This year it was taking place in the town of Villa Real de Santo Antonio on the Eastern edge of the Algarve. The competition rules state that Countries can only send International teams after a school team of the same gender has been accepted. Southend Boys was the boys representative and Millfield School was representing the girls schools.
The athletics championships started on Monday 27 June where in the morning our boys engaged in their field events, whilst in the afternoon they took part in their chosen track events. On a very hot day our athletes gave everything and everyone performed very creditably against world class opposition - the stamina of the Chinese, the maturity of the Iranians and the size of the Eastern European shot and discus throwers were sights to behold!
The last event of the day was a gruelling 3000m where David Crichton came 4th and Adam Hickey, despite having lost his customary lead, found reserves of energy to regain it on the last lap and win the race, beating both schools and national team opposition.
After the application of the complicated points scoring system it was announced that Southend High School for Boys had come a magnificent 7th out of 22 schools ( many of them specialist sports schools and some attached to universities). This was shown by the fact that the Chinese and Polish teams beat their international team score. This shows the high standard of the schools competition. Millfield school came 10th out of 18.
On Wednesday all the students were given a tour of sites of interest and later took part in a friendship relay round the square (with teams made up of individuals from the different nations). The games finished with a fitting closing ceremomy, after days of fierce competition, yet also international harmony. It was a wonderful experience for all concerned coming on the back of the Cross-country ISF event in Lyon where SHSB came 5th.
5th and 7th on the world stage....not at all bad for a little school in Essex!
Here's a few pictures of the weekend....