Picture gallery: Olympic star Natasha Danvers launches Lowestoft Great School Run

MORE than 400 youngsters turned out for an early Olympic boost as Beijing games 400m bronze medallist Natasha Danvers visited Lowestoft.

Pupils from 30 schools in Waveney took part in the Tesco Great School Run at the Denes Oval on Tuesday, with Olympian athlete Danvers top of the bill.

With the Lowestoft and Beccles Schools Sports Partnership and Tesco organising the event, which was supported by Waveney District Council, Suffolk County Council and Waveney Valley AC, mixed teams of five relay runners – all consisting of two boys, two girls and a choice for the last position – from each school completed a 2.5km course.

Pupils in years four, five and six at schools in Lowestoft, Beccles and Southwold battled it out with three relay races for each year group.

After warming up with Natasha Danvers, the year fives led the way with Tai Elvin-Andrews leading his Reydon Primary School team home ahead of St Mary's Primary in second and Woods Loke Primary third. The year four pupils were started by Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for sport, culture, health, wellbeing and diversity Kathy Gosling and the race was won by St Felix Primary ahead of Oulton Broad Primary and Woods Loke Primary.

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The final race saw year six in action and, after another close race, it was Woods Loke Primary that finished in first place ahead of St Mary's Primary and Poplars Primary.

This victory was even more significant for the school in Oulton Broad, as it was crowned the 'overall champion school' based upon the finishing results from all three races.

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Claire Henwood, Waveney District Council service manager – sports and arts, said: 'It is great to see so many smiling faces and everyone is having a great time. This is the first one in Lowestoft and huge congratulations must go to the school sports partnership for their efforts.'

Natasha Danvers told The Journal: 'This is brilliant for the kids and there is definitely some potential in the runners here today. The main thing is for the kids to be involved in as much physical activity as possible and to make it fun - that is really important.'

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