Danes Hill Leaves Lasting Legacy in Lanzarote

13th August 2018

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A touring party of 40 girls from Years 6, 7 and 8 made their way to the stunning Canary Island of Lanzarote over half-term for a week of warm weather athletics and swimming training at Club Le Santa.

Amidst their glorious surroundings, the girls did not shirk some hard graft, putting a tremendous amount of energy into their training. Every day they spent a gruelling two hours on the track and two hours in the pool.

The focus on the track was broad, with the athletes honing their skills in sprint starts, long distance pacing, relay change-overs, hurdling techniques and endurance training. There was even time to perfect some of the field events as the girls tackled the discus, shot-putt and long jump. At the end of the week, the girls were pitted against each other in the pentathlon. The spoils went to Mimi Chisholm but special praise must be given to Gracie Butler who, although only in Year 6, came in third place.

The pace was no less frenetic in the pool. The girls focused on diving, turns, individual stroke techniques and relays as well as their general endurance. There was also a new experience for the swimmers as they were afforded the use of a training snorkel to help with their freestyle stroke technique. The training aid certainly took some getting used to but once the girls mastered it, their strokes noticeably improved. In the only competitive element in the pool, Sophie Thompson topped the rankings by totting up an impressive 2,500 metres in a 45 minute endurance swim.

On their final day, the girls were divided into four teams to compete against each other in relay events in both the pool and the track, with a view to putting into practice all that they had learned over the week. Congratulations went to the Lanzarote team, captained by Sophie Orbell, who were crowned the 2016 Champions.

It was not all work and no play for the girls as they found time to explore the island after training, visiting the local market at Teguise where they harnessed the art of bartering and grabbed some bargains. On their final evening, the girls entered a talent show comprising a variety of dance, singing and gymnastic routines. The locals and holidaymakers alike were in awe of the girls’ performances, giving them the loudest applause of the night.

It was a fitting end to a wonderful trip when, on the flight home, several of the passengers who had also shared the outbound flight with the Danes Hill girls commented on how impeccable their behaviour was.

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