UCLan hosts annual Primary School Indoor Athletics Finals
More than 600 local school children put their sports skills to the test at the annual Primary School Indoor Athletics Finals hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Years five and six pupils from 30 Preston schools challenged each other in various track and field events at UCLan’s Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre before Broughton in Amounderness C of E Primary School was crowned the winner.
The competition is an annual fixture in the Preston primary school calendar. Staff and students from UCLan’s School of Sport and Wellbeing teamed up with School Games Organiser Harriet Ascroft, volunteers from Preston Harriers and Ashton Community Science College Sports Leaders to deliver the athletics programme for the second year running.
Harriet said: “This is a very popular annual event and all schools really relish the competition. Broughton will now represent Preston in the county final, which takes place next March in Blackpool.
“We aim to motivate children from a young age to be active. We also want to reinforce the six key values set by Sport England, which are determination, honesty, respect, passion, teamwork and self-belief.”
"It’s great for us to get stuck into a big event and work with so many children together. I want to be a primary school teacher so gaining experience like this is ideal."
The 30 schools took part in events such as hurdles, javelin, long jump and relay racing, with children from Preston Harriers providing demonstrations of some of the sports.
Eunice Oga, 10, from St Stephen’s C of E Primary School said: “It’s very exciting to take part and cheer on my classmates. I think athletics is special because there are a variety of events to take part in.”
Her teacher, Dawn Child, added: “We’ve brought as many pupils as we can to give them all a taste of the kind of extra-curricular sports that they can take part in away from school.”
Another participant, 10-year-old Rosen Bobev from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, commented: “It’s a big privilege to be involved in this. Sport means everything to me and I’m really enjoying competing against other schools.”
First year UCLan students studying sports and physical education helped to facilitate the games.
Jack Cowen, 18, said: “It’s great for us to get stuck into a big event and work with so many children together. I want to be a primary school teacher so gaining experience like this is ideal.”
UCLan sport and PE lecturer Chris Gunn said: “This is the second year the University has hosted the event and it’s great to see so many local schools represented. The UCLan students worked hard to provide an enjoyable and safe event, aiming to inspire and motivate the pupils. They also acted as exemplary role models for the Sports Leaders from Ashton Community Science College. UCLan prides itself on embedding relevant, practical development within courses to ensure students enhance their employability, while simultaneously having a positive and proactive community impact.
“The University is a key player in community sports and we work closely with Preston Sports Forum and Active Lancashire all year round. This event is one of several community sports events we run throughout the year.”
Scott Martland, Chair of the Preston Primary Schools Sports Council and Deputy Head of St Andrew’s C of E Primary School, added: “This is a fantastic competition involving a large number of primary schools in the area. All of the children enjoy being part of a big event and it really encourages them to be enthusiastic about sport.”
View images from the event on the UCLan Flickr gallery.