Former Olympian speaks highly of Greneway at 40th Athletics Finals day

GRENEWAY School held its 40th Athletics Finals Evening last week and former Olympic athlete Daniel Caines was impressed with what he witnessed.

Caines, a former 400m world champion and Olympic runner (Sydney and Athens) for Great Britain, attended the event in the role of athlete ambassador for the Youth Sport Trust. He spent most of the day at Greneway and stayed into the evening to attend the presentation ceremony that concluded a highly successful occasion.

“This was fantastic,” said Caines. “I have never seen a sports day like this – great athletes, races, support, atmosphere and so brilliantly organised. It was a privilege to be there.”

The Year 7 and 8 relay teams were treated to a sprint coaching session with Caines where he focused on starts, the driving phase and then relay changeovers.

Next up was a Q+A session with athletes from Years 5-8 and Caines was inspirational in his reflections and answers to a range of questions. He then led a whole school assembly where he first showed a video of him winning the World Indoor 400m in 2001 to rapturous applause and this led to how he had overcome a crippling injury to win gold in the 2002 European Championships.

His inspirational message was: Be positive, be resilient and be consistent with a great support team behind you – family, teachers and coaches and above all else always try your best to be the best you can be.

After the assembly, he signed nearly 250 autographs and had photos taken with the children before he moved to a special reception in honour of 40 years of the Greneway Sportsday.

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The invited guests included former head teachers Ken Charles and Rhona Seviour and ex-teachers, governors and former Greneway athletics record-holders.

A special commissioned cake was then cut by assistant headteacher/ head of PE, Terry Graves.

The athletics final was opened with a ceremonial procession of all the athletes and then the races began on a windy and cold evening.

Back in September 2010 the school embarked on its ‘Greneway Points to London 2012’ team event, with the target of achievening 83,000 points (83Km: Royston to Olympic Stadium) and with only 110 points still needed to reach this goal each race had added significance as each personal best equals one point.

From the outset there were many truly superb races and the 83,000 target was reached in the ninth race of the evening – a wonderful team achievement where every child contributed to the total.

Every year group showed determination, respect, friendship and excellence and Year 8 finished their last Greneway Sportsday with a flourish.

Caines addressed the large crowd for the last time adding: “I have been truly inspired by what I have seen today and for the first time in ages I want to run again. The quality of the athletics today has been outstanding and shows the quality of the teaching and coaching.”