On Saturday 8th February Ratcliffe College Prep School hosted their annual Primary Schools Cross Country Festival. The week leading up to the event had seen beautiful crisp winter mornings developing into mild spring like days, but the threat of Hurricane Ciara was looming ominously on the horizon. Thankfully, as it happened the only thing that blew everyone away was the outstanding performances of athletic endeavour produced by over 500 children between the ages of 6 – 11. This was the biggest Festival yet with young athletes representing 35 different Primary Schools across Leicestershire, Rutland and Nottinghamshire.
The course was in fine condition probably scoring good to soft in places and the children were champing at the bit to get started. As 9am arrived the Year 3 Girls were set free and the excitement began. The course although the same as in previous years had a new start and finish in order to encompass the fantastic new Prep School Sports Hall facility which was home to the scorers who kept the results up to date race by race and the PA who fed and watered the capacity crowd throughout the morning.
This new facility will certainly enhance the sporting provision available to the Ratcliffe Prep School pupils in the coming years and today it stood proudly over-looking the finish arena. The panoramic views offered form the upstairs in the hospitality suite offering spectators a warm and inviting place to witness the athletic drama unfold.
The races were over in a flash for some, the speedy, nimble footed exponents of the cross-country art were back at the finish line before you could recover from surviving the onrushing hoard leaving the start line. For some however the races were more of a test of fortitude and determination. Whether fleet of foot or heavy legged, the cheers rang out regardless, welcoming home the champions who had overcome and achieved the goals they had set for themselves at breakfast that morning, whether that be to defeat their fellow competitors or just their own personal challenges to go the distance and finish with a smile upon their face.
There is always something very humbling to see a child achieve a goal they have set for themselves and on Saturday we witnessed over 500 children achieve theirs.
Sport is about winning of course it is but at Ratcliffe College we believe that Sport is about more than that. It is about challenging yourself to do more than you thought possible, to aim higher than you can reach, to give more than you thought possible and to never ever give up.
With that in mind this years Cross Country Festival was a resounding success and we can’t wait for next year.
If you would like to see the photos from both our Prep and Senior Cross Country events, please visit https://www.showphotos.biz/f151495104 and enter the password – Pugin1847 to view the gallery and purchase selected photos.