Sunderland had another disappointing Durham Schools’ Cross Country Championships at Barnard Castle on Saturday.
They won just one bronze medal in the contested eight events and only managed to finish two full teams of six runners.
There are many reasons being put forward why the results are not what they should be and the decline in school sport in schools in Sunderland is just one of the reasons.
Despite having two teachers at the helm with bounds of enthusiasm and experience for cross country racing, they are still struggling in getting some city schools to return to the sport.
With athletics disappearing from the schools’ sporting curriculum, results were sure to suffer. More involvement with local club Sunderland Harriers is on the cards and this may help to turn the sport around.
And this has already got off the ground with a £500 grant from the Harriers’ being presented to Sunderland Schools to purchase new vests.
The much smaller area of West Wearside are riding high by outshining their much bigger neighbours by winning three individual gold medals, three silver and one bronze with Easington also getting among the medals with one gold and one bronze.
Teams of 18 will now contest the Inter County event on Saturday, February 2, at Temple Park South Shields before selection for the English Schools’ Championships at Chelmsford on Saturday, March 16 takes place.
Sunderland Harriers, Sunderland Strollers and Houghton Harriers are all heading to Pontefract for the Northern Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
Houghton Harriers have the best chance of winning medals in the Under-17 men’s event headed by Will Bellamy and Henry Johnson, and including Sam Gibson, Jack Seeney and Izaak Taylor in the team.
The Under-17 women also have a strong team in Eva Hardie, Laura Megan, Lydia James, and Anna Pigford, all down to run.
North East selectors will sit down on Sunday to select North East teams for the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships on Saturday, March 9, at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough....
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