NEARLY 1,000 primary school pupils from across Blackburn and Darwen have been showing off their running, jumping and throwing skills at three annual Sportshall Athletics Festivals.

Youngsters aged from five to 11-years-old from 34 different primary schools took part in the annual competition hosted by secondary schools across the borough.

The events were officiated by over 150 Young Leaders and once again it proved to be a big hit in the school sporting calendar.

Sportshall athletics is an exciting indoor programme of adapted athletics activities.

It provides fun ways to build core skills, gain British Athletics Sportshall Awards and is renowned for its exhilarating team competitions.

It has quickly established itself as the top school sports participation competition in the UK.

There were a total of six Year 5/6 qualifiers with the winner of each battling it out for the borough title.

However, two of the qualifying events teams tied for first place so eight teams actually progressed to the final held at Darwen Vale High School.

Teams that took part were from Avondale, Longshaw, Meadowhead, QEGS, Shadsworth, St Antony’s, St Thomas’ and Wensley Fold.

And after some outstanding performances on the track and some excellent jumping and throwing in the field events, Avondale were crowned champions with an impressive total of 294 points.

Longshaw were second with 236 points and Shadsworth a close third with 230 points.

Avondale will now go through to the county finals at Hyndburn Sports Centre on March 4.

Blackburn Central High School hosted the main Year 3/4 event, which was again attended by eight schools.

The events were adapted slightly from the Year 5/6 format but it basically followed a similar structure to that of the older children.

Lower Darwen were the champions with 282 points, Shadsworth and St Thomas’ tied for second with 268 points and The Redeemer were fourth with 228 points.

And the younger age group also got in on the sportshall scene with two events held for pupils in Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2).

Again, as with the Year 3/4 event, the format was modified to make it more appropriate for children of this age. Children completed throwing and jumping activities called jumper, bouncer, launcher, bowler, stepper and thrower as well as running some fun relay races at the end. Witton Park High School and QEGS hosted these events with QEGS the venue for the final.

Once again, Lower Darwen Primary School came out on top with a score of 70 points with St Anthony’s second with 62 points and Roe Lee third with 58 points.

“I would like to congratulate all of the schools and pupils who have been part of Primary Sportshall Athletics over what has been a very busy couple of months,” said Andrew Mercer, School Games Organiser.

“A massive thank you goes to all the secondary schools and their PE staff for hosting and running the events. “The Secondary young leaders who officiated and scored the evnts were brilliant and an absolute credit to their secondary schools. “I wish Avondale the best of luck as the progress to the county finals and hope to see even more young people competing in and enjoying sportshall athletics in 2016.”