Schoolboy Obstacle Course Athletes look forward to Championships in Costa Rica and Italy
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James Jarman, 13, and younger brother Thomas Jarman, 11, from Westoe, came first and fourth in their respective age categories.
This was James’ first competitive wave and his first-place success has also qualified him for the World Championships, which will be held in Costa Rica in August.
Both brothers have also qualified for the European Championships in Italy in June, as well as the 2024 British Championships.
As part of the competition, the boys had to take on ‘Ninja Warrior’ style obstacles, designed to test an athlete’s strength, skill, and endurance, including swinging across a pendulum, scrambling up a slant wall, and crawling under barbed wire!
James and Thomas, who both attend Dame Allan’s Boys’ School, part of Dame Allan’s Schools in Newcastle, credit the Schools’ Outdoor Education and Leadership (OLED) programme for helping them to succeed in the championships, as well as encouragement from their parents – mum Susan is also a skilled obstacle course athlete.
Speaking about their success, James said: "I felt great when I completed my first competitive race and I'm really looking forward to competing abroad!"
Thomas added: "I kept on training and pushing all the time before my race, and it was hard but I kept on going. I'm so pleased that I'm in the national team now!"
Mum Susan expressed her pride for the boys’ achievements: "I'm so proud of the boys – they love the sport and have taken part in many races just for the challenge and so it was a fantastic confidence boost for them to have a go at competing and to achieve such great results!"
James and Thomas are now working with Colette Cookson, Head of OLED at Dame Allan’s, to set up an obstacle racing club at the school, hoping to get other pupils involved in their passion.
Colette commented: “I would like to wish James and Thomas the very best of luck in their upcoming competitions.
"We know they have not only the great physical skills needed, but also a great outdoor mindset that will help them succeed.
"It is fantastic to see our pupils taking the skills that they have learnt in school and expanding on them to achieve personal success – this is just what we aim to see from our Outdoor Education curriculum!”