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Inaugural Rising Stars Outdoor Combined Events Competition

15 April 2019

Inaugural Rising Stars Outdoor Combined Events Competition

On Sunday 7th April 2019, Athletics NI hosted the first ever Rising Stars Combined events competition for children from 7 regional training squads.

Athletes aged 12-15 years old from Rising Stars squads based in Antrim, Belfast, Bangor, Coleraine, Downpatrick, Newry and Newtownabbey came together to compete in a 4-event challenge including sprint hurdles, 100m, Finn Flyer javelin and long jump.

The overall winners (pictured above) in the Year 8 category were Anna Cousins & Noah Kelly, while the Year 9 winners were Faith Finney & Kobe Degnan and the Year 10 winners were Zofia Czajka & Freddy Young.

This was the first year that Athletics NI had organised this competition and we look forward to holding many more in the future, as this offered the young athletes a great opportunity to develop their skills in a competition setting.

The day finished with mixed 4x100m relays where athletes representing their region, competed against each other for the Overall Team title.  The Newry Rising Stars team (pictured below) coached by Michael Dyer came out victorious in a time of 54 seconds.

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Coach Development Lead Laura Kerr explains "At this stage of the year it's essential that young athletes who have been following the Rising Stars run, jump, throw curriculum for two terms begin to challenge their skills in a competitive environment and gain exposure to competition rules and time management required for day long combined event competitions.  Today we saw strong performances from these versatile young athletes with all 6 of our overall champions achieving maximum points in at least two of the individual events.”

“Combined events require an ability to consistently perform at or close to your best across a range of events. Athletics NI believe fun, introductory competitions like this are important to help athletes and their parents gain confidence in the entry process and competition day logistics before the main summer track and field season begins.  We look forward to seeing many of these athletes compete for their clubs and schools this season and in particular hope to see many of them at the NI & Ulster Multi Events Championships in August. “

Previously a Rising Star athlete and now Commonwealth Games Heptathlete Kate O’Connor, has demonstrated the opportunities available to Northern Ireland’s youth athletes. Kate started at Rising Stars in 2014 and then went on to progress to the Youth Academy, before gaining her Top 8 position at the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast, Australia.

This Easter, Athletics NI will be supporting multi events athletes including Sarah Connolly, Jordan Cunningham, Molly Curran and Ethan Williamson on our Erasmus+ Camp taking place in Portugal 12th-25th April.

Athletics NI would like to thank volunteers on the day as well as the Every Body Active 2020 regional Coaches who prepared their athletes so well. We hope to see many of the athletes progress through their training and competition as they begin Term 3 of Rising Stars after the Easter holidays.

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