Primary school pupils raised the roof of the National Sports Centre this week when they took part in the Sure-sponsored Sportshall athletics championships.
The event gave a new ‘indoor’ twist to traditional athletics, thanks to Mike Frost, from Sportshall UK, who travelled to the Island with a van laden down with equipment to run the session.
Pupils participated in obstacle and relay races, foam javelin, speed bounce and long and triple jump, among many activities.
Mike told participants it was the only day of the school year they could make as much noise as they wanted to.
‘The children raised the roof as they cheered on their teammates,’ Kirsty Cooper, Sports Development Officer with Manx Sport and Recreation (MSR), said.
‘Having practiced at after-school clubs since Easter, the children were keen to show off their skills and there was some great baton-changing and fancy footwork as they flew through the obstacle courses.’
‘The event gave more than 300 children from 13 schools a great taste of athletics and hopefully they’ll want to continue at school or at community clubs.
‘Encouraging physical activity among the young and increasing the number of children who regularly take part in sport are objectives of our Strategy for Sport 2014-2024.
The event – won by Ballacottier Primary – was the last in the 2016/17 Sure Sports Primary School Programme, which is sponsored by the telecoms firm.
Kirsty thanked Sure for its year-round support, Sportshall UK and the Isle of Man Steam Packet for helping with the cost of getting the athletics equipment to the Island.
Sarah Jarvis, Marketing and PR Manager, said:
‘Sure Isle of Man is really proud to support this programme, which has again this year given thousands of pupils the chance to take part in cricket, netball, golf, hockey, badminton and tag rugby in a fun environment.
‘It’s hoped the children enjoyed and will continue taking part in these sports. As well as being a good hobby and a great way to make friends, sport can bring lasting benefits for physical and mental health.’
For more information on sporting opportunities for young people, ring Kirsty on 01624 688559 or email Kirsty.Cooper@gov.im