William Barnes Win 2 Trophies at Cross Country Competition

Dorset Doddlers Inspire William Barnes Cross Country Success

When Mr Hull, PE leader at William Barnes, decided to join the Dorset Doddlers running club as a New Year’s resolution, he didn’t realise that not only would it help him to get fit, but that it would also help the school running team in their cross country tournament. 

Held at Shillingstone school each Spring, the event is smoothly organised by year 3 and 4 teacher Charlotte Swaffield.  Hundreds of children take part in a team relay, with each child running 600m, cheered on by large numbers of appreciative parents.  This year, William Barnes won both the year 3 and year 6 events (both by a considerable margin) and came a close second in the year 5 race.

So what was the secret of the children’s success you may ask?  Well, this is where the Doddlers come in.  Each Thursday evening at 7pm this friendly and popular running club meet at Sturminster Leisure centre for a 75 minute training session.  Wearing high visibility gear, runners of all abilities and ages pound the tarmac around the town chatting, panting and generally enjoying themselves.  Having attended the Doddlers training each week, Mr Hull took some of the ideas for developing stamina and pace provided by club coach Ian Pollard and adapted them for his weekly running club at William Barnes.  The children focussed on improving their personal best over 600m, but they also learnt to run at faster paces over longer and shorter distances.  More importantly, they have all developed a love of running and hopefully in the not so distant future they will become the next generation of the Dorset Doddlers running club.