MSSP hosted the Sportshall Athletics at Canons Leisure Centre on Friday 18th January 2019. Both heats consisted of twelve schools with every team arriving with eighteen athletes (nine boys and nine girls). Each competitor had to take part in two track (relays/races) and two field (throws/jumps) events. All of the scores from each event would contribute to the school’s overall total so it was essential that every individual did their utmost to gain points for their team. All schools arrived looking ready and eager to go.

In the morning session, all schools had star performances; however, Bishop Gilpin girls were the stars of the show, winning an incredible eight out of twelve races on the track, displaying their speed, endurance and strength in these contrasting disciplines. They were scoring high in the field as well but could not compete with a strong Poplar team who finished in the top two in six out of the ten events. Cranmer girls started the event off with a bang, recording their highest scores in the obstacle race while the boys took first place in the 1x1 relay before both teams stormed to victory in the long jump. West Wimbledon were performing well in the field events, the boys and girls excelling in the speed bounce and chest push as well as the long distance track events. While the Links boys earned points on the track, their girls secured impressive placings on the field. Malmesbury had some explosive girls who scored well in the Long Jump and Triple Jump for them. The boys were flying and got second spot in three out of six track events. Both the boys and the girls for St Thomas put in strong efforts across all disciplines on the track and the field, consistently finishing in the top three and scoring valuable points. The tricky technique of the Vertical Jump proved no barrier to the team from St Mary’s as they recorded their best result of the day in this tough event while St Peter & Paul demonstrated their saved their best for the standing long jump. William Morris girls had some impressive track performances, scoring highest in the 2 x 2 lap relay, while the boys displayed plenty of speed and agility to score well in the over/under relay event. Lonesome squeezed every last drop of effort in their performances to score valuable points across the board while the girls from Benedict did their school proud with their exceptional performances on the track.

Bishop Gilpins strong all-round performance resulted in them claiming first place – their girls on the track were particularly fast. The Poplar team kept them in the hunt throughout and helped them secure a well-deserved second place. Cranmers consistency across track and field meant they finished in third place and they were also named as the Refspect award winners for showing outstanding sporting behaviour and integrity throughout the competition. Well done to all the Cranmer Primary School pupils, you are a credit to your school.

In the afternoon session, Hillcross speed and agility came to the fore with their boys and girls doing particularly well in the 1x1 and 2x2 lap relays. The boys from Aragon demonstrated great strength and technique in the field events, finishing in the top two in all five events. St Matthew’s utilised their sprinters well in lightning performance in the relays, winning four out of the ten events. Both the boys and the girls in Wimbledon Chase relay teams ran quickly and some powerful efforts in the jumping events backed this up. Dundonald proved to be a strong all-round team in the track and field, regularly scoring well to keep the pressure on the other front-runners. A speedy start and team-work helped the girls from Holy Trinity in their 1x1 lap and 4x1 lap relay races as they claimed two second spots. This was followed up by some strong finishing positions in all the jumping events to rack up the points. Their boys demonstrated their endurance and pace during the 2x2 and 6 lap paarlauf relays with a first and second place respectively. Sacred Heart brought a well-drilled and talented team of who put in impressive performances across all events but saving their highest scores for the Girls 6 lap Paarlauf and Obstacle relays. Haslemere were producing big performances on the track and it culminated in them winning the Girls 4x1 lap relay. Another school with a strong team was Pelham as they regularly picked up big points in all events on the track and the field. Garfield brought a strong field team, where they produced their best scores, competing near the top in most events. Merton Abbey and Wimbledon Park were competitive throughout the event and consistently produced good results to ensure they were pushing their rivals all the way.

In a keenly contested heat the deciding factor was Hillcross Primary School consistency across all disciplines as they finished in first place. Impressive track performances from the boys and girls earned second place for Aragon while St Matthew’s recorded particularly high scores on the track for their third place. Wimbledon Park were named as Refspect award winners for showing outstanding sporting behaviour and integrity throughout the competition. Well done to all the Wimbledon Park pupils, you are a credit to your school.

After the scores were compared across the heats, it was Bishop Gilpin who emerged victorious and will be representing Merton at the London Youth Games. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Thanks must be paid to Canons Leisure Centre for hosting the event and to the leaders from Harris Academy Morden who officiated professionally and efficiently throughout the event.

Huge congratulations to all children who put their heart and soul into every event they participated in and did their school proud.  

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