As you know athletes at ‘The Poly’ cover a range of athletic disciplines. You may not know that as well as running there are also the field sports-throwing and jumping. So, this report about our success in throwing comes from Peter Atkinson-Noreen

On an extremely wet and windy Saturday, Gateshead International Stadium played host to the Northumberland Schools Athletics Association (NSAA) County Track & Field Championships, making the usual high standard of throwing from North Shields Poly young throwers difficult but certainly not impossible. The determination of the five Poly athletes across all throws disciplines was phenomenal and showed the true Poly spirit as personal bests (PBs) were smashed and championship records were both set and beaten.

Starting at the first throw of the day, Ella Welsh managed to set herself a new PB and a county championship record of 24.49m, which is a fantastic distance as she only started throwing hammer recently but remains focussed on sprints with her lead coach Chris Mole. At the same time as the hammer was the inter boys javelin, which saw Dan Dryden, also in Chris Mole’s sprint group, have mixed throws with the rain playing a factor. Dan’s 25.22m result was a basis for the future as he looks to progress with our Javelin go-to coach, Michelle Wordsworth.

Throwing runs in the Wordsworth family as Michelle’s son James was next, starting with the Shot Putt, with a slippery circle causing him to nothrow on his first two but after composing himself and having a word with coach, Neil Ellerby, the junior boy managed to throw out a distance of 13.32m. This shows James is doing everything he can to get a call up for the Northumberland Schools squad going to English Schools in Birmingham later this season. A very quick turnaround was then needed to get from the shot circle to the discus competition on the throwing fields. However, James and his ‘team’ managed to get across in time for him to get a quick practice throw in and then send his discus out to 41.54m, yet another national standard to aid his application for English Schools and the second Championship Best Performance of the day for the Poly throwers.

The final two events of the day for the young Poly throwers were the junior girls shot and discus, with Freya Robinson competing in the shot with Jess Emami, who also threw the discus in the last field event of the day. Freya was the third of the day to come from Chris Mole’s sprint group, throwing the shot 7.38m, just behind Jess who threw 2cm further at 7.40m. Jess, who is a member of Michelle Wordsworth’s multi-events group, then went out to the back fields to throw in the junior girls’ discus with a final result of 21.28m, second place in the competition.

Overall in the Poly throws at Northumberland Schools, there are now two county championship record holders and three of our athletes have earned their positions to progress towards representing Northumberland at the inter-counties meeting at Hexham. On behalf of everyone at the club, a huge well done is in order for all of those who competed and a thank you to all of the coaches who prepare the athletes for the meetings and in this case Susan Mole and Bernard Johnson who spent all day on the back fields in the pouring rain officiating the throws.

In complete opposite conditions for the inter-counties at Hexham a week on, the scorching heat created a perfect day to watch athletics but for the athletes competing, it was an extremely tiring affair which produced varied results. Ella Welsh once again kicked off the throws in the Hammer with a 23.98m throw securing her fourth place on the day, followed by a rush to get James Wordsworth over to the shot to get a throw in before sprinting back to the cage for discus. This method worked as he came second in the shot with a distance of 12.42m, another entry standard for the junior boy and first in the discus, throwing 37.01m. Jess Emami then finished off the throws in the junior girls discus, throwing 20.40m and placing her sixth to end another great day for the young Poly Throwers. Another well done!