‘Underdog’ pupils at Leeds school win county athletics contest

The winning team at Holy Rosary and St Anne's Primary School.
The winning team at Holy Rosary and St Anne's Primary School.
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‘Underdog’ pupils at an inner-city school with few facilities and limited outdoor space have beaten the odds to win a West Yorkshire-wide athletics competition.

Pupils at Holy Rosary and St Anne’s Primary School in Chapeltown were forced to train in school corridors and around dinner tables in the school hall before going on to win the annual Sportshall Athletics Competition.

The talented team amazed themselves and staff with their winning performance and were given a heroes’ welcome when they returned to school, with all the pupils out to greet them. Year six teacher Megan Begley said: “We did not think in a million years we would win it. I’m unbelievably proud. I can’t put it into words.”

Training consisted of throwing javelins in the school corridors, jumping around dinner tables in the school hall and taking equipment home each night to practise. Miss Begley said: “They were training for an hour a day from November - sometimes in the school day, sometimes after school. The team are amazing - a mix of raw talent and hard work.”

Headteacher Elizabeth McDonagh-Smith said she now plans to appeal to local businesses for sponsorship to help improve the state of green space around the school - which has been deemed unsafe due to subsidence.

“It’s such a fantastic achievement with the little resources and facilities we have. The big question is if we had better facilities, what else could they achieve?”

Police and fire crews were called

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