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High Life Highland’s Virtual Running Series 2021 

High Life Highland’s inaugural virtual running series has been a massive success with over 4,500 Highland pupils representing 114 Schools taking part.  In total 13,127 runs were recorded in the virtual event which gave pupils across the Highlands an opportunity to get out and be active whilst recording their efforts and competing with other schools.  

Wanda Clark, Depute Head Teacher, Avoch Primary School said, “What fantastic timing for a great event! Our children have just returned to school and loved having the opportunity to run together as classes. They have definitely missed each other over lockdown and this event brought friends and fun together beautifully” 

Courses of 600m, 1200m and 1800m were set up across the Highlands by High Life Highland’s Active Schools Team. Schools and parents were also encouraged to create their own routes which allowed everyone to take part in the event whilst staying local.  With the Primary Schools returning fully in mid-March many schools used it as an opportunity to get pupils outside and active.  

Wilma Duncan, Raasay Primary School Head Teacher said, “All our pupils participated in the event come rain or shine and had plotted and measured their own route as part of the overall planning and participation of the event. We are currently in the process of identifying other routes for Cross Country as we plan to carry this on as a daily exercise next term. We would like to thank High Life Highland Active Schools and Sarah Ross for organising this in such a creative way through virtual means to ensure that we could all participate”. 

Bridgend Primary School in Tain recorded the most runs with in the month stacking up an impressive 1409 attempts with Strathpeffer Primary, Bonar Bridge and Broadford Primary Schools in close pursuit. Beauly Primary were 5th overall.  What was also hugely impressive was the number of schools who took the challenge on as a whole school with no less than 44 Schools recording 100 percent participation in the event.  As well as the school effort there was some fantastic individual achievements across the area with some pupils out running each day and trying to improve their times.  

Darren Reid, Area Sports Development Officer High Life Highland, said, “The virtual running series was developed by our Active Schools Team through a sheer desire to help get young people across the Highlands outside and active even in these challenging times.  The month of March would usually see the Active Schools Team supporting running practices and events across the Highlands. Although that wasn’t possible this year, this new event has actually enabled more young people and schools to take part. More importantly, it had a common purpose of supporting young peoples health and wellbeing as they returned to school.  Although borne out of a real challenging situation, this is a project and a structure we will use going forward to create more opportunities for every young person in the Highlands to be active.