Swimming success for biathlon pair

Lydia Smith and teacher John Anderson from Parish Church School with their medal from the national finals of the School biathlon competition in London G130328-2b
Lydia Smith and teacher John Anderson from Parish Church School with their medal from the national finals of the School biathlon competition in London G130328-2b

Celebrations are being enjoyed after two members of Parish Church Primary School excelled themselves at the British Schools Biathlon Championships last weekend.

Year Five pupil Lydia Smith and teacher John Anderson made the long snowy journey down to the Crystal Palace Sports Arena to compete against the very best competitors from the whole of the country.

Having entered their times from a school trial in November, six members of the school made the points total to qualify for the semi-final at Macclesfield. At this event Lydia and John scored enough points to qualify for London.

Lydia, who was ranked 55th going into the event, scored a massive 2,453 points to finish in 23rd place.

A Parish Church spokesman said: “This was a truly remarkable performance in her first ever Biathlon Final against Britain’s best year Five children.”

John, ranked 14th before the event, secured 2,471 points and finished in 5th place overall, for which he received a trophy and a ‘by’ into the British Championships in November for people all over the country and not just teachers.

Lydia said: “ It was freezing cold, but racing against other fast runners really made me go quicker. Knowing that Usain Bolt had run on the track, meant it was an amazing feeling to follow in his footsteps.”

John added: “ There were nearly 1,000 competitors overall, so it was a huge event. I was very nervous having never been in a competitive swimming race before, in fact I hadn’t even swum in a 50m pool before. However with a few last minute tips from Lydia’s dad I was able to do well.”

He continued “ Lydia was an absolute star and I’m sure will be trying hard to return here next year. It would be brilliant if Gainsborough managed to get even more competitors in the finals next time.”