Pembrokeshire Primary Schools XC 2018: Fantastic turnout at West Wales Theme Park Print
Written by Nathan Jones   
Thursday, 18 October 2018 21:10


Following disappointment for Carmarthenshire primary schools last month with wet weather resulting in the cancellation of the county's championships at the Nantyci United Counties Showground, there was much better news for youngsters further West on Thursday afternoon, 18th October in contrasting elements.

For sporty primary school children, teachers, volunteers and parents across the county of Pembrokeshire, all roads on Thursday afternoon led to Oakwood Theme Park in Narberth for the 2018 staging of the Pembrokeshire Primary Schools Cross Country Championships, which has continued to be organised by members of Pembrokeshire Harriers in partnership with the Sport Pembrokeshire Department. As a focus sport in the Pembrokeshire area in 2018, it's by now one of the biggest and most attended sporting events in the county!

This was the first schools event available for primary school children in the Dyfed district this winter, after the Carmarthenshire championships had to be cancelled in mid September because of poor weather forecasts and conditions leading up to the event. In total contrasting conditions to last weekend, it turned out to be a pleasant sunny and relatively mild afternoon at the Narberth theme park facility and this helped attract hundreds of competitors and spectators alike to the venue.

Under a clear blue sky, the course was situated on the field near to the entrance to the venue overlooking the many attachments and activities on offer for visitors and families at Oakwood Theme Park.

Reflecting on the day's races, Matt Freeman, Active Young People Manager for Sport Pembrokeshire said: "The Oakwood Primary School Cross Country is established as the flagship schools event of the Sport Pembrokeshire calendar and Thursday saw a great afternoon of racing for the pupils of Pembrokeshire. The event, run in partnership with Pembrokeshire Harriers was a great chance for children to represent their respective schools supported on by their parents, staff and peers on a testing cross country course staged at Oakwood Theme Park."

"From a Sports Development perspective, our attendance is vital as we have a chance to speak to the children and parents about athletics opportunities as a whole in the county."




Races were open to anyone in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 at primary school age. The course was split into two - year 3 and 4 ran 1 big lap whilst the year 5 and 6 children completed 1 small and 1 big, with the route ideal for families and friends to spectate and support. Despite tough underfoot conditions in some parts following recent rain and a tough hill to climb, it was great to see the children smiling throughout and enjoying the race day atmosphere.

In its 28th by now, the championships has been led by Pete Freeman who was involved in the very first race in 1990. The race originally was held at Haverfordwest Racecourse, then Haverfordwest Rugby Club before moving in recent years to the fantastic facilities available at Oakwood.

A team of fifteen were out on the course on a chilly morning setting up the course and ensuring that everything was ready to go ahead by the 2pm start. Amongst these were members of Pembrokeshire Harriers and friends who worked tirelessly during the day as well as many other marshals and volunteers.

Race organiser Pete Freeman was pleased with the day's success and attendance. He commented: "We were delighted to see so many primary schools in attendance and the children enjoying the event. The fine weather on the day certainly helped and the course was in great condition thanks to the Oakwood Theme Park staff. Our thanks to all the marshals, volunteers, staff and St John Ambulance for making the school championships a big success."



It was the Year 3 children, who got their first taste of competition ever, got the action underway in the afternoon sunshine. They were followed by the Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 age category for boys and girls. A total of 48 schools were represented and between the eight races, a total number of 1,178 children finishing and crossed the line in another bumper and successful championships! The number in each age group were as follows:


Number of Finishers / Nifer wedi Gorffen:

Year 3 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 3 -149

Year 3 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 3 - 153

Year 4 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 4 - 153

Year 4 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 4 - 164

Year 5 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 5 - 142

Year 5 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 5 - 156

Year 6 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 6 - 112

Year 6 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 6 - 149



Runners were in good company, led at the front and back as "hares" by middle distance athletes at Pembrokeshire Harriers - Gracie Griffiths, Alice Evans, Iori Humphreys and Rhys Llewellyn. Each one did an excellent job in encouraging and helping the athletes behind the winners to cross the finishing line up to the very last one.

Medals & awards were presented to the top ten individuals at the presentation area on completion of all the races with trophies up for grabs for all the team winners (3 athletes in a school to score). Present on the day and presented medals was Wales and British Walker and Pembrokeshire's very own Heather Lewis, with one of her highlights this year being on the race walk start line at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

Lewis said: "It was fantastic to see so many attend and was delighted to be invited to attend this local championship to present the medals and trophies to those successful enough to come out on top. My advice to the youngsters taking part would be to try hard and focus on enjoyment as it can take you a long way."

The team winners on the day came from Narberth, Mary Immaculate, Y Frenni, Lamphey, Gelli Aur, Redhill and Saundersfoot; totalling seven schools. Milford Haven, Prendergast, Gellyswick, Spittal, Templeton, Roch and Cleddau Reach were top three in the team positions in their respective categories.

The overall winning school shield went to Ysgol Gelli Aur/ Golden grove school for the third year in succession.




