Eastbourne College recently hosted its inaugural biathlon. The event saw over 70 pupils take the plunge for a sea swim, followed by a five-kilometre run along the seafront and up to the South Downs. The biathlon was not only a healthy addition to the College’s busy athletics programme, but also a ‘blue health‘ policy capitalising on the mental health benefits of being located by the sea. The event attracted a number of spectators from the College and local community.
The race was split into two categories, inter and senior. Aimée Wood and Annie Wilson won the girls’ inter and senior respectively. GB Triathlete Noah Canby took the boys’ senior race, coming in an impressive nine minutes ahead of second place. Adam Armitage won the boys inter race.
Headmaster, Tom Lawson, commented: “At Eastbourne College we believe that our location is an advantage. The sea air, the infinite inspiration of the horizon, the opportunity to swim or enjoy the beach are all proven to enhance mental health and wellbeing, a concept known as ‘blue health’.
“At Eastbourne, our philosophy has always been that happy, healthy pupils who enjoy outdoor activity every day among their other opportunities will go on to be successful academically and, more importantly, be shown some of the best ways to prevent anxiety and stress.
“Mindfulness in a stuffy school theatre just doesn’t do the job. We take the best of contemporary methods to promote adolescent mental health, combined with the ‘blue health’ available through the inspiring outdoor life. The biathlon gave our young people the unique opportunity to go to a beach just 500m from their school, swim without wetsuits off the British coast, and run in a national park.”