Information for Parents (Sedgefield)

Who is the event for?

The event is catering for children in years 3, 4, 5, 6 boys and girls and for the first time in Dash! history we have Y7’s competing.  We invite you along with any additional family and friends to, spectate and enjoy the atmosphere of this unique school athletics event in a historic country estate and magnificent parkland

Children will have the opportunity to participate in either a 300m running race OR field events.  Events that children will be competing in need to be assigned prior to the event via the Team Sheet – we suggest intra school practice / qualifying events are set up.

The track race will take place on the 18th century Grand Terrace of Hardwick Park, passing The Gothic Chair and around the Circular Pond before finishing alongside the Lake and Hotel.  The track race will consist of a maximum of 8 heats with 6-8 children per heat.  There will be a maximum of 8 finalists in each category for the track race.  The field events will consist of Long Jump and Chest Push and each field athlete will take part in both field events.  The field events will be a straight final with an individual winner awarded for each separate field event.

Once children have finished their road race or field event there will be fun activities on the Hotel Lawn, as well as some fun “try it” activities within our local Community Sport Club village for them to participate in should they wish to do so.[/toggle][toggle title=”Car Parking” open=”no”]Hardwick Country Park is on the west side of Sedgefield; on the A177 Durham to Stockton road, two and a half miles from A1(M) Junction 60 (well sign-posted).

Parking information

Pay and display charges apply at all times at Hardwick Country Park:

  • cars – up to two hours £2.00/full day £3.00
  • coaches and minibuses – all day £9.00
  • motorcycles – free
  • blue badge holders – charges as above

Please Note:

All vehicles are parked at the drivers risk, event organisers accepts no liabilities for loss or damage. Remove all valuables and lock car.

From your parking area in Hardwick Park you will be directed by signs and or stewards from the car park to the event area.

When walking to and from the event area, please keep to the pathways and observe the Health and Safety notices that are positioned throughout the parkland and hotel areas.

One you arrive at the event area, we ask that all parents, family and friends keep to the designated viewing areas.

Hardwick Park – Access

There are a number of accessible parking bays at the Hardwick Park Public Parking area. The visitor centre is fully accessible for people with disabilities and the circuit walk is accessible to visitors of all abilities.

The surfaced route is a minimum of two metres wide, generally flat and has no steps. There are two slopes but easier alternatives will be marked. Other paths around the park are generally flat but may be muddy at times.

Hardwick Park – Safety

We want you to safely enjoy the event, park and its facilities so please take heed of the following:

  • ensure children are supervised at all times
  • keep to the pathways
  • do not enter any part of the park’s lakes or ponds
  • use the brakes on strollers, prams or pushchairs when you stop to enjoy the park
  • keep dogs on a lead

The Opening Ceremony

At 4:15 the Opening Ceremony will see children raise the Olympic Flag and Sedgefield SSP Flag prior to our first competitors taking to the track at 4:30pm.  Children will be led to the start by staff/volunteers in groups ready for their race.  They will have the opportunity to warm up prior to their race near to the start.  Year Groups will be called to the start in phases throughout the event.

Children who win their heat will be given a WHITE T-shirt to wear, this is so that they can be identified by staff to ensure they are collected for their final.

The Field events will take place in three time slots;

Y3/4 Field Events (4.30pm – 5.30pm)

Y5/6 Field Events (5.30pm-6.30pm)

Y7’s Field Events (6:30pm – 7pm)

Year groups will be called to the field events in that order.

While children are not competing they have the opportunity to either watch their friends and teammates in the track or field or take part in some additional activities on the Hotel Lawn.  The area for competitors will be sectioned off and NO family and or spectators will be allowed in this controlled athletes area.

Hardwick Country Park car parking open for the public and family & friends of the Dash! children.  Direction Signs off the main road.

Hotel Parking is restricted to Hotel Guests and Residents and Sedgefield Dash Permit Holders – see Car Parking Section.

