Athletic pupils fly the town’s flag

Athletes from Sacred Heart Primary School who scooped a batch of medals at a recent competition. The youngsters are pictured with their coach, Alan Piggford
Athletes from Sacred Heart Primary School who scooped a batch of medals at a recent competition. The youngsters are pictured with their coach, Alan Piggford

PRIMARY school pupils flew the flag for Hartlepool as they raced and jumped their way to a county championship bronze medal.

After winning the Hartlepool catholic schools indoor athletics title and then winning the town event, the Year 5 and 6 pupils at Sacred Heart RC Primary Schoool were on a high.

And they continued their rich vein of form as they earned themselves a third place finish at their very first appearance at the county championships.

Competing against the best schools from across the Tees Valley, the 21 youngsters only just missed out on the top spot - and the impressive performances came after just a couple of practice sessions.

Year 3 teacher and athletics coach at the school, Alan Piggford, said he was “very proud” of his pupils.

Mr Piggford said: “They all showed exceptional talent considering they’ve not long been taking part in indoor athletics.

“It’s the first time they have competed at that level but they didn’t get over-awed at all, they just went and enjoyed it.

“They participated with enthusiasm and determination, fighting for every point to go towards our total.”

The indoor athletics events consist of sprint and longer-distance relay races as well as standing triple jump, long jump, chest push and a javelin throw using an indoor javelin.

And Mr Piggford was quick to point to the impact of last year’s home Olympics in inspiring the town pupils.

He added: “Clearly the children have been motivated by the Olympics.

“I always tell the children to participate and have fun but also that they have to learn how to lose as well as learn how to win.

“It’s important to lose so we can learn from our mistakes.

“The children did Hartlepool and our school proud.

“They’re a talented bunch and hopefully they will stick at it in the years to come because they have a bright future.”