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UK Athletics

10,000 prizes at UK Challenge FieldFests

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UK Athletics Competitions Department announced today that there will be £10,000 in prize money at the UK Challenge JumpsFest on 30 June and ThrowsFest on 1 July at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham.


The target will be for the athletes to improve on last year’s numbers of jumpers and throwers who beat Power of 10 national standards, which have been devised by UK Athletics and its governing partners to inspire improvements in standards in every event in every age group in every region on the way to London 2012. A total of 31 throwers and 13 jumpers beat the standards at last year’s Fests, placing them among the highest-quality meetings in the country.


Senior, Under 20 and Under 17 men and women will all have the opportunity to compete at Alexander Stadium in high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot, discus, hammer and javelin – and selected Disability athletes will be able to compete at the ThrowsFest. There will be an on-line entry for all events.


Athletes will be seeded according to their performances irrespective of the weights of the implements for their age group. All throwers and long / triple jumpers will have six attempts.


To raise the profile and generate atmosphere, each event area will have its own announcer, DJ, scoreboards and crowd around the actual event. Other in-field support will include announcement of the line-ups before each competition, interviews with athletes and presentations to the prize-winners.


The inaugural winners of the recently launched Xtra Challenge for the throwers and jumpers will be crowned at the Fests.


In addition to the prizes to be won on the day, all competitors will earn points for their performances in their attempts to qualify for the UK Challenge Final to be staged at Crystal Palace on 25 August.


And all jumpers, throwers, personal coaches, officials and spectators will be able to join in the barbecue that has already become a part of the family atmosphere generated by these ‘event specific’ Fests.


UK Challenge Manager Paul Aldridge said: “A total of 440 athletes competed in the JumpsFest and ThrowsFest at Stoke last year, and reached remarkably high standards, even though the events clashed with the European Championships.


“We are confident there will be even more this year because we have been able to find a weekend that will give athletes an opportunity to impress the selectors of Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Teams for most of this summer’s major targets – the European Under 23 Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, on 12-15 July; European Junior Championships in Hengelo, Netherlands, on 19-22 July; IAAF World Championships, in Osaka, Japan, on August 25- September 2; and Team GB at the World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand, on 8-18 August.”


One athlete particularly looking forward to the weekend is the reigning UK Challenge high jump champion Tom Parsons. A knee injury has prevented him competing so far this summer but he says: “I’m aiming to get back for the next round of Challenge matches, the BAL Premiership on 2 June, and then pick up as many Challenge points and prizes as possible.”