The girls in the 'green' vests have had a very hectic and exciting time over the last week.
The 'Super 6' - Olivia Sofroniou, Jade Packer, Paige Hutchings, Hannah Badger, Dolita Shaw and Kendrea Nwaelene flew to China on 26th June to compete in the World Schools' Athletics Championships in Wuhan, China. The team were sponsored by Southend Borough Council, Adidas, Aspen Home Improvements, EAST, and Berlei Bras.
On their arrival in China the girls were immediately struck by the heat and humid conditions! They had one day to acclimatise before the competition began on Monday 29th June. Fittingly, Olivia, the team captain, was the first of our athletes on the track and ran a PB of 2.24 in the 800m to finish 4th and set the team on its way. Dolita literally stormed around the 200m to run a PB time of 25.5 to take the silver medal! Kendrea also finished in 4th position in the 200m with a PB time of 26.0 secs. Jade, Hannah and Paige also left everything they had on the track and also clocked personal best times. After competing on the hottest day of the year in Wuhan the relay team had to cope with the most amazing downpour of rain when they competed in the medley relay. The water was bouncing off the track. Not to be deterred, the girls safely delivered the baton around the track in a time of 2.22.73. The winning time was achieved by the Czech Republic in 2.14.91.
In the final analysis Spain were crowned the champions and SHSG finished in a very creditable 8th position. The girls achieved the highest points score of the three teams who have competed at these championships. SHSB also finished 8th so it was honours even for both teams! The icing on the cake for the SHS Girls and Boys was that they were awarded the trophy for the team displaying Fair play and Sportmanship throughout the competition.
The Wuhan no 4 High School spared no expense in staging these championships. They spent 3 million pounds on a brand new track, stadium and an indoor air conditioned warm up area. This included a 200m track with high jump, long/triple jump, pole vault and throwing areas! The opening and closing ceremonies were amazing occasions with acrobatics, 20 foot bright red dragons, streams of balloons, 200 school children performing in military precision with their oriental fans, singing, dancing and fireworks.
On the cultural evening the girls performed a dance in their Union Jack vests and they were the star attraction! The Wuhan no 4 school children were so excited for the 'party' that they had eagerly been awaiting for a year. It was the most joyous occasion and all the competitors and their hosts had a 'ball'.
The girls and boys from both schools were a credit to all those associated with them. One of our athletes summed up the whole experience when she said ' the Worlds have been the best week of my life'. It truly was an unbelievable experience that has provided the most amazing memories for us all.
After landing at 6am at Heathrow on Friday, the athletes were performing again on Saturday in the final of the National Final of the Schools' Athletics Cup! Both the junior and intermediate teams qualified for the final putting them in the top 12 athletics teams in the country. The junior team of Eleanor Butt, Uchenna Okafor, Abena Oteng, Holly Lawrence, Esther Odugbile, Ezinne Okweilize, India Perry, Hannah Phipps, Beth Ashley, Isabelle Bates,
Lily Garner, Omoefe Osayi, Ruby Wheater, Grace Hinman, Anna Wardell and Lauren Paddick had a superb day of competition. They matched, and several girls exceeded their target times and distances to put them in the lead at the half way mark of the completion. Eleanor Butt broke the championship record in the junior girls javelin after throwing the spear 31m 99cms!
At the conclusion of the day the junior girls were crowned junior champions scoring a huge 474 points, with Coopers Coburn School 2nd with 458 points and Chelmsford Girls School 3rd with 443 points.
The intermediate girls also had a good day and despite their very best efforts they couldn't quite match the score of Milfield school who as favourites finished in 1st place and they lost to Coopers Coburn school by one point to take 3rd place. The team captained by Megan Richardson was Iona Doyle, Lizzie Hughes, Hannah Badger, Dolita Shaw, Kendrea Nwaelene, Joanna Rimmington, Katie Faint, Shekinah Joseph, Sewa Adedjoa, Ella Healey, Elena Irsukieta, Anesu Munemo and Brogan Ravenall.