Over 500 young athletes from across Dubai and the Northern Emirates are set to lace up their running shoes and descend on Rashid School for Boys next Tuesday (17th January) for the DESS Dubai Primary Schools Cross Country Race.
With 23 schools represented, the 1,600m event – now in its third year – is one of the largest and most eagerly anticipated primary school athletics events in the Gulf Youth Sport calendar.
Head organiser, Jason Palmer-Myers, of Dubai English Speaking School, says the event is beneficial on a number of levels:
“It encourages an active lifestyle and gives students the opportunity to take part in a competitive, fun running event. It also enables PE teachers to assess their athletes ahead of the Jebel Ali Primary School Cross Country Relays (traditionally held in early February).”
Adding to the excitement levels is the fact that it’s not just individual honours that are up for grabs, with the points from the top-six runners in each team being combined to determine which school will take home the Team Trophy.
Meet the Favourites
Year Six Girls
The Year six girls individual title is anyone’s guess. Hattie Davies (DESS) and Lia Warren (JAPS) will once again go head to head, with Davies undoubtedly hungry to avenge her agonisingly close (one-second) defeat from twelve months ago (Warren – 7.00; Davies – 7.01)
Year Six Boys
In the year six boys event, Greg Everett (JESS Jumeirah) will be doing everything in his power to keep Ajae MacDonald (Foremarke), off the top of the podium for the second year in a row. The young JESS athlete edged Macdonald out by just two seconds in last year's Year 5 event (Everett – 6.39; MacDonald – 6.41).
In addition to claiming the Year 6 title, both boys will have one eye on challenging the time recorded last year by Year 6 champion, James Aubury. Aubury, who now captains the DESC U12 football team, crossed the line in a blistering time of 6 minutes and 19 seconds.
Hotly tipped for success this year in the Year 6 Boys team event are Foremarke, who last year gave a dominant display, finishing over 100 points clear of nearest rivals, DESS.
Conversely, the Year six girls team event couldn’t be harder to predict, with JESS Jumeirah and Dubai English Speaking School set to renew their rivalry after an immensely tight battle last year, which saw DESS being pipped to top-spot by just four points.
The first race will begin at 3.30pm*. Any enquiries regarding the event should be directed to Dubai English Speaking School, marked for the attention of Jason Palmer-Myers.
Stay tuned to Gulf Youth Sport next week for a full event summary and action shots from the event.
*Rashid Boys School have kindly reminded spectators to dress respectfully as guests in a Muslim School.