Not every athletics race has to be about who can run the fastest – sometimes a really brisk walk is all that’s needed.
In 1997, the 14th Steyning and District Annual Walking Races were held at St Andrew’s Primary School.
Some 177 children from the area’s schools took part, with every one of them receiving a medal from the event’s sponsor Chandlers BMW (Sussex) Ltd.
Wearing number 105 was Heather Sigournay, from Ashurst, with 103 Emma Whitford hot on her heels. Number 109 was Emma Day, of Steyning, with Francesca Claxton (106), Carla Struthers (104), Abigail Lerche (111) and Annalouise Brotherston (101). Lauraen Gould wore 118, Emily Stiles 115 and Claire Serby 133.
The junior girls completed a 1,600m race, with the winners being Emma Young, of Steyning, in 9 minutes 52 seconds, and Stuart Whyte, also of Steyning, in 8 minutes 58 seconds.
The senior children had to compete a 2,000m race. The winners were Joanna Hobson, in 11 minutes 46 seconds, and Samuel Hoare, in 11 minutes 5 seconds.
There was more sporting success for children from the Horsham area – this time on the rugby pitch – when they took part in the West Sussex Festival, in Crawley.
The boys of the Horsham under 11s and Horsham under 9s came home with trophies after winning their groups, the under 11s beating Chichester 50-15 in the final.
Some of the lads in the team were: Nick Essex, Willie Ripley, Matt Brown, Josh Worsley, Mark Davey, Paul Talbot, Kevin Wearing, Mikey Power and Alan Gallagher.
The under 9s were particularly impressive, not conceding a single point in the entire tournament. There victims were Pulborough (25-0), Chichester (15-0), Crawley (30-0) and Worthing (5-0), before they trounced East Grinstead (20-0) in the final.
This team of teeny champions included: Luke Tarrant, Edward Clarke, Tom Heywood, Willie Johnson, Michael Thornley and Joel Byford.
Did any of these young stars go on to play the game at adult level?
Staying on the rugby pitch for our final picture from 1997, we have the young men of Cranleigh School. They had just won the Rugby Sevens Worth Trophy, sweeping aside St George’s Weybridge, Hurstpierpoint, Caterham and Brighton, before beating Christ’s Hospital 41-7 in the final.