Sainsbury's School Games, 4 Sep 2015 – Manchester

Commitment, dedication and perseverance are not things you can buy and apply like ointments or tonics. They come along with disappointment and are the stuff that make us great. After the near misses of the UK Nationals last weekend at Bedford where Luisa Chantler came 4th in both the u17 shot and discus and Alice Hopkins came 5th in the 80mt hurdles and had the bronze medal, in the long jump. Snatched from her grasp by the very last jump of the competition – it would be natural to feel somewhat downhearted. However these two young women are made of stronger stuff and set off for the Sainsbury's School Games determined to prove a point.

Radley had 4 athletes in total competing for England (Midlands) Alice in the long jump, Luisa in the discus with Sam Way in the men's long jump and Ryan Craze in the 4x100 relay. We had more athletes representing England than any other club in the UK.

Sam started first and along with all the other jumpers he found the runway difficult. All the athletes jumped well below their best and most had a series of no jumps. Sam was disappointed to finish in 7th but he knows he has more to come and is now ready to prepare for the English Schools' Octathlon in 2 weeks time. Alice was second up and she immediately took the lead in the women's long jump. She was the only athlete to achieve 6 valid jumps and jumping 5.62mts (her 3rd week in a row jumping over 5.60) meant she secured the silver medal behind this years all conquering UK long jumper Holly Mills from Andover. Luisa was the last of the 4 to compete and indeed as the gloom descended on Manchester, the discus was the last event of the day, it was refreshing to see she maintained a really positive outlook and this enabled her to throw a bronze medal winning effort in her 2nd round of 38.43 mts Whilst this competition was going on Ryan lead the 4x100 team with a storming first leg in the relay giving his team the lead which they never relinquished.

So 3 medals from 4 athletes – a great return and a superb recovery from the previous week. A fantastic experience being in the only multi sport games outside the Olympics and Commonwealth games and the next step on the path – sights readjusted and justification for a years hard work – onward to 2016!

Pete O’Keefe