20.Apr.12 True Olympic spirit shines through wet conditions at Broadbridge Heath
It may have been a '100 days to go' until the greatest summer event in the world but it felt far from summer at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre where the temperature was struggling to reach double figures and short aggressive showers fell every five minutes or so.
The true Olympic spirit shone through as the local children took to the athletics track for the mini competition made up of standing long jump, javelin howler throw, 600m, 75m sprint and the vertical jump, uniquely named as the ‘Quinathon’.
There was a mixture of under 13 athletes made up from the local club; Horsham Blue Star Harriers, and each one was asked prior to the evening, to bring a friend as part of the introduction to the sport in order to provide a ‘Try Athletics Event’ in the friendly sporting environment.
Elspeth Turner, the club & coach support officer for Kent and Sussex;(inc London boroughs), had set the athletes into competing groups named after some select countries (Great Britain, USA, Jamaica, Grenada and Australia) as a way of embracing the spirit of the games as well gaining an understanding of the different nations and cultures. Each team or nation was accompanied around the competition with a senior athlete who would hold a banner of the nation that group was representing. You may ask why those countries where selected? Well Grenada and Australia will be based in West Sussex and Kent (respectively) during the games, Jamaica Birmingham. At times it looked more like an opening or closing ceremony than an athletics competition with all these organised groups walking around the track with national banners held aloft.
As competition began it was apparent both sets of children were really enjoying the concept with the sounds of their shouting and laughter drowning out the heavy rain, it was a stark reminder of just how events such as these along with the Olympic Games themselves, will energise and engage the current crop of children and young adults.
Fresh from her warm weather trip in southern Spain was England international 400m meter hurdler, Rosie Marino (Club: City of Sheffield). The Mike Corden coached athlete was showing her support for the event and stayed until the end to present the athletes with their awards. Based in Surrey but currently studying at Sheffield University, Rosie expressed massive excitement for the main athletics test event at the Olympic stadium where she plans to compete for Sheffield University in the BUCs championships Friday 4 – Monday 7 May 2012.
The children stole the show as the on-looking crowd of volunteers and parents watched the Jamaican team take to the top of the rostrum after winning the team event. As they clambered up to their position, a shout of "3-2-1" could be heard whilst the whole team pulled the trademark Usain Bolt pose as laughter was ringing out around the stands from the parents, it seemed a fitting way to finish the proceedings.
Elspeth Turner said: “Thanks must be given to all who made it possible tonight and a special thank you must go to Kim Milnthorpe who went the extra mile to give this competition extra thought and preparation”.
Results will be posted soon!
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