Determined school pupils have run away with a coveted cross country championship title for a second consecutive year. The 41 youngsters from Years 3 – 6 at St Bede’s Catholic Primary School, South Shields, ran rings around their competition at the South Tyneside Cross Country Championships, finishing an impressive 43 points ahead of the rest of the field.

The school, which is part of the Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, was keen for as many children as possible to take part in the annual event, held at Temple Park.

St Bede’s Year 3 and 4 boys and the Year 5 girls triumphed, winning team gold in their races, while the Year 3 girls also picked up silver medals for their team.

But it was the efforts of all 41 pupils which won them the overall team championships, with St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School, Jarrow, and Cleadon Academy claiming second and third place respectively.

Proud staff at St Bede’s say the children’s dedication and determination was key to their success: pupils had regularly attended training sessions after school in the lead-up to the championship, whilst many even trained with their families at weekends. This enabled pupils to achieve personal bests on the day.

Coach and Year 3 teacher Brian McVittie said: “I was delighted how everyone supported each other at the event. While the children were pleased to retain the team shield, I was particularly proud of how many boys and girls were so enthusiastic to represent their school in cross country. The children were so keen they even encouraged their parents to run with them at weekends. “On the day, all of our runners were inspired by the amazing family support they received at Temple Park, as they were cheered around the course. I hope the success of the squad will encourage more children to get involved in future school sport events and more families to continue running together.

The school’s cross-country captain, Year 6 pupil Matilda Mason, 10, said: “It was wonderful that the whole squad got to lift the shield together, as everyone had tried so hard. We all enjoyed being in a team with our friends and had a great afternoon at the finals.

This event took place on 29 September 2023.

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Press release issued by SASS media on behalf of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust. For more information, contact Sarah Dale on 07814 976582.