Magnificent seven showing from Borders schools

The Earlston and Peebles heptathlon squads
The Earlston and Peebles heptathlon squads

Peebles High School won gold and Earlston High School took home silver from the Scottish East Regional Giant Heptathlon Athletics Finals, held recently in Edinburgh.

The schools joined six other teams from the East Region to fight it out for the National Giant Heptathlon title.

As winners of the East Regional Finals, Peebles High School’s points will now be entered into a league table with the top scorers from across Scotland’s four other regions – Grampian, Tayside/Fife, Central and West – to determine this year’s National Giant Heptathlon winners.

The Giant Heptathlon is a test of speed, endurance, skill and physical ability, with each competitor taking part in seven different events.

Teams include 14 pupils (seven boys and seven girls) from S1 and 2 age groups. Each athlete’s individual score is added to that of their teammates to determine the total score for each school.

Events include 40m sprint, 40m hurdles, step-up challenge, standing long jump, standing triple jump, shot putt and an endurance challenge.

Following the first ever Borders Secondary Giant Heptathlon in January, Peebles and Earlston High Schools went through to represent the region.

“For two Borders teams to go to the East Regional Finals for the first time, and to come home with the top two spots, is just fantastic,” said Gemma Ross, Live Borders Active Schools Co-ordinator for the Earlston cluster.

“Pupils from both schools were a credit to themselves and their schools. The determination and camaraderie they demonstrated on the day was amazing to see.”

Gemma has also extended thanks to Earlston, Peebles and Gala Academy PE staff for buying in to the Border Giant Heptathlon idea earlier this year, and for giving Active Schools the opportunity to pilot the event for the first time.

“Had it not been for this, we would not have been competing in the East Regional Finals and wouldn’t be celebrating this double success,” she added.

Susan Hunter, PE teacher at Peebles High School, said: “The event was so well organised and the pupils loved it.”