STUDENTS from across the district take to the track to show off their speed. Photos supplied

ABOUT 50 of Opotiki’s finest junior athletes are headed to Whakatane for the Eastern Bay Primary School Athletics tournament today.

Opotiki Primary School principal Tony Howe said these youngsters had placed in the top two or three in events at the Opotiki District Primary School Athletics earlier this month.

“We have 22 going from our school,” he said.

With students attending the event from across the Eastern Bay, those who take a top three place will go on to the Bay of Plenty Junior Athletics on December 3.

Howe said parents were welcome to attend the event, which would run from 9am to about 2pm at Rex Morpeth Park, in Whakatane.

Howe said these upcoming events would be the last major sporting events on primary school calendars for the year, as schools had wrapped up independent and district athletics events earlier in the month.

STUDENTS assemble in their school teams for the next event during the district primary schools athletics day.

Howe said a non-competitive athletics day had been held for the younger students, while students aged nine to 12 attended the competitive athletics vying for a place in today’s competition.

Howe said that due to clashes, some schools had been unable to attend Opotiki’s district athletics, however, a high standard of performance was still displayed.

“The standard was really, really high,” he said.

“And there was a good spread of champion results across the schools.”

Howe said usually, about 20 Opotiki students progressed to the Bay of Plenty level each year, the highest level schools progressed to.

“To go higher, students have to join a sports club,” he said.

Howe said from there, students could compete at a Bay of Plenty-Waikato level, and then progress to a national competition.