Merton’s youngsters tackle the Cross-Country Championships

A selection of the borough’s sportiest youngsters competed for Merton in the Heathrow London Youth Games Cross Country Championships on 22 November.

Despite the wet weather and muddy ground at Hampstead Heath, there were some strong achievers amongst the team. In the girls’ races, Merton came 18th out of all the Boroughs, and in the boys races Merton came 15th.

Merton’s highest position this year was gained by Luke Jones who came 18th in the boys’ 13 -14 age group. The long-distance races across Hampstead Heath ranged from 2000 metres to 4500 metres in length, and in each race there were at least 100 single runners, with as many as 156 runners in one of the girls races!

The competitors were all aged between 11 and 16 years old and either live or go to school in Merton. Cross Country was the last of the Youth Games winter events held in 2003; the results will go towards Merton’s overall score for the 2004 games. Teams will begin preparation for summer events in March.

The London Heathrow Youth Games consists of over 35 different sports, ranging from angling to tennis. Mini Marathon trials will also take place in the spring, and are open to young people between 11 and 17 years old. Anyone interested in taking part in either the Youth Games or Mini Marathon, should ring Leisure Development on 020 8545 3652 / 4738 or see