Parents across Southend On Sea are demanding that local school athletics ‘cleans up its act’ after it has emerged that a 5 year old pupil in Thorpe Bay ran the 100m in 4.2 seconds at a sports day in July 2015 – an injunction preventing this event from being reported has just been lifted. According to eyewitnesses who were present at the undisclosed school, the child seemed to be ‘possessed’ and carried on running across the field at the same speed before jumping into a duck pond.

A team of researchers from Southend News Network looked into data from primary school sports day events across the borough from 2001-2015, and we can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that WADA, the global anti-doping agency, didn’t attend a single sports day meeting in Southend On Sea during this time. According to one parent, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal attacks, this is ‘simply unacceptable.’

She said to our reporter, ‘Over the last few years, the pressure to win events at school sports days has almost become unbearable. I have heard of at least two families who have sent their children away to boarding school in order to overcome the shame of their little superstars coming third in an Egg and Spoon race, and this culture is leading to a lot of parents trying to access performance-enhancing supplements.’

The data that we analysed shows a number of winning results that have crept under the radar. In 2013, a primary school pupil in Barling (details removed for legal reasons) achieved a javelin throw of 137m, and at the same sports day their under-4s weightlifting competition was won with a clean and jerk lift of 975kg. These results would raise eyebrows at the Olympic Games, and so they should have certainly been looked into at primary school level.

As a result of this Southend News Network investigation, three local schools have already announced that all sports day competitors in 2016 will be drug tested, and this will be funded by a ‘voluntary contribution’ of £300 per child.