Race Day Report:

10 London schools braved the wet weather and came together to compete in the first School Games of 2018. The event welcomed just over 60 young people, who had been practicing and developing new skills as part of the BMX Legacy Programme, all ready to test themselves on the Olympic track.

With the rain pouring down, the young riders’ spirits certainly weren’t dampened with them all so eager to get on the track. The Home Ed riders saw it as a marathon and not a sprint as they arrived first and completed a huge number of laps as part of their warm up. As more and more of the schools arrived, the excitement began to build as students were counting down till their individual races.

Our youngest riders got us underway with some very impressive skills shown by some of our smallest racers. St Judes Primary School showed great qualities on and off the track as not only did they win the team sportsmanship award but had the top 2 in the Primary Girls competition. Renae Nelson stormed her heats and did not let up, finishing first in every race. Leila Irving-Watts was not far behind in any of her races either and stayed consistent with her performances and finished in 2nd place overall. It looked like it was going to be a full St Jude podium if it wasn’t for Juarnine from Brixton Home Ed who showed huge determination to finish third overall.  The Primary boys had some seriously competitive races. Jentai from Brixton home Ed flew round the track to take 1st place in the final. Not to be outshone by his teammate, Jahein from Brixton Home Ed showed tremendous courage to recover from a fall in his first heat to finishing second overall. Well done Jahein! Close competition throughout the races saw Reilly from Peter Hill taking third place. Some fantastic races from the younger end of our competition, setting the standard high for the older ones to follow.

Onto the Year 7/8 Girls and with a few no shows, it meant only 3 riders raced in this category. That certainly did not lower the standard or the enjoyment of the girls with shouts crossing the line of “That was sick” ringing out with every finisher. The heats were very tightly contested with each rider varying in the positions that they finished. Faith Mitchell-Cox from Lewisham Home Ed managed to hold out in the final to take top spot, closely followed by Chenai Windross and Atinuke Babalola from the Charter School who finished second and third respectively. The boys race looked pretty certain throughout the heats and final as Malakai Callender flew round the track and finished in first place. His teammate Jason Caeser also impressed and after a string of consistent heats he finished in second place. The Charter School were looking for a clean sweep after some very impressive performances during the heats, but Che Brown-Swab from Elmgreen School stormed home to take third place. Really great to see such competitive performances on the track but such great sportsmanship and friendship off of it.

It was great for all staff and children to spend the day in such wonderful facilities at the VeloPark, including eating lunch while cyclists were flying round the indoor track. The noise of either excitement from the children or discussion with fellow competitors regarding previous races or race tactics and tips meant for an exciting cycling atmosphere.

After having to watch all the younger athletes have their turn on the track, it was finally the Year 9/10’s turn to race. It was two horse race between Kensington Aldridge and Harris South Norwood for the winner of this age group, and an impressive performance from Mariam Darraj throughout the heats and finals meant that she took the winners medal for Harris South Norwood. Consistently solid performances from CJ Edwards meant that she took home second place for Kensington Aldridge, and great effort from Delfa Akyema Agyei in the final meant that it was Charter School first and third finish. The boys’ competition brought out some fantastic rides, particularly Jaden Harris who absolutely flew round the course to win all his races and produced the fastest track time of the day. With Jaden winning the final, it took a fantastic performance by James from Chaffinch to take second place. James, from our Wingz programme, managed to compose himself after a fall in the second heat to go on and win a silver medal, so well done to you James. The battle for third was so tightly contested with a few riders from Kensington Aldridge and Thomas from Chaffinch. Throughout the heats this little group had been neck and neck, but it was Aragel Ghafar who raced away on the final straight to take third place. A great effort from all the racers who competed!

Full List of Winners of the Spring Series School Games 2018:

Click results for a downloadable pdf

Throughout the day staff and volunteers worked effortlessly to ensure that events ran accordingly, especially our volunteers from Columbia Threadneedle who came down to help out at the School Games. They braved the cold windy weather and continued to smile and encourage throughout the day. It was great to see how much their positive attitude spurned on our young riders. This positive attitude continued into the teachers and volunteer race, with some great BMX on show by Columbia Threadneedle and the teachers. I think they all realised it is not as easy as the kids make it look!  A busy but very enjoyable day, so massive thanks to Columbia Threadneedle and everyone that helped out on the day for their tremendous efforts in taking on a variety of roles and responsibilities.

As the final races had come to a close, the winners were announced and presented with their individual prizes. Their amazing efforts, persistence, and positivity did not go unnoticed and all schools were congratulated and thanked for their determination, sportsmanship and talent on display. Their hard work throughout all of the outreach sessions was apparent in the high standard of racing. Once again, a massive thank you to the teachers, Access Sport staff, Columbia Threadneedle volunteers and Velopark staff whose patience, organisation and support was a credit to the succesful running of the day.

We hope you had fun and looking forward to seeing you all at the next series!