1981 Welsh Schools National Cross-Country Championships

26/03/2021 00:00, In Blog /

Welsh Schools national cross-country championships – 40 years ago – March 21st, 1981

Because of the coronavirus pandemic and the related restrictions, the Welsh Schools’ national cross-country championships and the SIAB Schools cross-country international have both been canceled for this year.

This is a look back to events forty years ago, in 1981.


Historical background

The Welsh Schools’ national cross-country championships were first held on Saturday, March 4th, 1961 with two races, for junior and senior boys.

Newtown High School, in Montgomeryshire, was the venue.  The course started and finished on the school grounds and it was really tough involving stiles, hills and tracks – and a water splash.

It continued to be used until 1978.

With the exception of 1965, when the event was canceled at very short notice because of snow, the same two-race format was held until 1969.

In 1970, there were two major changes.  Two races for girls were included for the first time – junior and senior - and the boys’ age groups were altered to make it three – junior, middle and senior, based on track age groups.

In 1974, just before local government reform was implemented, the old twelve counties competed for the only occasion with three races for both boys and girls – junior, middle and senior.

After the seventeenth staging of the event at Newtown in 1978, the venue was moved to the lakeside course at Llandrindod Wells for 1979 and 1980, with both championships held late on Friday afternoons.

Of the championships from 1961 to 1972, sadly, there is only a full set of results for the 1963 championships.

There are full results for most years from 1973.

Why is this about the 1981 championship?

There are three reasons

  1. At forty years, the date is a convenient time period away, one in which many of the participants are likely to be still alive, and with memories of the event!
  2. There is a full set of results available – though not with the Christian name and school of all the pupils who competed.
  3. The British Schools international and the Inter-Association representative match had been started, so it is possible to provide a follow-up on those two events.
  • Read the full report here: 
  • View the full 1981 programme:
  • View the Builth Wells results:
  • View the 1981 Welsh Schools National XC results:
  • View the 1981 Welsh National XC entry list:

If anyone spots an error OR can identify the full Christian name or school/college of a pupil, please contact Pete Morris at pmorris46@aol.com and let him know.  That would be much appreciated.

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