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Russell Scott retain Indoor Athletics title
Tuesday 6th February 2018 @ 12:18 by Mark Phillip

Russell Scott Primary School has won the Sportshall Athletics Finals for the fifth year running.

Coordinated by Tameside School Sports Partnership, the event took place at Denton Community College last Tuesday and saw numerous schools battle it out for a place in the Greater Manchester School Games later this year.

After a great display of athletic ability and determination, Russell Scott secured first spot while Godley claimed second place. Both schools will represent Tameside at the Greater Manchester Games later this year, which takes place at various venues around Sport City.

Following the event, we spoke to Russell Scott headteacher Steve Marsland about the achievement, who heaped praise on the children and coaches involved. “All the children really enjoyed themselves, and it’s just a credit to them and their coaches, who put so much time, commitment and effort into making sure that they’re well prepared and organised for the main event.

“We’ve been really impressed; the camaraderie and team work has really shone through.

“Some of the events today were really, really close, and you could see the efforts of the children shine through. There were a couple of laps where the children were running last, but they came up on the rails and eventually won. It’s down to the coaches, who instill a message of ‘never give in’.”

During his 20-year stint as headteacher, Steve has guided the school to a long list of sporting titles.

An advocate of exercise and fitness, he believes more can be done to tackle the obesity epidemic sweeping the nation.“It’s usually those children that are the best at football, cricket or rugby that come to the fore” he said.

“In terms of obesity, we need to be looking a bit deeper than competitive sport. Events like these are for those children that are already middle distance runners, so we need to be looking a little bit deeper at encouraging children at the youngest age possible to get involved in sport and lead active, healthy lives.

“We need to bring families and communities on board, because some people think it’s okay to be a little overweight, but to be honest it’s a life choice, and if they make the wrong one when they’re young, they find it very difficult later in life. It’s a bit deeper than competitive sport, but we’re on the right track, and the government funding certainly helps that.”

Keeping in line with sport and fitness, the school has recently announced its intention to install an artificial pitch on its current site. Providing an update on the situation, Steve Said: “I met with the engineers, and we’re waiting for confirmation from Sport England for their donation towards it, which is about £75,000.

“They’ve removed all the contaminated building waste which was dumped on our pitch by the unfortunate Carillion, but again that’s cost the school over £100,000 towards removing that.

“However, they’re well on their way; they’ve done all the ground work, dug all the waste out and we’re now ready for phase two, which will first of all be the extended playground and then we’re hopeful of an artificial floodlit pitch, alongside a grass sports pitch as well, to complement the already great facilities we have at the school.”

Tuesday’s event was sponsored by Vision for Education – a well-established, market-leading teacher supply agency with industry experience and expertise.

Ryan Morrison, Primary Branch Manager at Vision for Education, told us why the company sponsors the event: “We deal primarily with recruitment and supplies for schools, but we also like giving back to schools as often as we can” he said.

“One of the ways we’ve done that with Tameside is by getting involved with local sport. This is the third year that we’ve sponsored this event, and it’s the third year that Russell Scott have won it since we’ve been involved, which is a fantastic achievement, so what we’re doing is donating £200 of sports equipment to the school, who will make fantastic use of it, which is always great to see.

“It’s also great to see Godley through to the finals. It’s a huge achievement, and we’re really proud to be a part of it.”