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Thursday 27 October 2011 | Published in Regional


Avatea Primary School athletes lifted the Prince of Wales Shield again on Tuesday after the school’s athletes earned the most points on the BCI Stadium track and field.

This is the second year in a row the school has won the coveted athletics trophy starting whispers that the school looks on form to return to its athletics glory days when the school held the shield for over 30 years.

In 2007, old rival school Avarua smashed Avateas 32-year stronghold on the Prince of Wales shield and managed to hold on to it until 2010 when Avatea athletes won it back.

And right from the start of Tuesdays athletics meet Avarua School looked poised to upset Avatea again when their top athletes put their game face on and marched with determination into the BCI grounds.

All 10 competing schools took part in the marching parade in front of a huge crowd of family and friends including Prime Minister Henry Puna, minister of sports Mark Brown and Queens Representative Sir Frederick Goodwin who opened the days track and field meet.

Each school added their own unique flavour to their marching parade with many casting eyes left towards the dignitaries as a sign of respect.

Arorangi School had a well choreographed march which saw the school split in two to walk under their banner before regrouping and marching on.

Papaaroa College were once again sun smart in their Weetbix sun hats and sports uniforms while Apii Te Uki Ou School showed off their new sports gear.

St Josephs athletes saluted the dignitaries and crowd as they marched by while Takitumu and Arorangi schools red armies stood tall as they took their place on the field.

Small athletics teams from Imanuela Akatemia and Rutaki held their own against the big sporting schools and host school Nikao Maori marched in their starch white PNG supporters t-shirts.

The marching parade received a grand cheer from the crowd before the schools broke up into their age grades for a day of athletics competition.

Junior sprints dominated the first part of the event with mini preschool, grade 1, 2 and 3 sprinters ripping up the centre of the stadium grounds and putting huge smiles on the faces of parents watching on.

Senior students burned up the synthetic track in the long distance and sprint events and had onlookers on the edge of the seats.

Among the spectators were a number of rugby club coaches scouting out new wingers and there wasnt a shortage of talent to watch on the running tracks and jumping area.

Host principal Terangi Elika of Nikao Maori says that she was happy with the days activity and even more surprised at the fact that there were no disputes which are normal during such competitions.

Maybe because Avatea won by miles that there was no reason to dispute their win, says Elika.

She was pleased with the smaller schools of Takitumu, Rutaki, Nikao Maori, Apii Te Uki Ou and Imanuela Akatemia who dominated in the junior grade events.

These schools will never be able to beat Avatea and Avarua because they dont have the form 1 and 2 students to compete in the senior division but they still come out and compete strongly.

Avarua School have had to settle for second place and wait for next year for another chance of taking hold of the Prince of Wales Shield.

St Josephs School supported by form 1 and 2 students from Nukutere College took out third place while the red army from Takitumu School came 4th.

The full athletics day results and champion athletes of each age grade will be published in tomorrows edition of CINews.