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Schools awards evening

Friday 20 May 2011

Three members of Cardiff AAC scooped the top individual awards at the recent Cardiff & the Vale of Glamorgan Schools Cross-Country Presentation Evening, held at Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg in Barry. Darren Jones, Kate Seary (pictured receiving her award from Ridley Griffiths) and Elliot Slade received the Denys Gumbley Shield, the Thomas Burge Cup and the Birchgrove Cup respectively.

Llantwit resident Darren Jones received the ‘Denys Gumbley Shield’ for service from Association Chairman, Rob Glaves (St Cyres).  Darren has competed for the Cardiff & the Vale Schools team for the last seven years, and is the first pupil to represent the district at seven consecutive Welsh Schools’ National cross-country championships.  To mark that achievement, he was made the senior boys’ captain at this year’s Nationals on March 16th, and he was also presented with a special plaque at the Presentation evening.







Darren Jones receiving his award from Rob Glaves

The Outstanding Girl award – the Thomas Burge Cup – was presented by South Wales Regional President Ridley Griffiths to Kate Seary.  The Whitchurch year 9 pupil had an excellent winter over the country in schools’ events, claiming a league points and championship double in the under 15 section at Cardiff & the Vale level, finishing fourth at the Aviva Welsh Schools Nationals and leading the district team to victory for the second successive year, and producing hugely encouraging performances when representing Welsh Schools in the under 15 age group at the Aviva SIAB cross-country international in Antrim (17th) and at the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon (28th), where she hacked more than three minutes off her 2010 time.

The Birchgrove Cup, named after one of the two local clubs which amalgamated to form Cardiff AAC, was presented to Elliot Slade by Commonwealth Games medallist Matt Elias, who gained his first international vest when, in 1993 as a year 9 pupil at Whitchurch High, he represented Welsh Schools in the SIAB under 15 cross-country international at Llanelli.  This is the second year that Bishop of Llandaff pupil Slade has been honoured with the trophy.  In 2010, the award was merited on the grounds of his performances in Cardiff & the Vale Schools competitions.  This winter he has shown a greater maturity both in terms of fitness and race awareness.  The outcome has not only been the retention of his Cardiff & the Vale titles but also individual and team success in the under 17 schools’ section of the McCain Cardiff Cross Challenge, the individual Middle title and a second successive team success at the Aviva Welsh Schools Nationals and two excellent performances when making his debut for the Welsh Schools under 17 team at the Aviva SIAB cross-country international (10th) and the Mini London Marathon (13th).  Although his GCSE examinations must take top priority this term, it will be interesting, after such a good winter over the country, to see what he can achieve on the track over both 800 and 400 metres. In this regard he has already made a good start, recording a fast 1:55 for the 800m in last weekend's regional championships.





Elliot Slade receiving his award from Matt Elias

On an evening intended to celebrate one of the most successful winters in the history of the local schools’ association, in addition to these three trophies, awards were made for league and championships competitions while district colours medals were presented to the 91 children, who competed for the district at the Welsh Schools National cross-country championships in March, and the twelve pupils, who represented Welsh Schools at SIAB in Antrim and the Mini London Marathon, each received plaque.

The photgraphs were kindly provided by Ian Dixon.