More than 400 youngsters took part in the annual Preston indoor athletics competition
Hundreds of schoolchildren from across Preston pushed themselves to the limit to compete in the 2022 Preston Primary Schools Indoor Athletics Finals.
Hosted and run by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), more than 400 years 4, 5 and 6 pupils from 23 primary schools battled against each other in a variety of track and field events.
The day-long event, which took place in UCLan’s Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre, saw pupils contest in a range of running and jumping events including the relay, standing high jump, triple jump, javelin, standing long jump, speed bounce and chest pass.
Mei Ambrose, a Year 6 pupil at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, was among the pupils taking part in the running relay. The 10-year-old said: “It’s a great place to be because we are all trying our best and you can see other children are achieving so much too. It’s a lot of fun and great for me as I love sports.”
"We are all trying our best and you can see other children are achieving so much too. It’s a lot of fun and great for me as I love sports"— Mei Ambrose, a Year 6 pupil at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
Broughton-in-Amounderness CE Primary School, Harris Primary School, Fulwood and Cadley Primary School, St Clare’s Catholic Primary School, and St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School were just some of the many local schools taking part.
James Gilmour, Deputy Head of St Francis’ Catholic Primary School, in Goosnargh, commented: “The event is all about the children having fun, having the opportunity to try different sports and competing against lots of other local schools. The children were really excited to be here and they have all enjoyed practising the different sports.”
UCLan’s first and second-year BA (Hons) Sports Coaching & Development and BA (Hons) Sport & PE students facilitated all sessions, including measuring distances, timing events and giving demonstrations.
“I feel the event is really good for my development as I’m gaining practical experience and crucial skills of working with children,” said Tom Davies, 18, from Manchester.
"I feel the event is really good for my development as I’m gaining practical experience and crucial skills of working with children"— Tom Davies, first-year sports coaching student
The first-year sports coaching student added: “It’s great to see the children trying their best at a range of sports they’ve never attempted before and them having loads of fun in the process.”
Dr Chris Gunn, UCLan Senior Lecturer in Sports Business Management and Sport Coaching, worked closely with School Games Organiser Mark Birkinshaw to coordinate the event.
Chris said: “Today exemplifies the numerous accruable positive outcomes when community stakeholders coalesce. It takes months of planning and hard work, but it’s all worthwhile when you see everyone revelling in the great atmosphere. We had more than 400 school pupils visiting us for a day of fun and competition, facilitated by UCLan students, and various other partners. Our students are gaining valuable transferable skills while the school children are enjoying a day of positive sporting experiences.”
Preston’s Mayor Councillor Neil Darby also attended to watch some of the events and was impressed by the effort shown by the participants.
St Francis’ and Ashton’s St Andrew’s CE Primary School were crowned joint winners and will now represent Preston at next year’s Lancashire final.