Pupils race ahead at interschool event

IPSWICH's senior schools could be about to inherit a number of promising young cross-country runners following a hugely successful primary school event at Chantry Park.

Stuart Watson

IPSWICH's senior schools could be about to inherit a number of promising young cross-country runners following a hugely successful primary school event at Chantry Park.

The Ipswich Area Cross Country was first set up in 2006 with the intention of providing primary school children with a more positive experience of middle and long distance running than the usual laps around the school sports field.

And the event, which is held through the undulating and varied terrain of Chantry Park, has proved a massive hit.

Last Wednesday, over 600 pupils from school years five and six took part in two separate races at the venue.

With 16 schools from across east Ipswich taking part, it represented almost double the number of participants from previous years.

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Rob Terry, the Development Manager for the Copleston School Sports Partnership, organised the event with the support of Ipswich Borough Council's Team Ipswich initiative and the Ipswich Primary Sports Association.

He said: “We've made a special effort to target the children that were not necessarily already in their primary school football or netball teams.

“It's not all about the winning. Some schools like Beacon Hill Special School take part because they know how good an experience it is for their pupils just to be involved in such a big event.

“There are team prizes though and we did try to identify those that have shown particular promise. We will now work with their parents and teachers and potentially try to introduce them to a running club.”

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