STRANMILLIS PS was celebrating after the finals of the Flahavan’s Athletics NI Primary School Cross Country League at Mallusk Playing Fields last week.

The South Belfast school topped the leaderboard to be recognised as the overall best-performing boys’ school, whilst Kings Park Primary School, Lurgan was recognised as the overall best-performing girls’ school.

In the finals, Harry McVeigh from Bunscoil Bheanna Boirche, Castlewellan and Lila McManus from Omagh Integrated Primary School have been crowned winners after securing first place in the boys’ and girls’ races at the highly anticipated final.

Over 306 local athletes from 82 schools across the North competed at the final, with the top 20 girls and top 20 boys now invited to join the Flahavan’s Athletics NI Junior Endurance Squad.

Involvement in the squad will provide training sessions to the successful athletes over the next 12-months for further support and enhancement in their personal development and athletic careers.  

The 2023-2024 league hosted over 6,100 competitors from 176 schools aged between 9 and 12 years old and was represented by Flahavan’s ambassador and Down native, Hannah Gilliland who will pay a visit to Stranmillis PS to host a meet and greet with the young athletes following their achievements.

“After a very competitive final I’d like to congratulate all the young athletes who took part this year, with months of training and dedication to the league, they should all be so proud of themselves," said Elaine Grant, CEO at Athletics NI.

"I have witnessed how much commitment and hard work they have all put in over the past few months, and I know this won’t be the last time we hear of many of these athletes, as we’ve witnessed some extraordinary talent this year.”

This year marked the 13th consecutive year of the Flahavan’s sponsorship, which supports the young athletes in maintaining a balanced and healthy diet whilst leading an active lifestyle.

“We’re thrilled to have sponsored this incredible event for the past 13 years," said Alice Quirke, Brand Manager for Flahavan’s.

"The athletes every year never cease to amaze with the level of athletic talent and the number of pupils eager to be involved, we hope that they’re all delighted with their achievements in this year’s league.

“It’s so important to encourage these young athletes to maintain a nutritious and healthy diet, especially whilst their training and competing, as they need the fuel and energy to be at their absolute best.

"Huge congratulations to the winners, Harry McVeigh and Lila McManus, and to all the pupils who took part across 2023-2024, it’s a massive accomplishment to reach the final and we hope they’re all very proud of themselves. We wish all athletes the best as they progress in their sport.”