On your marks, get set, go! More than 250 sporty pupils raced their way into the school history books last weekend after taking part in the 25th annual ‘Hill West Runs’ across Sutton Park.
The annual 4k and 10k runs, which are organised by the Hill West PTFA – volunteer parents, teachers and friends of the school – is one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year and 2019 marked a milestone quarter of a century anniversary.
Young runners from every class at Hill West, part of the respected Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), gathered at the landmark Jamboree Stone on 19 May to take part in the 4k fun run, alongside family, staff and even four legged friends.
All 250 entries managed to finish the course with some of the more competitive children returning in just 15 minutes. Those that decided that they preferred a leisurely jog, were back within 40 minutes collecting their participating medals at the finishing line.
Linsie Donegan, PE and school sport lead teacher, said:
It was great to see so many of our children compete in the event and so many families turn out to support the school. Many thanks are given to all those who helped to organise the event and to those who turned up to run on the day.”
Each year, this event also attracts many competitive runners from all over the Midlands, with many taking part in the 10 km version of the race. Some of the competitors in the longer race are parents of children at Hill West, past and present, while others are affiliated to local running clubs and enjoy the challenge the course provides.
This year, the runs were organised by a team of dedicated volunteers. Many parents, teaching staff and members of the local Sutton Coldfield Adventure Unit were involved in setting up the runs,
overseeing the event on the day and providing invaluable and enthusiastic marshalling around the course, making it a fantastic event for everyone who took part.
Sam Dawson, a member of the Hill West PTFA, said:
We would also like to thank all of the magnificent supporters, who lined the finishing straight and encouraged running to cross the line with a sprint. We are also extremely grateful to Sainsbury’s Mere Green who kindly donated water to be handed out along the route and at the finishing line.”
Long before the introduction of the PE and sport premium for primary schools first seen in 2013-2014 (a grant allocation that aims to help increase and improve the PE and sporting opportunities for children) Hill West were already placing significant importance on healthy lifestyle choices.
The Youth Sport Trust places significant importance on schools’ responsibility to engage pupils in regular physical activity with the chief medical officer guidelines, recommending that all children and young people aged 5 to 18 engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, of which 30 minutes should be in school. They also identify a key facet of any school sport programme is to increase participation in competitive sport. Hill West develops its strategy for PE and school sport with this in mind and the annual runs in Sutton Park remain a highlight of the academic year.