A SCHOOL’S pigeon-racing team has hit the heights to win a 120-mile race.

Longshaw Junior School, from Park Lee Road in Blackburn raced against 15 other competitors from the Oswaldwistle Homing Society in the Tewkesbury race and flew past all of their competitors to take first place.

Before the race pigeons are taken to be marked and prepared for the race and then taken to a liberation point.

They are then liberated together and then fly back to their home lofts and the one with the highest velocity, speed at yards per minute, wins the race.

The winning pigeon travelled the fastest of the other 266 pigeons sent out, flying at 50mph, and obtained the highest velocity.

Seven-year-old Lawson Berry and father Jonathan Berry, who is the deputy headmaster at the school, were two members of the team.

The 40-year-old deputy head said: “Our pigeon had the fastest time and the highest velocity.

“Some competitors have 40 years’ experience in pigeon racing so it’s quite an achievement.

“My son is going to start pigeon racing next year. He said to me he wants his own cabin now. He is absolutely addicted.

“When you ask some people about pigeon racing they will say they’ve never even heard of it as a sport.

“This animal race is unique because these birds are not pets. They are doing a job for you. It’s a sport.

“They are very hard to control and the only way you can at the start is with food.”

Pigeon Fancying is now part of the Park Lee Road school’s curriculum.

The school has committed itself to promoting the sport of racing pigeons to other schools and has been supported by the local authority who are keen to promote the educational benefits associated with the sport.

Mr Berry added: “The first thing to do is to make people aware. Our school is one of the only ones in the country involved in pigeon racing.”


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