Kettering’s new England stars

Following on from the success of Indienne King who competed for England U20’s at the prestigious Manchester international two more of the Kettering Town Harriers Middle distance squad have received their first international call up, 15-year-old Alice Bennett & 16-year-old Alice Bates have both been selected to represent England at the School Games National finals at Loughborough between 2-4th Sept (full story below)


Manchester International


At the Manchester International Indienne King had made the difficult journey from Cornwall where she was enjoying her summer holiday to the Manchester regional area to compete for England U20 over 800m. Despite the arduous journey the 17-year-old performed brilliantly to take the silver medal in a tactical race against Juniors from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland & GB U20’s.


Indienne King Silver Medal in her first track International representing England


King started the race positively sitting in behind the top ranked athlete Katie Johnson and holding the inside line. Splitting in a leisurely 67 seconds she maintained her position up to the 600m mark when the pace started to hot up, which saw king become boxed as athletes rallied for position. King had to ease off and find a gap to force her way back into medal contention, producing her trademark fast finish she eased back into 2nd place but had too much to do to overturn the commanding lead Johnson had established having to settle for the Silver.


It was a bittersweet moment as King felt good with 200m to go and felt she had enough to win the race, but becoming boxed and being forced to change positions resulted in lost momentum. This is all great experience and on reflection King was delighted to medal in her first International representing her country and this closes what has been a brilliant debut season for the Harriers and puts her in good stead to mount a challenge in 2022 for qualification for the World Junior Championships in the summer. King returned to her family holiday in Cornwall to enjoy a well earned 2 week rest before resuming training.


Brilliant debut season for Indienne King capped with a fine performance for England U20 Juniors 


School Games National finals


Two of the Kettering Town Harriers Middle distance squad have been selected to represent England at the upcoming 2021 School Games National finals at Loughborough 2-4th September.


Alice Bennett has been selected for the 800m & Alice Bates selected for the 1500m, both are ranked top 7 in the UK after enjoying brilliant seasons which has seen them set numerous new personal bests, recording National Standard times in multiple events, and both representing Northants Schools at the Enlish Schools National Championships fininishing 4th in the 800m (Bennett) & 10th in the 3,000m.


Alice Bates (left) with Coach Shane Smith & Alice Bennett, their first International call up


The format for the 2021 School Games National finals is different this year. 8 teams with a  mix of all 4 nations in them - each named after an Olympics- so Alice Bennett will compete for the London All-stars and Alice Bates for team Rio.


Each team will have 20 boys and 20 girls, with representation from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales wearing their respective National vests. All teams are balanced based on raking system, so that in theory all teams should finish with equal points based on rankings. Selections are based on the top 8 athletes in GB in each event.


This is brilliant news for the Alice’s following in the footsteps of Indienne King who has competed for GB & England Juniors already this season and shows that the middle-distance squad are acclerating out of the pandemic this year after working incredibly hard over the past 18 months. Coach Shane Smith was delighted with the latest International vests from the squad “Both girls have enjoyed a brilliant season, with the seeds being sewn particularly during the third lockdown in the depths of the winter when both athletes turned out for 1:1 coaching session in the cold and dark in all weathers”. He added, “The level of commitment from both girls is remarkable and this International vest is fully deserved”.


Alice Bennett was delighted with her first international vest "I'm so excited for this event, it's going to be a great experience" While Alice Bates was overjoyed to have an oppertunity to compete against the best athletes in the UK "It's such an honour to be representing my Country". This opportunity will set them on a pathway to potential future Team England/ Team GB representative honours as seniors.


The 2021 School Games National Finals, supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, is a major multi-sport event for talented young athletes across the UK.


Between Thursday 2nd and Sunday 5th September, more than 1,300 young athletes will compete across ten sports, including disability disciplines, at venues across Loughborough University Campus.


The School Games National Finals will be the first multi-sport event for young athletes following the lifting of lockdown restrictions. Our athletes have spent the last year and a half working tirelessly on their fitness and training in the hopes of competing at Loughborough University this summer.


Huge congratulations to Alice & Alice on this highly deserved selection and we wish them all the best for the competiton.