Sportshall Athletics

Posted by Phil Budd 0065 on 4 September 2019

Sportshall Athletics, these comprise events that exercise the key athletic skills, but modified to take place in a regular sports hall. Some events require unique equipment such as rebound-boards which are for turning in the sprint races. Our young athletes will get a chance to practice on these prior to the first league match in October at the Saturday morning sessions. Some schools have taken up Sportshall Athletics so some of our youngsters are already familiar with the events, though for many it will be their first experience.

The field events comprise; standing long jump, standing triple jump, vertical jump, chest push, shot, high stepper, speed bounce, balance beam, target throw. Many of these are self explanatory, others not so obvious, all will be covered at some point over the coming weeks, many are already part of their regular training e.g. standing long jump and chest push.

Hampshire Athletics have organised a Sportshall league for many years and the format has changed over the years, currently all athletes do all events. There is no limit on the number of athletes that can take part from each club. The top four performing athletes comprise the A team, the 5th to 8th best athletes the B team and so on. We have had an E team before now! All athletes from the same club compete together so no-one is isolated and provided they hang on to the rest of the team no athlete will miss an event, even if they do we can get them competing out of turn.

There is a charge to enter, £4 for each athlete last year. I’ve not been notified of any changes this year yet. The money will be collected before the start of each match.

Please be aware it is very noisy, and at times appears like organised chaos, but it is organised. The lead officials are all qualified UK Athletics officials, though mums and dads are pressed into service to assist in the field events. I will be asking for volunteers prior to each match.

All athletes have a chance to be selected to represent their county in the regional finals, early in the new year. Some may even go on to the national finals. Some of our current u20 athletes can claim to be national champions, having won the national finals as u13s.

The finals are a great place to spot the “stars of tomorrow”. The 2016 UK Sportshall All-Rounder Champion, Amber Anning, who went on to win a silver medal at the recent European Athletics Indoor Championships, began her athletics career competing in Sportshall at the age of nine. Acting as Sportshall Ambassador she urged younger athletes to “continue doing Sportshall until you are as old as me, because it is fun, skillful and great winter competition and some of the best athletes in the UK started out in Sportshall.
Amber joins a growing number of international stars who first shone in Sportshall competition; Morgan Lake, Commonwealth silver medalist in the High Jump, won the All-Rounder competition in 2011 and Dina Asher Smith, Andrew Pozzi and Katarina Johnson-Thompson all experienced their first taste of athletics competition in Sportshall.

Sportshall League Match 1 Sunday 13th October 2019 9.00-15.00 Eastleigh Places Leisure 
Sportshall League Match 2 Sunday 10th November 2019 09.00-15.00 Eastleigh Places Leisure 
Sportshall League Match 3 Sunday 26th January 2020 12.00-18.00 Andover
Sportshall League Match 4 Sunday 1st March 2020 12.00-18.00 Havant
SE Regional Champs Burgess Hill Sussex Sunday 22nd March 2020


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