Athletics has been part of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games since their inceptions. At the 2016 School Games, competitors will take to the track and field over a series of running, jumping and throwing disciplines for what promises to be an action packed sports programme.
For any sports related enquiries please contact Karen Forbes at British Athletics
Why should you watch this
Athletics forms the fundamental basis and skills for participating in many other sports. If you look carefully, you will see similar motions and techniques that are adopted in many of the events that make up athletics being practised in sports like golf, tennis, hockey, football and rugby.
Over 350 athletes will compete at the Games as part of seven teams representing Northern Ireland and Scotland, with England represented by the Midlands, North East, North West, South East and South West. This inclusive format also features 20 disability events across the 58 event programme.
Did you know…?
- Hammer Throw: Legend traces the concept of the hammer throw to approximately 2000BC where the Celtic warrior Culchulainn gripped a chariot wheel by its axle, whirled it around his head and threw it a huge distance.
- Shot Put: A version of the modern form of the discipline can be traced to the Highland Games in Scotland during the 19th century where competitors threw a rounded cube, stone or metal weight from behind a line.
- High Jump: Eastern Cut-off, Western Roll, Straddle and Fosbury Flop are all names of techniques used in the high jump.
- Triple Jump: When Great Britain’s Jonathan Edwards set the current world record of 18.29m to win at the 1995 IAAF World Championships, he jumped a distance in excess of the width of a football penalty box.
- 400m: One of the original events at the Ancient Olympics was the ‘diaulos’, a race around two marks on a course roughly equivalent to the current 400m.
- 400m Hurdles: The first 440-yard hurdles race was staged in Oxford, England, circa 1860. Competitors had to tackle 12 huge (100cm) wooden barriers that were sunk into the ground
How it Works
The School Games is positioned as a high-level competition opportunity for athletes participating in the under 17 (& U20 for disability) age group. With strong links to the existing schools athletics competition pathway, the event is in place to provide young athletes with the experience of a multi-sport competition environment.
Performances in school based athletics competitions remain the primary method of selection for athletes competing in the 2016 School Games. However due to the nature of the sport, athlete selection will also be made based on performance in other major events and the Power of 10 rankings system. This approach allows the best athletes to enjoy the 2016 School Games experience, whilst giving any young athlete at school the opportunity to qualify.
To view the 2016 selection policy please click here.
Designated Athlete Mentor – Niall Flannery. Please click here for more information.