No known Road Closures and or Access Restrictions around the site

As the Dash expands for the 7th year (started in Durham in 2012), we would like to take this time to thank Durham County Council’s Health and Sport Boards in showing great faith with their investment in school Sport and in particular the School Sport Partnerships who deliver key Change 4 Life messages throughout the school year.


Change4Life aims to support and encourage everyone to ‘eat well, move more, and live longer.’  These days, ‘modern life’ can mean that we’re a lot less active. With so many opportunities to watch TV or play computer games, and with so much convenience and fast food available, we don’t move about as much, or eat as well as we used to.

Active kids are happy kids. Kids aged 5 to 16 need to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day to burn off calories and prevent them storing up excess fat in the body which can lead to cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It also keeps their bones healthy and encourages muscle strength and flexibility.

The Dash! along with other local and national Change4Life initiatives, will encourage families across County Durham to move more and eat well.  Keep an eye out for the Change4Life team at the event as they deliver activities to promote healthy, happy lifestyles!

Get Sugar Smart; “We’re all having too much sugar. Our kids might seem fine on the outside, but too much sugar can lead to the build-up of harmful fat on the inside”.

Get the NEW Be Food Smart app (available through App Store or Google Play) see how much sugar, sat fat and salt is really inside your food and drink. Packed with hints and tips to help with making healthier choices, while the Kids can become ‘Food Detectives’.

Join the Change4Life movement, like thousands of others across County Durham.

Become a Local Supporter

You could even sign up as a local supporter to receive more great stuff! Children are required to bring their own refreshments for the duration of the event, including water.  Hardwick Hall Hotel will be providing hot and cold food and refreshments along with healthy snacks. These refreshment opportunities will be outside of the participant area, therefore staff would have to accompany children to and from the Hotel.

Parents Race

It’s not just the kids who are there to have fun!  We will be looking for all those keen parents out there for our Smooth Radio parents race.

Presentation ceremony

Every child that participates will receive a certificate and those that come in the “Final” top 3 will be awarded with a medal that is presented by our Special Guests; in 2017 this included Mayor of Sedgefield Cllr David Brown and sponsors David Lee Commercial Director of Smooth Radio, Lynda Walker Manager of Taylor Shaw and Jon Hill GM of Hardwick Hall Hotel.

We would encourage all spectators and participants to stay until the end of the ceremony where there will be the opportunity to take photographs and enjoy the atmosphere.

We respectfully request that during the presentation ceremony parents & spectators remain behind the segregation fencing to watch the ceremony. This is for health & safety reasons to stop overcrowding and give the children plenty of space to see and be seen!

Event Finish

The event will finish at 8:00pm at this point it is the teacher’s/responsible adult’s responsibility to ensure the children get home.

We would recommend deciding a meeting point for any parents who are just coming to collect children.

  • Parents will NOT be allowed in the athlete participation areas (barriered section on Grand Terrace and Hotel Lawn) at any time unless they are a designated helper with the school (accreditation wristbands will be issued to schools prior to event) this is just to keep the event safe and the numbers manageable.
  • Parents are welcome and encouraged to spectate and will be able to see all events clearly  from outside of the barriers both along the track race route and on the Hotel Lawn.
  • We would encourage all pupils and parents to stay for the the presentation ceremony. We do realise however that some parents/relatives may need to leave with their child prior to the end. If this is the case they may collect their child via a designated collection point as long as this has been cleared with the teacher/responsible adult.
  • Children are NOT allowed outside of the ‘barriered’ participant areas either on the Grand Terrace and or Hotel Lawn at any point during the event. This is to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all involved.
  • Once children competing in the road race leave the track they will not be returning unless they are in a final.
  • The event will not be cancelled unless we experience severe weather conditions so we would advise depending on how the weather is looking that children bring an anorak/waterproof with them. If it is raining heavily children waiting for the track race will be kept as dry as possible and anoraks/coats safely stored, this will be decided by the Event Manager/Sedgefield SSP.
  • There will be a lost children point located on the Hotel Lawn within the Athletes area.
  • If any parents do wish to pick their children up prior to the end of the event they must do so via the collection point. This point will be stewarded and children can only be checked out by a school representative if they leave.