Pupils put west of county in Sussex’s Sportshall of fame

The West Sussex West team at Horsham
The West Sussex West team at Horsham

Three teams from Bishop Luffa and one from St Philip Howard represented West Sussex West at the county finals of the Year 7 and 8 sportshall athletics competition at Horsham.

As Chichester athletes have discovered this season, opponents from Horsham, Crawley and Brighton are very tough to beat.

However, the young WSW athletes went about their business with great enthusiasm and technique.

All four teams made solid starts in the opening relay events, gaining second and third places.

As the individual races began, the size of the task in front of them became clear, with the difference in physical size and maturity between athletes from the much larger schools in Crawley and Worthing becoming apparent.

Despite fantastic technical application, the boys in particular were unable to cope with the sheer foot-speed of their much larger opposition.

In the four-lap race the stamina of the athletes from the Chichester and Bognor area began to shine.

Bishop Luffa won five of the six races they contested, with St Philip Howard athletes winning another of the remaining two.

The impetus given by these results began to reverberate throughout the teams.

Wins from Bishop Luffa’s Jamie Holmes (Year 8 shot put), Eleanor Lowes (Year 7 shot put and triple jump), Mia Graham (Year 8 shot put) and Thea Huxley (Year 8 speed bounce) quickly followed.

The tactical paarlauf relays bought more success for Bishop Luffa athletes as they won two of three races.

The final relays were hotly contested with Bishop Luffa picking up a win in the Year 8 girls’ event.

As the final results were announced St Philip Howard came a creditable sixth position in the Year 7 boys. Bishop Luffa’s Year 7 girls and Year 8 boys took the silver medals in their respective groups.

A runaway victory by the Year 8 girls meant Bishop Luffa were crowned as county champions in the Year 8 girls’ age group.

The combined results also meant West Sussex West were the best performing team overall.

The young athletes will now turn their attention to the summer season, when they will undoubtedly be looking for more success on the track.

TIM BROWN