Lurgan cross-country star Casey helps launch league

Lurgan cross-country star Casey helps launch league

Casey Cousins from Lurgan with Flahavan’s Primary School Cross-Country League ambassador Dylan McBride.

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Casey Cousins from Lurgan joined with Youth Academy Athlete Dylan McBride to launch this year’s Flahavan’s Athletics NI Primary School Cross Country League at Portstewart Strand.

Dylan will be joined by cross country and middle-distance runner Aoife McGreevy to support the Flahavan’s Athletics NI Primary School Cross Country League this year.

The League, which is expected to attract over 4,000 entrants from more than 200 schools, will include young runners from Northern Ireland aged between 9 and 12 years old – and marks the 11th consecutive year of sponsorship by Flahavan’s.

Catherine Ashford, Athletics NI Competition Manager, explains the plans for this year: “After postponing the league last year due to Covid-19, we are delighted to confirm we will be going ahead with our 11th year of our partnership with Flahavan’s and our Cross Country League.”

“To allow time for schools to settle back in after a challenging year, we have moved our start date to November 19.

"This year there will be one round spread across two weeks in which schools can enter one sub-region. The nine different sub regions for the round are Antrim Area, North West, Causeway Coast, Southern Area 1 & 2, Co Down Area 1 & 2, Tyrone/Fermanagh 1 & 2.

"We will have 20 races held over two weeks from November 19, with qualifying runners taking part in the final in January. The new layout will allow us to control numbers and adhere to social distancing restrictions, with the safety of all participants as paramount.

 “We look forward to working with Flahavan’s to promote the Primary School Cross Country League!”

Brand Marketing Manager for Flahavan’s Porridge, Alice Quirke, added: “We are so pleased to be supporting Athletics NI Primary School Cross Country League for the 11th year in a row.

"Continuing our support for the league whilst adhering to Covid-19 guidelines is very important to us and whilst the league may be slightly different this year, we trust that the kids and all the staff at ANI will create an exciting and memorable event for everyone involved.

"Good luck to all of the competitors taking part this year – we’re sure this will be just the beginning of a very exciting sporting career for many!”

This year’s 800m Silver Medal winner at NI and Ulster Senior Championships, Dylan McBride, added: “I’m delighted to be one of the ambassadors for the Flahavan’s Athletics NI Primary School Cross Country League – it is especially exciting to me since I competed in the league myself all those years ago.

“I love seeing the passion from all the young runners who participate - it’s great to look behind the scenes and notice how much potential they all have to excel in the future.”

Ambassador Aoife McGreevy, who has represented NI and Ulster across different athletics competitions, said: “It wasn’t too long ago I was a young runner, hopeful for where my running might take me in the future - that’s why I’m so delighted to be given the opportunity to support the kids this year, and share everything I have learned with them so far.

“This could be the start of a really exciting career for our future sports stars, so I would encourage everyone who can to get involved!”

The 2021/2022 Flahavan’s Porridge Athletics NI Cross Country League will get underway in November 2021. For further information on taking part in the League, please contact the Athletics NI office on info@athleticsni.org or 028 9060 2707.

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