500 race in cross-country

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Five hundred primary school pupils raced their way around the Southland primary schools cross-country course at Waimumu on Friday.

It was the fifth year the event has been held at the Southern Field Days site.

There were races for boys and girls in four age groups, from 10 to 13 years old.

Committee chairwoman Wendy Kitto said it was the first time the event had been organised by a committee.

At the end of last year, Southland primary school principals agreed to hold the event at Waimumu on a permanent basis and appoint a committee to organise it rather than each zone taking turns as had previously been the case.

“This is a good venue.

“It’s got the shed, it’s got a good cross-country track, it’s got hills, mud, bogs, creeks,” Kitto said.

The athletes appeared to enjoy the course.

“They all came off smiling, once they caught their breath.”

The new system seemed to work well.

“It’s much better to have it in one venue each year.”

The committee was grateful to the businesses and groups which had made it possible to run the cross-country.

“We can’t hold this event without support from our community.”