Top young athletes set to compete at the Sportshall UK Final

Budding young athletes from across the UK are set to compete in the Sportshall Athletics UK Finals at Manchester’s Regional Indoor Athletics Arena on the weekend of 14th and 15th April. The most promising young athletes will battle it out to be crowned UK Champions at the flagship athletics development event of the year.

Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson both competed in Sportshall and many other current members of the GB & NI Athletics Teams and Home Country International Teams experienced their first taste of Athletics through Sportshall competition. Morgan Lake, High Jump UK Junior record holder, won the Under 15s Sportshall All Rounder competition in 2011 and so this event provides a chance to see the stars of the future at the start of their athletics careers. All three of these international superstars are currently on the Gold Coast in Australia representing England in the Commonwealth Games.

We have seen some strong contenders for the Under 15 All Rounder titles compete during the season. In the girls' competition Molly Palmer (Club: Charnwood / Notts, Coach: Nigel Kesteven) is a strong contender having scored the maximum 150 points in the East Midlands Regional Final where she jumped 2.52 in the Standing Long Jump and also won the 2 Lap Race and the Speed Bounce! Some other excellent performances have been seen from Ruby Bridger (Club: Thurrock, Coach: Karl Sumun, County: Essex), Olivia Roe (Club: Wakefield, Coach: Paul Wilson, County: North Yorkshire) and Estelle Hodges (Club: Erme Valley, County: Devon). Norfolk, Birmingham and Surrey look to be strong contenders in the Under 13 Girls' competition with Kent and Norfolk looking particularly impressive in the Under 15 Girls' team events.

In the Boys' competition Cambridgeshire will be represented by Isaac Pfaender (Club: Cambridge & Coleridge) who threw over 14 metres in the East Regional Final on the way to winning the All Rounder title. In the team competitions it will be exciting to see if Donegal can continue the success of winning the Under 15 Boys' competition for the past two successive years. In the Under 13 Boys' competition many of the best performances have come from the North West and it is great to see an emerging Merseyside represented again this year.

Sportshall as a programme was created over 40 years ago and now engages over a million children in athletics each year through club and school games programmes. The event is supported by Eveque Leisure Equipment, Eastlands Trust and the Amateur Athletic Association.