Year 3 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 3:

1 Marilia Batsapi (Gelli Aur) 4:17; 2 Molly Charlon (Caer Elen) 4:21; 3 Lily Partistris (Milford Haven) 4:26; 4 Koke Halbert West (Cosheston) 4:31; 5 Heather Candler (Lamphey) 4:32; 6 Ellie Butterfield (Spittal) 4:33; 7 Lacey Thompson (Prendergast) 4:33; 8 Nancy Jones (Pennar) 4:34; 9 Ida Livick (Sageston) 4:34; 10 Katy Jennings (Crymych) 4:36

Year 3 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 3:

1 Harry Broadhurst (Tenby Juniors) 3:54; 2 Oliver John (Pembroke) 4:06; 3 Reuben Evans (Lamphey) 4:10; 4 Mikey Brown (Redhill) 4:12; 5 Logan Keen (Pennar) 4:13; 6 Ieuan Richards (Templeton) 4:14; 7 Raphael Magic (Templeton) 4:15; 8 Luke Simpson (Lamphey) 4:15; 9 Ollie Butland (Tenby Juniors) 4:15; 10 Oscar Patrick (St Dogmaels) 4:16

Year 4 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 4:

1 Lexi Allen (Mary Immaculate) 3:59; 2 Rose Price (Gelli Aur) 4:05; 3 Chloe Norman (Milford Haven) 4:07; 4 Caddie Bryan (Maenclochog) 4:09; 5 Charlotte Bojanowski (Spittal) 4:11; 6 Olivia Isaac (Prendergast) 4:11; 7 Connie Lewis (Gelli Aur) 4:11; 8 Bethan Green (Eglwyswrw) 4:11; 9 Nancy Griffiths (Saundersfoot) 4:13; 10 Cera Bruce (Penrhyn) 4:15

Year 4 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 4:

1 Caden Fox (Mary Immaculate) 3:41; 2 David Schorded (Mary Immaculate) 3:43; 3 Jack Billingham (Tavernspite) 3:46; 4 Solomon Siverstone (Castle School) 3:48; 5 Matthew Johston (Johnstown) 3:50; 6 Iori Morgan (Milford Haven) 3:53; 7 Reoh Smith (St Marks) 3:53; 8 Owain Gilder Dale (Caer Elen) 3:57; 9 Leon Llewellyn (Gelli Aur) 3:58; 10 Ruan Douglas Law (Tenby Church) 3:58

Year 5 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 5:

1 Ophelia Jenkins (Tavernspite) 6:20; 2 Sky Bruce (Penrhyn) 6:37; 3 Delphie Beks (Saundersfoot) 7:01; 4 Ella Thomas (Narberth) 7:04; 5 Sophie Cox (Cleddau Reach) 7:12; 6 Olivia Baker (Cleddau Reach) 7:14; 7 Ana Regan (Prendergast) 7:15; 8 Imogen Gray (Gelli Aur) 7:18; 9 Isla Davies (Saundersfoot) 7:21; 10 Lacey Button (Gellyswick) 7:28

Year 5 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 5:

1 Carter Heyward (Tenby Juniors) 6:12; 2 Thomas Hunter (Redhill) 6:24; 3 Dylan Evans (Milford Haven) 6:27; 4 Deri Richards (Templeton) 6:31; 5 Dez Jay Price (Fishguard) 6:32; 6 Max Ironside (Redhill) 6:34; 7 Finley Atyeo (Caer Elen) 6:36; 8 Bradley Palunkett (Fenton) 6:37; 9 Oliver Donhoe (Gelli Aur) 6:37; 10 Harry Howells (Narberth) 6:38

Year 6 Girls / Merched Blwyddyn 6:

1 Carys Kenniford (Lamphey) 6:37; 2 Phyllis Davies (Tavernspite) 6:38; 3 Annabelle Wilson (Roch) 6:39; 4 Ceri Jenkins (Prendergast) 6:40; 5 Ffion Bowen (Narberth) 6:49; 6 Sophie Llewellyn (Cleddau Reach) 6:53; 7 Cadi Thomas (Fenton) 6:55; 8 Zoe Thomas (Eglwyswrw) 6:58; 9 Suki Blackwell (Tenby Church) 6:59; 10 Anna Bradbury (Narberth) 7:00

Year 6 Boys / Bechgyn Blwyddyn 6:

1 Rowan Dixon (Gellyswick) 5:44; 2 William Harries (Hook) 5:55; 3 Connor Davies (Sageston) 6:03; 4 Josh Barrett (Prendergast) 6:06; 5 George Thomas (Mary Immaculate) 6:18; 6 Dylan Bowles (Milford Haven) 6:19; 7 Tommy Harries (Castle School) 6:19; 8 Jack Morgan (Gelli Aur) 6:19; 9 Adrian Schroder (Mary Immaculate) 6:21; 10 Lewis Llewellyn (Gellyswick) 6:22


The organisers would like to thank everyone who contributed towards a fantastic day, including Oakwood for the use of their venue as well as members, friends and family of Pembrokeshire Harriers, Sport Pembrokeshire, Pembrokeshire County Council and St Johns Ambulance. Another top class event in Dyfed!

Pembrokeshire primary schools will next join schools from across Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion in March 2019 as the 2019 Dyfed Primary Schools Cross Country Championships arrives at (TBC) on TBC.

Event Report & Selection of Images from Oakwood will be included in the Pembrokeshire Herald, Western Telegraph, Tenby Observer, Milford Mercury and Cambrian News over the next week or two. Make sure you pick up your copies and keep an eye out!

In addition, you can watch a YouTube video full of highlights and best images via this link:

You can view more images from the day provided by Wayne Griffiths on the Pembrokeshire Harriers Facebook Page



Event Press Reporter & Media: Nathan Jones