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Cross Country

Appealing to every age and ability, supporting overall health and fitness, long distance running encourages trust, respect, team ethos and positive mindset, encouraging mental and physical wellbeing.  With success at county, regional and national events since the introduction of Cross Country at Woodbridge, as a School we compete with the very best endurance runners in England.

Building stamina, persistence and success

It’s not only about ability, it’s about effort, which in turn supports the development of stamina and persistence – two key factors required to be successful as a Cross Country runner.  The mental, emotional and physical benefits of long-distance running are well documented and acknowledged, but we also know students can benefit from the opportunity Cross Country running provides to improve learning ability by sharpening memory and focus, as well an encouraging and improving commitment and consistency.

 

Training and clubs

Training sessions for all ages take place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday throughout the year, even in the holidays – these are age, level and distance appropriate, designed to suit Year groups and abilities.

Introduced to Woodbridge in 2012, the School’s running club is also open to runners from Year 3 through to Sixth Form, also attracting members of the local community, and as far away as Bury St Edmunds.  A completely inclusive sport, the Cross Country is hosted in the School grounds, providing the perfect environment for runners.

 

Competing for Woodbridge

Through training and our running club, athletes are identified and matched with appropriate competitive events; with blocks of training and coaching, the School’s running coach Mark Goddard, encourages and supports students throughout selection and training.  As a runner himself, Mark recognises the attributes and skills required as well as the benefits and opportunities that Cross Country can offer our students.  Competing at all levels, Woodbridge has had success at a number of national, regional and county events.

 

School success

Athletes from Woodbridge compete regularly at county and national Cross Country events, and our success to date has been nothing short of remarkable.  From consecutive wins to representing our School, county and country, Woodbridge has achieved significant success at some of the sport’s top events.

English Schools Cross Country

Two athletes finished in the top 8, rewarded with their English Schools vests.

World Schools Cross Country in Slovakia

Our Senior Boys team of five athletes selected as one of two schools in England to represent English schools.

National Finals – English Schools Cross Country Cup

Qualification for national finals for five years in successions

2021 Three Woodbridge teams came in the top seven of English teams competing

  • Senior Girls achieved 2nd place individual runner
  • 2019 Inter Girls achieved 1st place individual runner

2018 Woodbridge School hosted national finals

  • Inter Boys achieved 2nd place individual runner
  • Inter Girls achieved 5th place individual runner
  • Inter Boys were bronze medal winners overall

2017 Junior Girls race individual winner

2016 Junior Boys team crowned national champions

Anglian Schools Cross Country 2020

18 athletes represented Suffolk, winning four individual medals.  This is the sixth consecutive year Woodbridge have won medals at this event.

Suffolk Schools Cross Country Trials 2020

1,800 athletes compete, with 48 going through to compete at English Schools Trials.  Nine of those 48 were from Woodbridge – for the second year in succession.

Four Suffolk athletes won English School vests at this event, two of those were from Woodbridge.

King Henry Cross Country Relays, Coventry 2020

Boys team made the top 10 for the first time, securing a set of the coveted badges.

Girls team made the podium for the first time, winning silver medals and the Philip Mahiques trophy.

South of England Inter Country

Each year around 10 of the School’s athletes compete for Suffolk at this event, with individual winners in the past.

UK Inter County and English National Cross Country

Most years as many as 10 athletes compete at these national events for their club and county; past success includes an Inter County win.

 

Connections

As well as building relationships with event organisers around the country, the School has links to Suffolk Schools Athletics and Suffolk County Athletics, as well as relationships with a number of clubs, including those locally in Suffolk.   For those looking for a national level club, competing in all disciplines further afield, we also hold and enjoy links with Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers in London.

Event hosting

The School team successfully hosts two to three major events each year.  These can include a round of the English Schools Cup, the final Suffolk Schools Trial and in 2022 the Anglian Schools Final.  It’s an amazing achievement, that has taken years of commitment and hard work; we’re exceptionally proud to host events in our grounds.

Meet the staff

Mark Goddard

An experienced and accomplished endurance runner himself, the School’s Cross Country coach Mark Goddard has competed at various levels including nationally in South Africa and England.  His success comes from education, training and determination, as well as having had the opportunity to train with Olympians, and he keenly shares those learnings and that experience with students through coaching and the running club.  Dedicated to supporting the School’s athletes to develop and compete, he recognises and reinforces the benefits of long distance running for mental health and well being, alongside ambition and success.

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