WINNING is not always the measure of success and last week two Kawerau South School students demonstrated that.
The Bay of Plenty primary school cross-county championships were held at Rotorua’s Kaharoa School and more than 420 students took part in the event.
All the runners had qualified from their school, cluster and regional events to earn a place at the Bay champs.
As usual, racing was competitive as the students between eight and 12 years old tore around the course.
They jostled for position, made last ditch sprints and emptied the tank for their school./
In the middle of this competitive storm, Kawerau South’s Kadence Gates and Raiha Cassidy saw St Thomas Moore School student Maddi Greetham fall over up ahead of them.
Instead of charging past their fallen opponent, the pair stopped to lend a hand.
“I saw her fall over and I thought about my little brother, he always falls over and that makes me sad so we helped her out,” Raiha said.
Kadence said that moment was not about winning.
“We picked her up and I felt bad for her. We were not worried about our time at all.
Maadi would go on to finish in 15th place while the Raiha and Kadence finished outside of the top 20 as they also helped another fallen runner complete the race.
Kawerau South School principal Stuart Cook said it was great to see his students show their character.
“I am very proud that the girls have gone out of their way to help them out. Caring for others and helping people out is something we promote at our school. It is not all about winning.”
Sport Bay of Plenty Central Bay primary school sport director Melissa Gordon said there were other cases of runners stopping to help others.
Eastern Bay runners did find success at Kaharoa as Ohope Beach School’s Harriett Milne placed fifth in the eight-year-old girls’ race.
Awakeri School’s Bailey Le Prou won the boys’ race while fellow Awakeri runner Oliver Peat placed ninth. Kawerau South’s Brody Sedgman rounded out the top 10.
Edgecumbe Primary School’s Stevie Reid McAllum was runner-up in the nine-year-old girls race while Kawerau South’s Hazel Gates placed fifth. Allandale School runner Sean Jones place 10th in the boys’ race.
Kawerau South’s Shakura Hall was 10th in the 10-year-old girls’ race.
Edgecumbe runner Lauren Powell placed seventh in the 11-year-old girls’ race while Awkeri’s Joseph Spalding won the boys’ race. Whakatane St Joseph’s School runner Liam Inman placed fourth.
Teigan Nolan won Awakeri’s third title as she took out the 12-year-old girls’ race, where St Jospeh’s Anna Isaac placed fourth and Awakeri’s Olivia Nolan placed ninth.
Awakeri runner Elijah Wetting placed fifth in the boys’ race while another Awakeri runner, Kalib Schuler, placed sixth.