Primary athletes qualify for State Championships

Eighty-two students from Sydney Catholic Primary schools have qualified for the NSW PSSA State Athletics Championships to be held on 19-20 October at Homebush.

The young athletes were selected after competing in the MacKillop Athletics Championships on 19 September at Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre. The event involved 753 competitors from Primary schools in the Sydney Archdiocese, and the Dioceses of Parramatta, Wollongong, Wagga Wagga and Canberra-Goulburn.

John Spark from the Wollongong Diocese who is chair of MacKillop Sports Council, said the event was part of the representative pathway available for athletes at Catholic Schools across NSW.

“That pathway starts at school level, then cluster, region and the MacKillop championships today.”

Mr Spark said there was a serious side to the MacKillop event with a lot of hard training taking place in the lead-up and individuals and teams striving to be in the top three place-getters to qualify for the state event.

“…wonderful to see so many young people involved and being active and healthy.

– John Spark, MacKillop Sports Council Chair

“It was also good just to enjoy the day for its own sake and wonderful to see so many young people involved and being active and healthy.”

Troy Moran, Sydney Archdiocesan Primary Sports Coordinator, said one of the highlights was the performance from Rhiannon Bellette from St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School Panania.

Recently classified by Athletics Australia with a classification of T44F45 for limb deficiency, joint restrictions or muscle weakness in both arms, Rhiannon was one of nearly 30 athletes competing in a range of track and field multi-class events on the day.

In her first MacKillop competition, Rhiannon achieved first or third place in the 800, 100, 200 metres, long jump, shot put and discuss, and will now progress to the state event.

Troy Moran said this was the fourth year Sydney Catholic Schools has hosted the MacKillop Athletics Championships.

“It was the culmination of much planning and organisation by school Sports Coordinators, Diocesan Team Managers and various Sport Convenors. It involved 753 students, 17 NSW Athletics officials, 22 teacher team managers and 49 teacher officials.

“The day went very well and a big thank you to the student officials from Our Lady of Mercy Catholic College, Burraneer,” Mr Moran said.

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