Former Olympian, and 2018 European Championships athlete Kerry O’Flaherty took to the beach to launch this year’s Flahavan’s Por-ridge Athletics NI Primary School Cross Country League.
The league, which is expected to attract over 6,000 entrants from 200-plus schools based around Northern Ireland, will bring together young runners aged between nine and 12 years old – and mark the eighth consecutive year of sponsorship by Flahavan’s Porridge.
A new format for 2018/19 will see runners compete in one of two regional rounds – each taking place over a week in October and November – followed by a final round, for runners with a qualifying time, in early 2019.
Official ambassador Kerry started running 800m-1500m and cross-country at the age of 13 – and has represented Northern Ireland and Ireland at the highest levels of athletics.
This has included 2014 Com-
monwealth Games (Glasgow, Scot-land), 2015 World Championships (Beijing, China), 2016 Olympics (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 2016 European Championships (Amsterdam, Ne-
therlands), 2017 European Indoor Championships (Belgrade, Ser-bia) and most recently, 2018 European Championships (Berlin, Germany).
Speaking at the launch of her new ambassador role, Kerry said: “I am passionate about inspiring the next generation to get involved with sport from a young age.
“From learning how to train to the importance of a healthy and balanced diet, the partnership between Athletics NI and Fl-ahavan’s is a winner when it comes to developing the local sporting stars of the future.
“In the months ahead, as the Flahavan’s Ambassador, I look forward to sharing my personal training tips with the participants as we progress through the rounds.
It was great to meet the Junior Squad at the launch – and I look forward to welcoming those who are new to the competition,
and the sport, in the months ahead!”
Brand Marketing Manager for Flahavan’s Porridge, Aoife O’Shea, added: “Now in our eighth year
of working with Athletics NI,
we look forward to continuing to build a development path for young runners through our partnership.
“With proven success in pro-viding a launchpad for children to progress to professional athletes, Flahavan’s Porridge is invested in continuing this grassroots work – through both the provision of our wholesome oats and oat-based products, and through ongoing sp-onsorship.
“Good luck to all of the participants – crossing the starting line this year will be the beginning of a very exciting journey!”