Last week Paddock Wood AC held its 27th Startrack week. Luckily the fine weather carried on for the week with just a shower first thing Monday. About 60 children took part, some for the whole week, some for the odd day, but it gave them all a chance to try their hand at all the jumps (except pole-vault), throws and various running events.
On Monday James Whitaker, the British Javelin Champion who trains at the Paddock Wood track ,came and talked to the children wearing his GB kit and his British Champs gold medal. He showed them how he started and progressed. Then demonstrated his throwing technique. The children then had the chance to ask questions.
The week culminated in competitions, with every athlete doing a run, jump and throw to earn points for their team. Then each team took part in the obstacle relay. The teams this year were past cities that had hosted the European Championships. Amsterdam, Helsinki, Berlin and Zurich. Just 30 points separated the top 2 teams. With Zurich taking the top prize. The top boy and girl in the different age groups won a trophy. In the 6/7/8 years group Zac Howard won the boys and Masie Chalklen won the girls. Maurice Roberts won the 9/10 year old group and Amelia Salmon took the girls. Joe Stone for the second year running took the 11/12 year group with Lucy Tallon taking the girls – again for the second year. Alex Gray took the 13/14 group along with Lauren Harker. Everyone went away with a goodie bag and T-Shirt.
On Sunday it was the last Kent Young Athletes League meeting of the season at the Erith track. Many of the athletes taking part had taken part in the Athletics the week before. In division 1, U13 Jess Penny had a storming run in the 75m hurdles, winning easily in (12.2s), was 2nd in the high jump 1.35m equalling her PB and 4th in the long jump. Izzy Rayner, in her first ever high jump competition won the B string with 1.20m Izzy also did the shot for the first time, and was 5th in the javelin 14.43 a PB. Twin sister Jess ran the 800m just missing out on her PB (2m51.3s). Joe Stone won the U13 boys Long Jump 4.41and tried his hand at the hammer, after trying it out at Startrack and threw 12.26m. Liam O’Neil ran a PB in the 800m (2m37.4s) and put the shot 4.75m. In the U15 boys Alex Gray equalled his PB in the 100m (12.4s) and jumped a PB in the long jump 4.93m. Alex Stone won the B shot with a PB throw 8.39m and claimed another PB in the long jump 4.45m. U15 girl Rosie Elspass jumped a PB in the long jump 4.64m. In Division 2 U13 Emma Townend ran a PB in the 70mH (15.9s) and ran another in the 800m (3m 11.9s). Charlotte Parker ran (11.7s) in the 75m and (23.8s) in the 150m. U13 boy Mathew Oaks jumped a PB in the long jump 3.49m and ran the 100m (16.00s). In the U15 boys Liam Simms ran a PB in the 100m (13.8s) and jumped another in the long jump 3.88m. Aiden O’Neil ran 14,6s in the 100m and (30.9s) in the 200m. It all depended on the result of this match to decide who stayed in Division 1. Despite a lack of athletes in the U15 girls the rest of the team with Folkestone RC manged to stay in 6th place for the season thus avoiding relegation.