Pupils feel the heat at Lochaber Inter-School Sports day

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Eighteen schools from across Lochaber brought more than 200 children to the Lochaber Primaries Inter-School Swimming Gala and Athletics Competition on Tuesday May 29.

The event, organised annually by High Life Highland staff from Lochaber Leisure Centre and the Active Schools team, along with with Lochaber PE teachers, comprises various disciplines and gives youngsters a chance to compete in a variety of sports.

The smooth running of the day is helped by a team of S1-3 and senior pupils from Lochaber High School who were supported by PE head of department, Yvonne Clark.

The day began at Lochaber Leisure Centre where the children raced individual 25metre heats and 50m finals in front crawl, breast stroke and back crawl.  The gala also includes a a four by 25m team relay. This year saw some very impressive swims as three records were broken with Iona Dignan from Inverlochy taking Evie Clark’s record in the breaststroke, with a new time of 42:62.

Alex Atkinson, also from Inverlochy, won the breaststroke race last year and he was able to repeat the win this year and also beat the long-standing record by two seconds, in a new time of 44:87. The final record broken was by Sean Troy Cann, Banavie, who swam the 50m front crawl in 35:00.

The winner of the girl’s front crawl was Andzelina Gerasimuka from Lundavra, a stunning result from a pupil who is still only in P4.  In the back crawl races no records were broken, but Elizabeth Morgan and Rio Bell, both from Lundavra, took the wins.  A trophy was also awarded for the pupil who improved most in school swimming lessons.  This went to Kacey Clark from Lundavra.

The schools attending the competition each year are split into categories of small, medium and large schools according to their school roll.  Points are awarded for each event and collated to produce the winners.  In the small schools swimming trophy competition first place went to Invergarry, second was Lady Lovat and in third place was Lochaline. In the medium schools, first placed was Mallaig, second was St Columba’s and in third was Bun Sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar. For the large schools, in first it was Lundavra, second place went to Inverlochy and third was Banavie.

After the gala prizegiving, the event moved to Claggan Park as competition got under way in the hurdles, followed by the 100m sprint, 200m run and team relays on the track.  On the field there was shot putt and long jump competitions.  In the shot putt the boy’s victor was Alasdair MacGillivray     from Spean Bridge with a throw of 7.81m.  The girl’s competition was won by Chiara Harper from Caol with a great throw of 6.77m.  In the long jump competition for the girls, the medal for first place went to Elizabeth Morgan of Lundavra with a comfortable win, and a jump of 3.19m.  The boy’s winner was Charlie Vance, also from Lundavra by a slim margin of 2cm.

Onto the track events and it was here that cameras on the finish line came in handy, with more than one photo finish.  To qualify for the finals the children were racing for the fastest times in their heats which meant the races were tight.  The six fastest children from all of the heats went through to the finals.  In the hurdles the winners were Millie Henderson from Caol and Sorley Swabey from Spean Bridge. In the girls 200m Strontian runner Mya Carmichael took the win, repeating her success from last year.  The boys’ winner was Ben Corner from Inverlochy school.  In the 100m sprints Anna Gray from Banavie and Sorley Swabey were victors.

In the overall athletics competition the trophy for the small schools was won by Invergarry Primary with Glencoe in second and Strontian in third.  The medium schools winner this year was St Columba’s, with Acharacle in second and Ballachulish in third.  The large school with the most points was Caol, with Lundavra in second and Inverlochy in third.

Active Schools coordinator, Bridget Thomas, said: ‘Thanks and well done must go to all of the schools for travelling to the event and for holding out in the heat of the day; to Steven Martin senior, the team from Lochaber Leisure Centre, Active Schools and PE staff who ensured the day ran smoothly; to the high school pupils for timing the races and to Lochaber Athletic club for the loan of equipment.’


All photos by Abrightside Photography.

Quick off the line in the boy’s 100m sprint. JP F23 Inter Schools 01

Girls competing in the 200m. JP F23 Inter Schools 02

Boys competing in the 200m. JP F23 Inter Schools 03

Caol Primary School took first place in the best overall large school. JP F23 Inter Schools 04

Friends Isla and Dana enjoying the glorious sunshine. JP F23 Inter Schools 05

Swimmers compete in the pool.  JP F23 Inter Schools 06

Invergarry Primary School won best overall small school of the day. JP F23 Inter Schools 07

Lundavra Primary School with their trophy haul at the Inter-School sports day.  JP F23 Inter Schools 08