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22 January 2021, Barney McGonigle

From Wednesday 27th January to Wednesday 3rd February, several senior rugby squads from schools in Ulster will be entering into an inter-school competition of a different kind.

All members of the squad will be able to pick up points for their team by running any distance, with each Km worth 1 point for their team. Players will submit their distance and times to their school coach by sending evidence using Apps, Fitbits, Apple Watches etc.

The coaches will then submit the overall data to John Andrews at Ballymena Academy who will produce a league table throughout the week. Bonus points can also be gained by achieving the fastest times over two distances, 5Km run and 1.6Km (1mile) run.

Ballymena Academy challenged Belfast Royal Academy recently in a trial event and this proved to be very successful in getting all the players active, re-engaging them as a squad and feeding their competitive nature. It was fun for coaches and players as the competitive element soon appeared, with the times and distances flying in as the week went on.

As well as encouraging the players from each school to get involved, the competition is open to coaches, teachers and, indeed, all School Principals as well. Each squad can be made up off any number up to 35 players.

All Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ coaches have been notified of the running challenge event by John Andrews from the Department of Physical Education and Movement Studies at Ballymena Academy and Senior Rugby Coach at Ballymena Academy. Initially, interest from a number of schools has been very positive and John hopes that all Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Competition Schools will sign up for what should prove to be a fun challenge event.

If any team is still interested in taking part in the event please get in contact with John Andrews.

Wednesday 27th January 8.00 a.m. – Wednesday 3rd February 6.00 p.m.

Running Furthest Distance covered as a squad in KM

1 Km = 1 point

Bonus Points Quickest 5K run =100 Points 2nd quickest = 50 pts 3rd quickest = 25pts

The fastest 1.6k run (1mile) = 100 2nd quickest = 50 pts 3rd quickest = 25pts