THEY have trained for the last four months, come wind, rain, sleet or snow.
But instead of the winning tape, identical twins Jodie and Tess Glasgow have run into red tape, after being told their preparations for a cross- country event will be in vain because their school failed to register them in time.
Jodie and Tess, 11, who are pupils at Carrick Knowe Primary, were planning to take part in the Scottish Primary Schools Cross Country Championships in Kirkcaldy today.
However, their school missed the cut-off for entries after the deadline fell on the last day of school term before the Easter holidays – March 30.
It wasn’t until the school returned following the break – 18 days after the deadline – that a member of staff realised they had missed the cut-off.
The girls’ father, Leslie Glasgow, who lives in Corstorphine, hit out at the Scottish Schools’ Athletic Association (SSAA), which organises the competition, after it said it was too late for them to compete despite the training and effort they had put in.
Mr Glasgow said: “I have been training the wee ones for the last four months, four nights a week in the rain, snow and sleet.
“They came back from school crying on Wednesday after getting told they couldn’t take part. They were devastated and couldn’t understand it.
“I asked the SSAA if they could just let them take part. But they said ‘rules were rules’ and the school was late.”
The 52-year-old added: “Jodie and Tess have given up certain things to train four nights a week, which is a lot. It was a mistake by the school but the organisers could have been light-hearted about it.
“With the Olympics coming up, they should be encouraging all the runners to come through.”
Jodie and Tess aren’t the only pupils from Carrick Knowe to miss out. About 11 children at the school had initially expressed an interest in competing, although several had pulled out.
A SSAA spokeswoman said: “We are a schools association, with entries coming from an education establishment. All communication regarding our events has to be via the SSAA secretary from the relevant school. It would be impractical for us to communicate directly with individual parents.
“We do not accept late entries for our events as it would make the organisation of the event impossible. It takes considerable time to set up the programme, etc.
“It is the responsibility of a school to submit entries by the deadline, and any concerns from a parent would have to be dealt with by the school.”
A spokeswoman for the city council added: “Unfortunately [the deadline] was missed due to an administrative mistake. As soon as the school was aware of the error, they contacted the Scottish Schools’ Athletic Association, but were told that no late applications would be accepted.”