The Welsh Schools’ Athletic Association has released details of this year’s Aviva SIAB (Schools’ International Athletic Board) u17 international, which will be held at the Cardiff International Sports Stadium on Saturday, July 16th.
“It is our once-in-four years turn to host the annual Aviva SIAB international, which brings together the top 300 under 17 (years 10 & 11) athletes from the schools’ associations of England, All-Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and we are delighted to be staging the event at the Cardiff International Sports Stadium,” said Mrs Kath Elias, the Welsh Schools’ Chairman.
“The very first schools’ international, a senior boys’ match against Scotland, was held in Colwyn Bay in 1959 while the old Maindy Stadium was the venue for the triangular fixture, which included England for the first time, on July 26th, 1961. In 2003, we staged the event at the old Leckwith Road Stadium, so, in the fifty years, we have staged international fixtures at three different venues in Cardiff.”
“The teams will arrive on the Friday, July 15th, and will be staying locally. On Saturday morning, team photographs will be taken at the stadium. A full programme of thirty-five individual and four relay events will be held, with all field events taking place inside the stadium. Competition on the field starts with the girls’ pole vault at 11 am. The track programme commences at 1pm, and the match is due to finish at 5.30 pm."
“We hold our national schools’ championships at Brecon on Saturday (July 2nd) and the team for SIAB will be selected following that event. Last year, when Scotland were the hosts, at Glasgow, we had one winner, Ffion Bodilly, from Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf in Cardiff, in the high jump. The year 11 pupil has been concentrating on her GCSE examinations this summer, but has recently returned to competition and we have high hopes that she will be able to defend her title on July 16th.”
“At such a major and prestigious fixture, one thing which would give our team a huge boost would be a large and vociferous, home crowd cheering them on – and I would urge anyone involved in grass roots athletics to come and watch, and support our emerging talent.
On the day, spectator car parking will be free at the Cardiff City stadium, on the opposite side of the road to the athletics stadium, and we would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to the Board and the Chief Executive for giving us permission to use their facility, and for advising us to warn potential users NOT to park in the nearby Asda or Capital Retail car parks as these are time-limited.
Spectator admission for the event will start at 10 am, and will be by purchase of the event programme, price £5 for adults and £3 for children.”
“There are very few occasions when we can say a big ‘thank you’ to the many qualified coaches, who give so freely of their time to help young athletes, but this is one of them. For all qualified coaches, there will be free admission to the stadium on production of their UKA coaching licence.”
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