State Primary Athletics championship makes successful return

The stats on and off the track were something to behold at the State Primary Athletics championship which returned after two years. Glenn Cullen reports.

Image: Harlow Pate showing off her sprinting skills.

There were some mighty impressive numbers at the NSW Primary Schools Sports Association athletics championship held at Sydney’s Olympic Park.

And that was aside from the action on the track and in the field.

The event made a buoyant return on Wednesday and Thursday after back-to-back years of COVID had seen its cancellation.

Over 2300 students competed from three educational sectors; there were some 5,000 spectators and 100 staff and an incredible 74,000-plus online views of the spectacle.

Under cloudy and occasionally drizzly skies the records tumbled as the best primary school athletes in the state returned to competition.

Ronia Warszawska (Engadine Public School) demolished the 11 years girls 1500m record, her time of 4 minutes 51 and 58 seconds beating the previous marker by some three and a half seconds. Ronia also won the 11 years girls 800m.

Harlow Pate (Wilton Public School) shredded the 8 years girls 100m record, her scintillating 13.96 effort ousting the 2013 marker by almost half a second. Running mainly against girls up to two years older, she also came second in the Junior Girls’ 200m.

Image: Billy and Archie Herb all smiles at the State Primary School Athletics championship.

In a superb all-round effort, Billy Herb (Sylvania Heights Public School) won the Junior boys 800m and 1500m, also made the final of the 10 years boys 100m and semi-final of the 200m.

Billy offered a small insight into his success: “I train five times per week with my dad and brother and I also love to play rugby league and touch footy,” he said.

There were also more than 20 records set or broken in the multi-class category.

Peter Cardy, State Athletics Convener and Disability Inclusion Officer, said it was a fantastic couple of days.

“It has been so exciting to have state athletics back on the map this year,” he said.

“Students competing at the various levels of the selection pathway, striving for personal best performances and building resilience through sport and physical activity is really what it’s all about.”

Athletes will be next eyeing off the School Sport Australia Track and Field Championships, to be held in Brisbane starting November 17.

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