New multi-events format hailed a runaway success

Havant's James Whiting in the QuadKids long jump. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131233-688)
Havant's James Whiting in the QuadKids long jump. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131233-688)
Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun: Nicolas Boorne, Sophie Hurlo, Kat Powell and Jane Blatch-Gainey. Picture Ian Hargreaves (180198-1)

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Saucony Hampshire Multi-Events Championship secretary Mike Williams hailed the event’s all-new format as a runaway success.

A packed day of action at the Mountbatten Centre saw the competition combined with the Saucony Hampshire 10k Road Race and the buzzing QuadKids Championship.

That meant a much busier than ever day, with more athletes creating a thriving atmosphere.

The QuadKids competition focused on under-11 athletes competing in four events across the day.

That saw them battle out in the long jump, 75m hurdles, vortex howler throw and 600m.

The focus is firmly on getting children to participate in athletics across the day. Many of the talents involved were taking part in their first-ever competition.

And Williams believes it could be the first step on the road to a lifetime in the sport for many.

He said: ‘It’s nice to see the children all out there having a go.

‘For most of them it will be their first competition.

‘Hopefully, this will set them out on the road to competing in the future.

‘Beforehand, it was just the multi-events and there were a lot of gaps.

‘A lot of the officials got a bit bored, I guess.

‘So we decided we could give them something to do!

‘That is the thinking behind introducing the road race and the QuadKids to the day.

‘It’s filled up better as a result.

‘It works well and we’re pleased.’

The QuadKids concept is now well-established in the athletics word and continues to grow in popularity.

This year’s event made for a glorious sight as young athletes took part under the gaze of parents in blazing sunshine.

Williams felt there were a healthy number of people taking part in a long day of competition.

He said: ‘The QuadKids have really taken off – it has been hugely popular.

‘There must have been over 70 children here for it and they all got involved.

‘The weather certainly helps. That is the one thing we can’t plan for.’

The Saucony Hampshire Multi-Events Championship is the prelude for the county track and field championships on May 25 and 26.

That means there has been plenty of planning for county bosses in recent months to ensure the days progress smoothly.

But Williams feels that organisation is now starting to pay off.

He said: ‘It is the start of a busy period and has gone really well.

‘It’s all months in the planning with the county championships.

‘But it’s all done for a reason and works well as a result.’