BATLEY Parish Year Four Girls and St Patrick’s Year Six Girls became the first girls representatives from North Kirklees to win the Kirklees Schools Cross Country event.
In the 10 years the cross country events have been stages, no girls team from North Kirklees Schools had been successful.
North Kirklees’ only previous winners were Bywell’s year five boys team three years ago but the successes for Batley Parish and St Patrick’s mean they will now go forward to the West Yorkshire finals, which will be held at Temple Newsam in Leeds in March.
The annual St John Fisher School Games Organiser Area’s primary schools cross country qualifier had previously taken place at Batley Girls High School and Batley Sports and Tennis Centre in late September.
Over 520 children from 19 primary schools in Batley, Birstall and Dewsbury participated — double the amount of any previous year — competing in eight races.
Batley Grammar, Batley Parish, Birstall, Bywell, Carlinghow, Field Lane, Healey, Holy Spirit, Mill Lane, Orchard, Park Road, Ravensthorpe, Staincliffe, St Joseph’s, St Patrick’s, St Paulinus, St Peter’s, Westmoor and Windmill were all represented, with girls and boys races held for children in years three, four, five and six.
Despite the logistical challenges, the event went exceptionally well, with all six of the School Games values; determination, honesty, passion, respect, self-belief and teamwork being evident throughout the races.
As with the majority of primary school games sport events, there is a huge reliance on secondary schools providing a team of their young leaders to officiate and organise, with young leaders from St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy working hard, with great support and enthusiasm to ensure the event ran with precision efficiency.
Pupils were given a great opportunity to compete in our biggest single school games area qualifier, while Batley Bulldogs sponsored both year three races, by providing extra trophies as that race was not a pathway event.
Individual medals were shared out far wider this year with a record 10 of the competing schools scooping medals.
The individual table was headed by St Patrick’s School, of Birstall, with three gold and three silver medals, while Bywell and St Paulinus both recorded four individual medallists.
Another record was set with eight different schools qualifying for the Kirklees phase of the competition.
Windmill led the way with four teams, closely followed by Batley Parish, Holy Spirit and St Patrick’s with three teams each.
Bywell (two), Healey, St Joseph’s and St Paulinus School teams were also represented at the Kirklees finals.