 boys time. They lined up at the side of the start and set off. Elliott obviously thought he was there to do a sprint and would have won had it been a 100m race as he shot right across the field to the front. Unfortunately he had another 1400m to complete which slowed him down a bit… Tyler got near the front of the middle of the pack and ran a steady pace, finishing a very creditable 30th out of a strong field. Matthew and Thomas ran their own pace having learned what speed they could sustain and trotted around in good time.
We had a bit of a breather while the Year 6 girls race took place. When running club started I only had 1 Y6 girl runner so we hadn’t entered a team into the local Outwood Pyramid competition so we did not have a girls team place at the West Yorkshire Games which was a shame, especially as I had ended up with 4 Y6 girls in running club by the end. You needed a minimum of 4 runners and a maximum of 5 to make up a team.
The Y6 boys were raring to go by this stage and spurred on by their desire for lunch, having watched Year 5 eating theirs as soon as they had finished running. The boys set off to the start in good time and Mrs Allen, who was their team manager, made her way to the managers’ pen ready to record finishers.
When the starting gun went, an enormous pack of very fast boys hurtled past us. The competition was very very high and the pace was quick. Joel had got himself near the front of the pack with Joe tucked safely in the middle. Regan and Archie found themselves near the back as the others set off around them.
Joel and Joe maintained a good pace and finished with the front of the pack. Regan and Archie maintained their position which was not an easy job and they all finished comfortably with the main field.
Overall we had a fabulous day and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We had all tried our best and each one of us had run in our best time. The sun shone and the children were great – we even got praise from some spectators about how well our children behaved so they had stood out from the crowds of children who were there.
Well done Alverthorpe St Pauls Cross Country Running Teams.