Second best School in Britain
Last weekend a group of Parish Church Primary School hits the highest echelons of sport in this country by competing at the British Biathlon Championships. The event, organised by GB Pentathlon, is used to talent spot children who could one day be Olympic Gold medallists in the five discipline Modern Pentathlon event, that involves fencing, horse riding, shooting, running and swimming. Held at Harvey Hadden Sports Complex it saw the greatest athletes in the country descend on Nottingham for two days of competition.
Following regional events before the end of October only the top 40 children in each age group were invited to test themselves against each other in the two disciplines of swimming and running, younger children on the Saturday and the older ones on the Sunday. With this the sixth year that Parish had successfully had qualifiers for this sports spectacular, expectations were high that they could secure good results.
With an early start on the Saturday morning the three boys from Parish who had qualified for this event, in the U9 category, took to the track to complete their 400m run. Max and Travis were paired in the same heat and both were well placed coming into the last lap. Max then started to make his move and secured a fabulous personal best 8 seconds quicker than his previous time. Travis, a year younger than the rest of the competition, worked hard to finish well and secure his points. In the next heat was Ryan and his race set off at lightning speed before settling down and then a sprint race to finish with. The boys times were then given points with anything quicker than 1min 33 seconds gaining over 1,000 points, Ryan was therefore delighted to run a time of 1min 23sces to place him 5th on the leader board, Max’s 1min 27secs put him in 11th place and Travis’ 1min 38secs put him 21st.
It was then off into the Olympic sized swimming pool for the boys to be timed swimming 25m as fast as they could. The boys were aiming for times under 23 seconds to gain 1,000 points so were pleased to finish the race in 21secs Ryan, 25secs Max and 26 secs Travis. Given their lack of competitive swimming experience compared to some of the other children these were performances that the children were all proud of.
The points from the two disciplines, running and swimming were added together and the overall results announced for the British Biathlon Championships 2019. Ryan had a combined total of 2,408 points to secure a wonderful 7th place, Max had 2,105 points for a brilliant 15th place and Travis gained 1,790 points for a great 21st place.
Then it was time to announce the team results, with a total 6,348 Parish Under 9 Boys were the 2nd best team in the whole of Great Britain! A truly remarkable performance and one that everyone in the town should be extremely proud of, especially given that a number of the other teams were from private, boarding schools some with their own swimming pools and running tracks and Parish doesn’t even have a school field!
The next day it was then time for the ‘old man’ of the team, Parish teacher Mr Anderson to compete in the Male Masters event. He began with a run that saw him knock 19 seconds off his personal best time for 1600m, with a time of 5mins 19secs, putting him in 2nd place overall before a solid 100m swim of 1min 14secs.
Into the main hall and it was time for the Male Masters presentation… the 2019 British Biathlon Championship Masters Male Runner Up was John Anderson!
Travis said “The running was extremely hard but I was really, really pleased with my swimming. It was great to be doing an event with other children from my school and we all wanted to do our best for the team. When we found out we were 2nd in the team competition it was fantastic. We have been running with school twice a week and swimming once a week as well as doing practise out of school and it worked!”
Teacher Mr Anderson was delighted for the children. “To step up from local level, to regional level to national level is always difficult and boys performed superbly. They were brilliantly supported by their families who got them to Nottingham and cheered them on every step of the way. To have three boys working together as a team at the British Championships and to gain this level of success, is an inspiration to all the children at Parish school and the whole of Gainsborough. 2nd in Great Britain is beyond our wildest dreams. On a personal level I am delighted that I was able to secure 2nd place in my event to match the silver medal the boys won. A wonderful weekend of sport for our school.”
The Gainsborough Parish Church Primary School
Welcome to the Gainsborough Parish Church C.E. Primary School, the greatest sporting school this side of the moon! We are a stand-alone Church of England Academy, this means that the school is independent of the local authority, but still has very close links with the Church of England.