Arran youngsters compete for athletics team places

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Words and pictures by Colin Smeeton

Pupils from all of Arran’s seven primary schools converged on the Auchrannie sports hall last week to take part in the annual North Ayrshire Sports Hall Athletics Festival.

First held in 1998, the competition is used to select a composite Arran primary schools team to take part in the qualifying heats in November, and if successful, to compete in the finals in December.

The event was organised by KA Leisure’s community sports team with the assistance of Arran Active Schools. Pupils from Arran High School, who are part of the North Ayrshire Sports Academy, provided their assistance to ensure that the event ran smoothly.

Well known face on Arran, Active Schools coordinator Archie McNicol, joined with the new Active Schools coordinator Lauren Gilbert to encourage and assist the pupils taking part.

The participants could complete in seven track and five field events included lap relay running, standing long jump and chest throw among others.

Once tabulated the results will be passed on to the organisers and a composite team of 10 boys and 10 girls will go forward to represent Arran in the qualifying heats.

All participants received a certificate of participation and achievement and at the final the winning team will receive the North Ayrshire Shield which they will hold for one year.

The qualifying heat will take place at the Portal, Irvine on Thursday November 21 and the final will take place on Thursday December 5, also at the Portal.

The boys sets off on the lap relay. 01_B44sports01

Participating athletes cheer on their friends. 01_B44sports02

Primary pupils get a birds eye view of the athletics from the sideline. 01_B44sports03

A pupil launches himself in the air during the vertical jump. 01_B44sports04

Relay runners pass the baton. 01_B44sports05

A young athlete launches the weighted ball during the chest throw event. 01_B44sports06

Participants watch the progress of their class mates as they wait for their turn. 01_B44sports07

North Ayrshire Sports Academy volunteers, Sarah Costley-Wood, Finn MacArthur and Beth Calderwood. 01_B44sports08

Active Schools coordinators Archie McNicol and Lauren Gilbert with pupils. 01_B44sports09

Sportscotland Young Ambassador Eilidh Hamill gives the young participants some words of encouragment. 01_B44sports10

North Ayrshire Sports Academy volunteers, James Reid and Jed Russell run the chest throw event. 01_B44sports11