On Sunday 19th December 50 children representing 10 Sheffield schools made the long journey to the Forest of Dean to compete in the British Schools Championships. Ranging in age from 8 to 16; they all performed exceptionally well bringing home 9 individual medals, 3 team trophies, 5 team medals, a whole school trophy and podium position.
The day started exceptionally early as we all clambered aboard the coach in the dark at 6.45am. There was a bit of a kerfuffle as we realised we had one more person for the coach than we had spaces for - many thanks to Toby for giving up his seat at the very last moment - but eventually we were on our way. The journey down was smooth and we arrived at 10.30am with plenty of time to apply face paint before the first start!
It was a lovely surprise to arrive in a well sheltered, sun drenched arena and certainly made the job of the team managers and parent supporters a pleasurable experience. 11.00 arrived and the first of the Sheffield competitors headed for the start. Early results indicated that the times were very fast on the primary courses so it was an anxious wait with frequent watch checks for the arrival of our first finishers. The juniors were soon streaming in, mostly with huge smiles on their faces.
Within no time at all, all the Sheffield contingent were back and there was time to relax, play and eat packed lunches before the prize giving. Back of the envelope calculations from the individual results indicated the likelihood of a good medal haul so it was with good spirits that we decamped to the (ahead of schedule) prize giving!
The final results proved even better than expected with a vast array for podium positions. Well done to the individual medal winners: Ella (2nd Y5G), Beth & Sofia (3rd Y5G), Freya (1st Y6G), Imogen (1st Y7G), James (3rd Y6B), Jamie (2nd Y7B), Euan (1st Y8B), Max (1st Y9B) and Ryan (3rd Y12B). There were also a number of team podium positions:
1st Y5G - Hunters Bar - Ella, Sofia & Beth, Ellen & Megan
1st Y6G - Hunters Bar - Freya, Ruth and Lotte
2nd Y10G - High Storrs - Isobel, Alex & Hannah
2nd Y5B - Nether Green - Robbie, Sam & Oscar
3rd Y5B - Hunters Bar - Ben, Toby & Rhys
2nd Y6B - Hunters Bar - James, Mark & Oliver
3rd Y7B - High Storrs - Conrad, Jamie & Ben
1st Y8B - High Storrs - Euan, Dylan & Olmo
Hunters Bar took the overall primary school trophy and Birkdale were awarded a bronze medal in the small secondary category.
Many thanks to Jacky for dealing with the trails and tribulations of the overbooked coach, Nick for the coaching tips and all the parents that acted as team managers, supporters and chauffeurs.
Next year the British Schools Schools Champs is on Sunday 18th November at Haigh Hall, Wigan. On Saturday 17th November the World Schools Selection Race will be held at Tockholes near Blackburn. This is for juniors born between 2001 and 2005. Those that are selected will travel to Estonia to compete in the World Schools Champs in Estonia in May 2019!