Children taking part in the Essex Cross Country Finals

Over 1,200 pupils from local primary schools competed at the Essex Cross Country Finals, which included running distances of 1000m and 1500m, held at Hadleigh Park.

The finals celebrated some of Essex’s finest young distance runners and was delivered as part of Active Essex’s core programme to engage with children and inspire them to live healthy and active lifestyles.

Winning schools of this year’s Cross Country finals included Our Lady Of Lourdes, from Southend, who continued their streak by winning the Year 6 boys finals four years in a row. Other winning performances came from Southend’s West Leigh Junior School Girls team who were awarded best Year 6 girls team.

Andy Abel, Head of PE from Our Lady Of Lourdes, said; “I’m incredibly proud of all of our pupils who took part and had a great day out. It was fantastic to see so many young people taking part and for some of our pupils to come away with medals!”

Emily Milne, PE Teacher at Blenheim Primary School, said, “Today we had young athletes competing in the Essex Cross Country Finals and what a backdrop we had for this event! Sometimes teaching is hard, full of challenges and stressful but days like today, make it totally worth it.”

 I’m so happy to be part of an amazing school and a borough that offers so many wonderful opportunities. Proud teacher day, indeed!”

The event, amongst other initiatives such as the School Games and the Daily Mile, is part of Active Essex’s four-year strategy which aims to change one million lives by getting Essex active.

Hayley Pegg, School Games Lead at Active Essex, said, “It has been a great day out and very inspiring to see so many young people taking part in this year’s Cross Country Finals and engaging with sport and physical activity. A big thank you to everyone who attended and was involved with organising the event.”

Following the successful event, pupils and schools are now being encouraged to continue their activity streak and sign up to this year’s 30:30 Essex challenge.

Both teachers and pupils can get involved in the campaign by taking part in 30 minutes of activity for 30 days in the month of June, which can be anything from running laps in the playground to cycling to and from school!

Hayley added, “There are so many benefits to children taking part in regular physical activity, from improving their happiness to increasing their focus in the classroom. The 30:30 Essex challenge is just one of many ways schools can stay active over the summer!”

To find out more visit or