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School sports day saved by University

Lawhead Primary School Sports Day

The University of St Andrews has come to the rescue of a school sports day after the primary school’s own fields were flooded.

Pupils at Lawhead Primary in St Andrews were able to hold their event yesterday (Thursday 28 May 2015), for the first time competing on a real running track with professional standard equipment. The event comes in a special year for the school – its 40th anniversary.

Primary six pupils wrote to the University’s Department of Sport and Exercise earlier this month pleading for help after their playing fields were rendered unusable because of heavy rain, combined with a long standing drainage problem.

The children wrote: “Sports day is very important to all the children at Lawhead School. It is a tradition, which we don’t want to stop. We would be extremely miserable if we had to cancel it because there was nowhere to have sports day.”

They described the school’s annual sports day as the highlight of the school year for many of the children. The event is particularly special because, unlike other schools, every child competes in the five events of long run, javelin, long jump, sprint and hurdles.

Gary Brankin, Sports Development Manager at the University’s Sport Centre, said, “We were more than happy to help accommodate the school sports day. A large part of my role is putting on a programme of activities for children in the local area in terms of weekly sport sessions and holiday camps as well as building links with the local schools.

“We hope that the Lawhead sports day can become an annual event on our track and can lead to other projects and events with the schools in St Andrews.”

Teacher Rosie Henshaw added, “Excitement has been building amongst the pupils at Lawhead School since they heard that the University had generously offered us the use of their running track and facilities for their annual Sports Day. For many children it was their first opportunity to run on a proper track.

“We were delighted that the whole school was able to enjoy using the excellent facilities on our doorstep and that we were able to work in such close and supportive partnership with the University.”

The children described being able to hold their day at the University as being the best 40th birthday present for the school.

ENDS

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