Hackney primary schools compete in Personal Bests final

Primary school children from across the borough have battled it out at the Hackney Personal Bests finals.

The nine to 11 year olds recorded their personal best scores in discus, javelin, shot put, long jump, triple jump and speed bounce.

Those taking part in the finals at Hackney Downs Park were the children who had shown the greatest levels of improvement in their scores during the training programme that has been running in one third of Hackney’s primary schools this year.

Competing to become the most improved young athletes were more than 250 youngsters from 21 primary schools.

Personal Bests finalists were joined by:
•sprinter Christian Malcolm who competed against Usain Bolt at the Beijing 2008 Olympics
•400m hurdler and London 2012 hopeful Perri Shakes Drayton
•Hackney’s Dervis Konuralp, Paralympic swimmer and the borough’s ambassador for the 2012 Games.

The sports stars encouraged the children to do their best and handed out a trophy and gold medals to the winning team from Sebright. They awarded silver medals to second place London Fields, and bronze medals to third place Whitmore.

Christian Malcolm said: “I was very impressed by how hard the children had been practising to develop their skills and improve their personal best scores. I’m delighted they’ve all enjoyed taking part in these sports and improving their fitness, and I hope they will continue to keep active.”

Dervis Konuralp said: “It was an especially proud moment for me to hand the second prize to London Fields as it’s my old primary school. Sport is so accessible for children and is another means of achievement for them. It has helped me so much and I hope it can do the same for other young people.”

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: “Congratulations to all the young people who took part in the Personal Bests programme and I hope they continue to enjoy taking part in sports.

“One of Hackney Council’s long-held ambitions is to inspire as many residents as possible to get involved in regular physical activity, and being a host borough for the 2012 Games is a great inspiration for this.”

All the schools have been given sporting equipment such as discus and javelins so that they can continue taking part in these sports.

The Hackney Personal Bests programme is run by Hackney Council’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Unit and funded through Team Hackney, the borough’s local strategic partnership.

It is a health-based sports programme which has involved learning in the classroom as well as sports training. All pupils who took part received an interactive work book specially produced for the programme which includes health messages, a personal lifestyle diary, information about the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and a record of their own personal best performances. The school with the best completed workbooks will win an award later this year at the Hackney Youth Sports Awards, organised by the Council.