West Lancashire are setting off the SPAR Lancashire School Games 2022 Commonwealth Baton Relay on Monday 28th February in Tarleton. Bretherton Endowed Primary School, Tarleton Holy Trinity Primary and Tarleton Academy will be part of the Opening Ceremony and the baton will then travel around 57 West Lancashire Schools throughout the week, before handing over to Chorley.
Harry Coppell, the British Mens Pole Vault Champion was a pupil at Up Holland High School and took part in a variety of sports at School Games Events. In fact he won the National School Games Pole Vault Event in 2012 (pictured) being one of the first athletes to compete in the London Olympic Stadium.
Whilst at College Harry went on to win the World Youth Games Pole Vault in 2013 his medal being presented by the legendary Sergei Bubka. To quote Harry “being presented with my Gold Medal by Sergei Bubka, who had been my inspiration was an incredible feeling.” (Picture of Harry’s winning jump).
Throughout his college and university days Harry helped to organise and lead many of the SPAR Lancashire School Games Events at both West Lancashire District and County Level and on leaving university coached athletics in schools for the West Lancashire Sport Partnership. In Harry’s words “Having been inspired by the opportunities that the School Games provides I was grateful to help school children on their journey”.
In 2019 Harry moved to Loughbrough to train full time and his commitment paid off by him winning the Mens British Pole Vault Championships in 2019, 2020 and 2021. He set a new British Record of 5.85m at the 2020 Championships (pictured), an Olympic Qualifying Height, which led to his selection for the Olympic Games in Beijing where he qualified for the Final. West Lancashire had a baton engraved For Harry to take to Beijing which they passed around the West Lancashire Schools during the 1st week in July.
We are so proud to have Harry as inspiration for our pupils, many of whom have been coached by him or taken part in School Games Events organised by him. Harry himself said “I would have loved to be part of this relay but I am training hard in Loughborough preparing myself for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022”.