The start of the 9-year-old boys race at the Whangārei Primary School Sports Association's Cross Country Championship at Barge Park, yesterday.
The start of the 9-year-old boys race at the Whangārei Primary School Sports Association's Cross Country Championship at Barge Park, yesterday.

Concerns raised elsewhere about making cross country voluntary for school students doesn't seem to be an issue in Whangārei, with around 1200 children running around Barge Park yesterday for the Whangārei Primary School Sports Association's Cross Country Championship.

The 10-year-old boys race winner was Luke Brooke-Smith 10 from St Francis Xavier Catholic School.
The 10-year-old boys race winner was Luke Brooke-Smith 10 from St Francis Xavier Catholic School.

One of the volunteer organisers, Matarau School teacher Scott Delemare, said students from 42 Whangārei schools took part yesterday and the 1200 competitor total was the largest number ever for the event.

''That's interesting given calls elsewhere in the country to make cross country voluntary.

"Everybody here wants to do it and they're having a great time,'' Delemare said.

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The 10-year-old girls winner was Grace Potter, 11, from Huanui College.
The 10-year-old girls winner was Grace Potter, 11, from Huanui College.

The event is run by volunteer teachers and students from Pompallier College.

The winners of the various age categories yesterday will now compete in the Northland primary school cross country champs at Barge Park on September 19.

The second place getter in the 10-year-old girls race was Nikita Forsyth from Kamo Intermediate.
The second place getter in the 10-year-old girls race was Nikita Forsyth from Kamo Intermediate.

Northern Advocate

photographer Michael Cunningham went along yesterday to capture all the action.

They are off in the 10-year-old girls race.
They are off in the 10-year-old girls race.
Mia Hebden-Salase 10 from Totara Grove School, came first in the 9-year-old girls race.
Mia Hebden-Salase 10 from Totara Grove School, came first in the 9-year-old girls race.
Kiatoa Simon, 10, from Totara Grove School came second in the 9-year-old girls race.
Kiatoa Simon, 10, from Totara Grove School came second in the 9-year-old girls race.