THERE was an unusual games lesson for Wearside schoolchildren when they took to the field for a game of lacrosse.
While other kids play more traditional games such as football, rugby and hockey, Year Four pupils from St Michael’s Primary School, in Houghton, got kitted out for the all- action sport.
The school has a partnership with Durham University where pupils can use facilities at the university, while the university students are given work experience at the school.
The 20 children played during half-time of the match between the women’s teams of Durham and St Andrew’s Universities, a first round game in the British Universities and Colleges Sport knockout tournament.
The game ended in a 39-0 win for Durham, with the children acting as ball boys and girls during the game at Maiden Castle.
Paul Foster, St Michael’s headteacher, said: “They didn’t get much ball-boying done because the play was all down one end and the ball was going into the net rather than out of play. It must have been three-nil within a minute!
“But they had a game at half-time. They’ve had 10 weeks of practice leading up to this.
“This is part of the partnership we have with Team Durham at Durham University and we’re hoping to do some basketball in the summer. There will be another class doing lacrosse after half-term.
“The purpose of the partnership is to give different opportunities to the children. We only have a school hall, so we have made use of the great facilities that the university has. It gives the children something to aspire to.
“I contacted Durham University last summer and said we were looking to make a link. We reciprocated by letting their students come and work in our school.
“Lacrosse is usually a public school game played in the south, but there was no reason why we couldn’t do it. Most of the team were American. It’s a huge sport in America.”
St Michael’s pupil Amelia Lynn, nine, said: “Durham won. It was really good. The best bit was when we got the ball and threw it back. I was the first to throw it.
“It’s better than other sports and I would like to do it again.”