Ellie Hodgson and Kaie Chambers-Brown among the winners at Manchester’s Sportcity
Leading young athletes from across the UK represented their counties last weekend as Manchester’s Sportcity hosted the Sportshall UK Final – a culmination of the 2015 Sportshall Athletics season.
The event provided a fitting finale to a journey which for most athletes started in county leagues in October. Nearly 500 athletes took part over the weekend with 18 counties represented.
The under-15 ‘all rounder’ competitions were won by defending champion Ellie Hodgson from Hampshire (pictured above) and Kaie Chambers-Brown from Birmingham. Hodgson is only the fifth athlete in the event’s history to successfully defend the title and the 2015 ‘all rounders’ join an illustrious list of former winners which includes Mark Lewis Francis, Kelly Sotherton and Jade Surman.
In the team competitions, Surrey claimed both the under-13 and under-15 girls trophies, while the Avon under-13 boys secured their fifth trophy in six seasons. Berkshire took their first ever under-15 boys title with an impressive Hertfordshire team placed as runners up.
The final had been formally opened via video message by a series of former Sportshall competitors and current GB athletes including Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Martyn Rooney and Sportshall ‘all rounder’ champion in 2011 and double world junior gold medallist, Morgan Lake.
After a thrilling set of final relays, presentations were made by Sportshall’s creator George Bunner MBE and the crowd of parents, athletes, coaches and officials went home to plan their next campaign.
Sportshall works across the UK and each year engages over a million children aged nine to 15 in athletics through club and school games programmes. The indoor series involves ten regional finals for under-13 and under-15 athletes. The top teams from each regional final progress to the UK Finals.