PRIMARY pupils from Rossendale will be flying the flag for the North West when they compete in two British Modern Biathlon Championships.
Lucas Bargh and Ruby Farrell, both nine and in Year 5, at Broadway Primary School, Haslingden, won their places after competing in the under 10s category of the North West Regional Biathlon Championships in Salt Aire Sports Centre, Lancaster.
They had to swim 50m and then run 800m but neither had tackled the two disciplines together before the competition. Against strong competition from all over the North West, Lucas came third and won a trophy while Ruby was 8th.
Both are members of Ramsbottom Amateur Swimming Club so the swim was easy for them and they were fortunate to receive extra coaching lessons to prepare for the run from Haslingden High School’s PE teacher Erika Wilson.
Lucas said: “I swim four times a week but I don’t do much running so fortunately Mrs Wilson gave us some training at Marl Pits and it really helped. I am now going to join Rossendale Harriers.”
Ruby swims three times a week and had to wait to find out if she had qualified as one of the top 100 under 10s to score the most points.
The duo will now compete again in the British Championships in Solihull when they will take on the best biathletes from all over the country on November 29 and 30.
Lucas said: “I knew after I had swum that I was in third place so I just needed to do a good run. I then had to wait to find out if I had got a place. I never expected to do so well.
“The top three qualified automatically, but we had to wait to see if Ruby had also got a place.”
Both Ruby and Lucas will also be competing in the British Schools Modern Biathlon Championships in March next year at London’s Olympic Park.
Mrs Wilson said: “I am delighted with how well Lucas and Ruby did and am really looking forward to them taking part in the next championships. Until then they will be training hard so they can do their very best on the day.”