THE senior cross-country team of Ermysted’s Grammar School has been selected as the English representative in the International Schools Federation World Schools Cross-Country Championships.

They will race in English vests in the biennial event this season to be held at the ski resort, Štrbské Pleso, Slovakia, in April.

The team was initially contacted, along with a small number of schools of proven pedigree in running, and asked to say why Ermysted’s should be selected.

This team have been excellent in terms of running throughout their time at school with a glittering array of awards.

In autumn 2017, as an under-15 team they won the English Schools’ Cross-Country Cup Final at Sevenoaks in Kent.

As it was, the English Schools’ Athletic Association, who were selecting the team to represent England, this will have gone a long way towards the selection.

However, more recent success in winning the King Henry VIII Relays in February of this year will have cemented their selection, as this is widely accepted as a schools’ national cross-country relay event.

The boys now have a real incentive to keep themselves in tip-top form and a chance of a lifetime to represent their nation.

This is fantastic recognition of the students’ ability, as they have been picked as the best senior boys’ team in the whole of the country.

Equally, it is a tremendous honour for the school, who are really proud of the school’s achievements over the years in terms of cross-country running and consider this to be a wonderful validation and reward for many years of hard work and dedication by both the boys and coaching staff.

There will be some significant costs involved in the trip, mostly flights and accommodation, and the whole school cross-country team has been involved in fundraising.

On Wednesday, December 11, the Ermysted’s cross-country team attempted to run the distance of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal on two treadmills.

Forty-three runners took part in the event staged at Skipton’s Sandylands Gym, covering a variety of distances.

Each of the six selected athletes ran a good turn of up to one hour, but a lot of the younger boys from school also embraced the event, both running and collecting sponsor money in support of the team.

Stephen Speak and Dr Christopher Needham, who are often seen out in all weathers training with the boys, also did their turn to ensure the full 205 km distance was covered.

The run was staged as though one team started in Leeds and the other ran from Liverpool making the meeting point the halfway distance somewhere between Burnley and Blackburn.

In fact, it didn’t take as long as expected as the teams who set out at 7.30am met after just 8 hours 5minutes and 53 seconds.

This was a decent average speed of just over 12.5km/hour, which was not at all bad bearing in mind all of the changeovers.

As well as the treadmill challenge, the boys have also been raising money by using the school driveways for each of the two weekends of Skipton’s Christmas Market and are now writing to local firms in the hope that some might support the team financially as they do need to fund their own flights, accommodation and even purchase their own England kit for the trip.

Any additional offers of support would be greatly appreciated by the team.

If there are any firms or individuals who are able to support the team through sponsorship or in any other way, then please contact Stephen Speak or the school to discuss possible involvement.