Open Cross Country Championships: Aberdeen School welcomes 1,500 pupils from 51 schools across the North-East

Albyn School Open Cross Country Championships

ABERDEEN’s Albyn School was delighted to welcome more than 1,500 pupils from across the North-East to its highly-anticipated Open Cross Country Championships last week (Friday 15 March).

The sport event, which took place at Balgownie Playing Fields in Bridge of Don, was attended by Primary 5 to Senior 6 pupils from 31 primary and 20 secondary schools across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, including Mile End School, Fettercairn Primary School, Ferryhill School, Drumoak School, Banchory-Devenick School, Robert Gordon’s College and St Margaret’s School for Girls.

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The championships witnessed the largest number of participants in recent years, indicating a growing enthusiasm for cross country running among students. Despite facing challenging weather conditions with rain and mud, the competitors demonstrated remarkable dedication and resilience throughout the day.

The success of the championships can be attributed to the efforts of Albyn School’s PE Department that worked diligently over three months to meticulously plan and execute every aspect of the event which has been running since 2000.

Jimmy Lamont, Albyn School’s Head of PE and Sport who helped organise the event, said: “It was great to give so many pupils from across the region the opportunity to take part in a large-scale athletics event. Hopefully, for many of the participating pupils, this will ignite a passion for the sport.”

The championships featured 14 individual and 14 team categories, where the top three finishers from each school contributed to the overall team score.

Albyn School claimed the team award in the P6 Boys and P6 Girls categories, while Cults Academy secured victories in the S2 Girls and Senior Girls categories and Robert Gordon’s College claimed the S1 Girls, S2 Boys and Senior Boys categories.

Albyn School’s S6 pupil Rhys Crawford delivered an exceptional performance, securing first place in the Senior Boys’ race. This achievement marks an exceptional end to his participation in the event, as he prepares to embark on an academic and athletics scholarship to study Chemical Engineering at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Headmaster Stefan Horsman said: “Albyn School would like to extend its congratulations to all participants for their remarkable efforts and sportsmanship displayed throughout the championships. Your resilience and commitment despite the challenging conditions are truly commendable, setting a wonderful example for us all.” 

Albyn School regularly engages in knowledge and resource-sharing initiatives to strengthen collaboration between state and independent schools in the region. In addition to the Open Cross Country Championships, Albyn School also organises an annual Primary Schools Maths Challenge, bringing together children from many local schools as well as Albyn.

Additionally, cross-sector hubs for professional learning and networking have also been established in Computing, Chemistry, Support for Learning, and PE & Sport. Albyn School also extends invitations to local state primary and secondary schools to take part in its INSET programme. For instance, Albyn School will host a Teaching Shakespeare course by the Royal Shakespeare Company in May.

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