Blackhorse triumph for sixth year in a row

Published on: 23 Jun 2017

BLACKHORSE Primary School's cross-country running team has won the Boys, Girls and Overall CSET league for the sixth year in a row.

The league, organised by the CSET Sports Partnership in conjunction with Bristol and West Athletics Club, pits eight to 12 schools against each other over a three-race series. The position of every runner in the team is added together to calculate the team positions.

With a win at the Colston’s Inter-county competition and winning two shields at the South Gloucestershire cross-country championship, as well more than 30 individual race medals, the school is once again ranked as the highest performing school for endurance running in the county.

The youngest runner, Fred, seven, can run a mile in under six and a half minutes - faster than most adults - and the oldest runner, Harry, in five minutes 40 seconds.  At this year's league, both the  boys and girls teams finished their respective competitions several hundred points ahead of the second placed schools and the girls B team (made up of younger runners) also came third overall.

Headteacher and club coach, Simon Botten, who recently came 13th in a 52-mile Ultra-marathon, said: "The school's Track Team has become something which the children aspire to take part in. We currently have over 50 children turn up for training each week all year round  to train in all weathers.The ethos of the team is that success is nothing to do with some natural talent but just persistent practice."

Superb individual performances by runners from Barrs Court, Mangotsfield and Beacon Rise denied the team gold medals in the individual boys’ and girls’ competition.

Mr Botten added: "The nicest thing about the sport is that it's all about individual effort and working for the team, so we see the children supporting each other. One highlight this year was a letter we received from a parent from another school who wanted to thank our girls team who, having finished their race, ran with a struggling competitor from another school to encourage them to the finish line."

It appears that the Blackhorse runners' enthusiasm for endurance running lasts well beyond primary school, with many pupils going on to run for local running clubs and with six ex-pupils going on to represent the South West region.

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