November 2015: Students head to London for final of British Schools Biathlon Championships

BIATHLETES from Haslingden High School will be putting their skills to the test against the best in Britain.

Already Rising Bridge’s Alice Harding, 15, from Year 11 is an accomplished swimmer and she put her skills to good use securing an automatic place in the final of British Schools Biathlon Championships at Crystal Palace, London.

So far she will be joined by Rochdale student Beth Hartwell, 11, from Year 7, who competed in her first biathlon in Lancaster.

Beth, from Haslingden, said: “I didn’t think I would do as well as I did but I enjoy swimming and running.”

The biathlon involved swimming 50m or 100m depending on age and running 800-1600m.

As other places are not decided until all the regional heats have been held it is likely the school will also have other representatives.

PE teacher Erika Wilson said: “We took part in two biathlons and 16 students and pupils from Broadway Primary School were involved in total.

“We went to the North West Championships at Salt Ayre Sports Centre, Lancaster, and then to a second biathlon at Accrington Academy.

“Alice won through automatically because of her points score and Beth was fourth in her heat and so also has her place secure.

“When Beth came to school on open night and her mum found out about the biathlon she booked her a place the next morning.

“We are waiting for the results from all the other heats and then we will probably find we have more students competing.

“At Accrington Academy Ashlea Jolly,12, improved her swim time and moved up the ranks.”

Ben Wilson, 11, from Year 7 was sixth in his age category and last year, when he was a pupil at Broadway Primary School he also competed at the national final.

He said: “I am hoping to get through to the final again. I found it easier this time because last year I didn’t think I would get through because I had hurt my leg.”

At Salt Ayre there was also a promotion for modern pentathlon so the students got to try taster sessions in fencing and pistol shooting.

The final will be in London at the end of March next year.