Broadening the Base

cross country top
Image credit: Job King

As the different levels of competition in the ESAA pyramid became established, the counties in the organisation began to propose opportunities for other disciplines too. Cross-Country championships were introduced in 1960 for all three boys’ age groups, with competitions for the girls’ age groups in 1968.

That year also saw the introduction of Race Walking for boys, with competitions for girls in 1974. By the 1980s, opportunities were equal for boys and girls to compete at the Combined Events Championships and in the Track and Field Cup.

Have Your Say icon

Would you like to see any additions to events or competitions in the ESAA timetable?

Should events mirror those in senior championships or experiment with new disciplines such as the pursuit races launched by DNA (Dynamic New Athletics)? Tell us what you think on ESAA’s Facebook page.

English Schools’ to me is an athletics family, which has always welcomed me over the past 37 years. First as an athlete, competing in my first English Schools’ in 1985 in Norwich, second, as a teacher and third as a level 3 Endurance coach and official. As soon as I got my first teaching post in 1993, I joined the Nottinghamshire Schools AA committee and have been a member for 27 years.

The English Schools’ events have given many of my students and athletes the chance to compete at a top level event over many years. I joined the ESAA family in 2011 as a member of the General Committee and have enjoyed working with so many talented athletes but also many excellent committee members as well. My highlight has been taking the England teams to Paris for the World Schools in 2019, taking the silver medals behind Morocco.

Paul Allison
General Committee – Cross-Country Coordinator