Fun for athletes, officials and parents at the Tom Pink Relays

Fun for athletes, officials and parents at the Tom Pink Relays

Lee Valley Athletics Centre recently played host to the Tom Pink Relays event. In the 10th year of this junior event, the atmosphere buzzed with athlete teams “Chasing Kelly”, “Chasing Steve”, and “Keeping Up with Paula” on the track. Meanwhile, others competed in events such as Caber Toss and Highland Steps, as well as more traditional Sportshall events like Standing Long Jump and Shot Put.

The Tom Pink Relays also provided great opportunities for new volunteers to give officiating a try.  Supporting fully qualified officials on field events presented a relaxed introduction to officiating, and the extra help on these events ensured maximum athlete enjoyment, and smoother running of the events.

One such example of a helper on the day was Sophie Millard: "There is always such a buzz around sportshall athletics, and the mixture of events presents opportunities for all athletes to find something they can be good at. I gave the Caber Toss a try earlier, and it took me about 4 attempts just to get the caber to do the full flip before it landed; some of these athletes were achieving perfect accuracy scores on it and it was amazing!"

The unusual mix of events creates a unique set of challenges for the athletes to take part in, and even 10 years on, new records are still being set!  In the Over/Under Relay, the Under 11 Boys' team from Herts Phoenix set a record of 1min 10.0seconds, and Hannah Owalbi jumped to a fantastic new record of 2.18m in the Standing Long Jump. Standards were high, the excitement was higher and the whole event was a fantastic experience.  Click here to see the record books.

Sophie continued, "I’ve never seen the weight for height event before, but I was helping the official to manage it today. My role was taking the names, and calling them out so they stayed in the right order. I also recorded whether they passed or failed the attempt.  I found the weight for height event so tense and exciting, especially as we approached the top end of the competition."

She added, "The official I was helping was so supportive as he guided me through the rules of the event, and we had so much fun!  The relaxed nature of the overall event meant I could ask the lead official questions throughout our event if I needed to, and that made me feel a lot more content in the environment."

Regardless of whether you are an athlete, official or parent, you get so drawn in to Sportshall; there is nothing quite like it.”

Did you know? The Tom Pink Relays began in 2007, following a generous bequest from the late Alice and Lewis Pink; their son was tragically killed in an accident in the 1970s. It was important to the family that the money was used for children’s activities, and so the Tom Pink Relays were born! 

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