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Athletics jumps the gender gap

New ground will be established at the Scottish Schools' Track and Field Championships next year when girls' and boys' events are staged together for the first time.

A ballot of schools by the Scottish Schools' Athletic Association found strong support for a combined championship. Though only 83 schools responded, the vote was 74-9 in favour.

"Of the schools that did not respond, I suspect they were not bothered one way or the other but this will bring us into line with other countries and was a logical move," Linda Trotter, the association's assistant secretary, said. "It makes sense that a school can travel to the event in one bus and not send two buses to separate venues. There could be a few teething troubles at the start, but if everyone bears with us then I am sure it will turn out okay.

"People said 20 years ago that there would be difficulties when the cross-country events came together but that has worked out well."

The championships will be held on Friday, June 20, and Saturday, June 21, at Grangemouth, Meadowbank or Scotstoun. Confirmation of a venue will come in January. The TSB will again sponsor the event under a deal that runs until December next year. The SSAA is hopeful that this will be extended.

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