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Aviva Sportshall Primary Athletics Festival a winner for Island children 14 July 2011

The National Sports Centre played host to the Inter-Schools Aviva Sportshall Primary Athletics Festival on Wednesday 29 June. More than 350 children from primary schools around the Island came together to compete in this spectacular event.

Aviva Sportshall Athletics winners with MinisterA total of 16 schools entered the festival, double the number that entered last year. Each school picked athletes from years 4, 5 and 6 who competed against their peers in a range of indoor track and field athletic events.

The initiative began in April 2011 when teachers, A-Level students and parent helpers from schools across the Island attended training workshops across the Island. Course participants then committed themselves to delivering an after school athletics club at their school for a period of 6–8 weeks. The initiative culminated with 16 schools opting to compete in the Inter Schools Festival.

After an exciting and somewhat noisy afternoon of athletics events, the points for all 15 events were totalled up. The Buchan School were crowned as 2011 Aviva Sportshall Primary Athletics Champions with a whopping 708 points and retaining their 2010 title. Very close to Buchan in second place were Marown with 664 points. Cronk-y-Berry School just squeezed ahead of Ballacottier to third position by eight points with a score of 618. All children taking part were presented with certificates for participating in the event and most importantly went back to school with smiles on their faces.

Aviva Sportshall Athletics Festival in full swingHon David Cretney MHK, Minister for Community, Culture and Leisure attended the event to present the prizes to the winning team. He said:

‘Having watched this particular event several times in recent years I was thrilled to see so many more schools getting involved in this fun format of athletics. Credit must go to the DCCL Sports Development Unit (SDU) who working in partnership with Sportshall and Aviva, put together a superbly organised event full of nonstop action from start to finish.
‘Without the commitment and support of teachers, students and parent helpers who have facilitated fun after school athletics clubs at the 16 schools involved, this fantastic event would simply not take place. After-school sports clubs are an excellent way to help keep our children active and they promote healthy habits for the future. I was impressed by the teamwork and sportsmanship displayed by each and every young athlete who all gave 100% effort throughout the competition. They certainly gave the army of parents and supporters who came along to watch a real spectacle of sport, which was rewarded with an abundance of cheers and applause.’

The event was organised with the full support of the Department of Education and Children. Hon Eddie Teare MHK, Minister for Education and Children, commented:

‘It is fantastic to see the Island’s primary schools putting so much effort into extracurricular sports clubs. Regular physical activity such as this plays an essential role in the physical and academic development of our Island’s children. Through these inter-departmental initiatives we can really give young people the healthiest possible start in life.’

For further information on the Junior Athletics Training sessions across the Island please contact Trevor Christian, Athletics Development Officer, on 688576.

Photos: Buchan are crowned 2011 AVIVA Primary Sportshall Athletics Champions pictured with the Minister for the Department of Community Culture and Leisure the Hon David Cretney (far left) and Athletics Development Officer Trevor Christian (far right).

The field events in full flow at the 2011 AVIVA Primary Sportshall Schools Athletics Championship.

For more pictures check out the MSR Sports Development Unit on Facebook.

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