Norfolk’s under-15 boys claim county’s first ever title in Sportshall UK final

The Norfolk squad at the National Sportshall Championships in Manchester.

The Norfolk squad at the National Sportshall Championships in Manchester. - Credit: Submitted

Norfolk's under-15 boys team claimed a national title in the Sportshall UK final in dramatic fashion.

The Norfolk squad at the National Sportshall Championships in Manchester.

The Norfolk squad at the National Sportshall Championships in Manchester. - Credit: Submitted

Their success at Sportcity in Manchester last Sunday was the first national sportshall success for Norfolk in 30 years of the sport.

Under-15 boys captain Ashley Cooper won a gold medal in the four-lap sprint and silver for his 90 speed bounces in 30 seconds, which helped him bring home the U15 boys individual title.

Wesley Matuska-Williams picked up silver in the standing triple jump with a leap of 8.67m, a new personal best, and came third with Hayden Page in the eight-lap Paarlauf (paired running).

Luke Beaumont received a silver medal for a standing long jump of 2.90m. Billy Olley-Hindle and Luke Vincent also helped the team pick up vital points.

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In the final race of the day Cooper, Beaumont, Vincent and Sam Brown put on a great display of sprinting to win the 4x2-lap relay, putting them into first place by only one point, scoring 1250 to Birmingham's 1249.

The Norfolk U15 girls also did well, finishing third in the team event.

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Joint captains Amy Dowsett (from Great Yarmouth & District AC) and Lucy Edwards (from West Norfolk AC) were joined by Kelsey Wenden (Diss AC), Tallulah Bell, Emily Mace, Sienna Sexton and Lauren Stansbury, all from City of Norwich AC.

Bell won a gold medal in the vertical jump with a massive 70cm jump, a PB. She also achieved another PB with a shot putt of 8.26m.

Dowsett's determination earned her a gold medal in the speed bounce with an exhausting 90 bounces. Mace came fourth in speed bounce with 88 jumps and also achieved a new PB in the vertical jump, with a jump of 57cm, and came fourth in the four-lap event.

This placed the team in a good position for the 4x2-lap relay (Sexton, Edwards, Mace, Bell), in which the girls were edged into third by Surrey, who won overall.

The overall presentations for All-Rounder Champion saw two Norfolk boys and three Norfolk Girls in the top-10.

In the girls, Bell came fifth, Dowsett sixth and Mace seventh, with Cooper taking top spot in the boys award and Beaumont in fifth.

Helen Stubbs, chair of Norfolk Sportshall League and City of Norwich Athletics Club sportshall co-ordinator, said 'All of the teams should be really proud of their incredible performances, sheer determination and excellent team spirit. They are a credit to their county and have given us and themselves a truly memorable day.

'Noisy Norfolk lifted the roof off the Regional Athletics Arena at Sport City, Manchester when it was announced that the boys team had won and we were national champions – it has been a momentous team effort. This has been our best ever Sportshall performance by far – not bad for little old Norfolk!

'A special thank you goes to all the coaches, parents and friends who travelled to Manchester to make Norfolk loud and proud a long way from home.'

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