Well done to our junior athletes, who competed in the final meeting of the North East Youth Development League on Sunday at Churchill Playing Fields, Whitley Bay. This season our Elswick junior team has partnered with South Shields Harriers in the Second Division.
The conditions were extremely hot with a strong breeze, but our gutsy crew of juniors were not perturbed.
Charles Mason came first in his 75 metre hurdles race and competed in the 200m, whilst William Butterworth, just back from his holidays ran the contrasting distances of the 100m and 1500m. Grace Ogilvie ran well in the 800m gaining a PB.
Demonstrating that it’s worth trying your hand at new events, Poppy Old gained a PB in the long jump, having honed her skills in this event purely by participating in this youth league. The atmosphere is relaxed and enables the youngsters to try both track and field events that they are not particularly familiar with. By completing an event, each competitor achieves points for its team and may also discover a natural ability in a discipline that they’d never thought of attempting before. Caitlin Flanagan and Lauren Stroud also took part in the long jump. Well done to this trio of long jumpers.
Caitlin Flanagan and William ran incredibly well in the 1500, remaining strong and united in the final 200 metres of the race, with Caitlin taking second place in the girls’ A string category.
Caitlin and William sticking together in the 1500m
Caitlin went on to take part in the 4 x100m relay along with Poppy Old, Grace Leiper and Bella Russell (pictured below) producing a flawless performance taking third place very comfortably. Lauren Stroud and Poppy Old also took part in the under 13s 800m, with Poppy taking second place in the A string category.
Our under 13 girls 4x100m relay team
As Elswick and South Shields were the official hosts of the event on Sunday, the juniors also got to have a go and making announcements on the tannoy system and serving beverages and home made bakes on the refreshments counter. Clearly there is no end to their talents! We were also responsible for looking after the many officials and providing them with lunch – thanks to Graham Bell for organising the lunches and delivering them to the venue.
Kerrie Old and Elaine Stroud in the rear supporting the girls during refreshment duties – from left to right the girls are Poppy, Caitlin, Lauren and Bella.
A big thanks to Ann Lee in the picture above for working on the refreshments all day, in spite of not having a child of her own competing!
Gateshead were the clear winners of the series in the second division and the team was presented with the cup at the end of the Whitley Bay meeting.
Hopefully this is has been the start of some exciting times for Elswick juniors in the arena of track and field, and that many more juniors will be enticed to take part next season in order to enhance the team’s chances of improving its points score. It’s a great day out with lots of events to get involved in or simply spectate. A huge well done and congratulations to Judith Flanagan for getting the ball rolling with this – drumming up interest amongst the juniors, liaising with South Shields to organise entrants and co-ordinating the final meeting with Elswick/South Shields as the official hosts. It’s been a steep learning curve for all involved, but well worth it to see how the Elswick competitors have gained in confidence during the series of well organised events.