ATHLETICS: A GOLD RUSH of epic proportions saw eight of Wirral AC's ability squad become national champions.
The 10-strong team swept the board at the recent British junior event at Blackpool, with two more silver medals.
At the same time able-bodied hurdler Helen Asher was winning gold for the 75m hurdles at the English Schools Championship, where middle distance man Chris Smith won silver in the 800m.
Star of the show in Blackpool however was multi- talented Matthew Cliff, who picked up gold in the 100m, 400m, 800m, and the 4X100 and 4X400m relays.
Teresa Chambers won gold in the distance club event and also competed in the 60m sprint, while Martin Rice sped to gold in the 60m and 100m.
Laura Mitchell picked up a silver in the javelin and Jenny Carter a gold in the 100m, while Linzi Dobson enjoyed her victory in the shot putt.
Dan Copeland was first in both the bean-bag distance and precision throwing events while Vicky Forfar won gold in discus, Kate Oakley the shot putt silver medal and Mike Dalby the 100m silver.
Disability coach Mike Carter said the team expected to do well, but they exceeded expectations.
"We have been working hard to manage expectations from the athletes, but they all performed superbly and we won more golds than anyone else," he enthused.
"Some of them will still be in the junior class next year, but others will be looking to move into senior competition and a chance at the Paralympics.
"That is for the future though, because we all had a great time and it was a very happy bus coming back from Blackpool, with Martin Rice leading the sing-a-longs."
Mike added his thanks to the parents of Dan Copeland, Kate Oakley and Vicky Forfar for helping out in Blackpool.
He also explained he is currently looking for funding or sponsorship to keep the team going. To find out more, contact Mike on 0151 608 6113.
At the English Schools Championships, Helen sped to victory in the under 15 girls 75m hurdles in a personal best time of 11.05secs.
With her nearest rivals two tenths of a second back, it was a comfortable run for the 14-year-old Upton Hall pupil.
She said: "I got a good start and managed to keep pulling away from the rest of the runners, so I am delighted about that.
"I have been working on my starts in training and there has definitely been an improvement, one I hope to build on for the AAAs in five weeks' time."
It is there that Helen will face Natalie Doyle who pushed her all the way in the indoor championships earlier this year.
"We usually have a good race and I hoping with her to push me, I may be able to go under 11 seconds," Helen said.
She added her thanks to her coach, Pat Spencer.