England Athletics have issued guidance for a restricted return to activity for athletes, coaches and venues.
Please note that use of pole vault and high jump beds and sand pits are not allowed at this stage and, wherever you train, ensure that social distancing is maintained. Full guidance can be viewed here
Unsurprisingly, given last week's post on England Athletics' thoughts on what type of competitions may be possible if athletics events are allowed to resume, the Midlands League have decided to cancel the remaining two fixtures this season.
England Athletics are considering various scenarios for the possible return of track and field competition, obviously dependant on Government advice.
The first scenario considered by EA is if competition is allowed to start in July. The ideas being debated can be seen here
England Athletics have today announced the extension of suspension of athletics competition until the end of June.
The suspension on other athletics activity such as training, coaching etc (currently to 31 May) will be reviewed after further announcement from the Government regarding the lockdown period, expected week commencing 4 May. The full statement can be viewed here
We have been notified by the Chair of the UKYDL that there will be no YDL fixtures this season.
Below is an extract from the communication from the League which gives the reasoning behind the decision.
In the light of the continuing uncertainty around the Coronavirus situation the YDL management committee held a Skype meeting on 29 March to look at all the possibilities for the 2020 season and have decided regretfully that all matches scheduled for the 2020 season will be cancelled forthwith.
There were a number of factors influencing our decision, namely:
· Whilst government guidelines have forbidden mass gatherings until the end of May, it’s by no means certain that this won’t be extended, indeed if one were to use other countries as a model, it’s more than likely that this will continue for at least a further month if not longer.
· We have been made aware that first aid support from St John’s Ambulance at meetings is likely to be withheld until at least the end of June.
· We are aware that a number of tracks intend to extend their closure until June or July at least.
· We felt that it would be helpful to clubs if we were to make a definitive decision so that they have as much notice as possible to cancel tracks or transport arrangements to avoid possible charges.
· With the limited number of weekends likely to be available for competitions, there would be undue pressure on those dates, and clubs and athletes may be more willing and able to compete at a more local level than having to travel some distance to compete. This being the case we have requested that any dates previously allocated for YDL, be reserved for clubs who wish to organise local and open competitions.
· We wish to support the Home Countries in their endeavours to try and salvage what remains of the 2020 season, and hope that our decision gives a little clarity to a confusing situation.
· We also considered the duty of care owed to our officials, some of whom may have to undertake a 12-week isolation period, which takes us well into June.
The correspondence then goes on to apologise to the athletes for whom this season would have been their last opportunity to continue in the YDL
The English Schools Championships in Manchester is the latest competition to be cancelled.
England Athletics have extended the suspension of all athletics activity until the end of May. Therefore, all of our club training sessions are cancelled until further notice.
This means that competitions, committee meetings, athlete camps, running groups and social events should also not take place.
In the last update (24th March) they also stated that all physical coaching was to cease. Athletes can keep active but must comply with the measures advised by the Government.
The full statement from England Athletics can be found here.
Following the Government's latest instructions, England Athletics have advised that all club training sessions should be suspended until at least the end of April. Therefore, all of our club training sessions are cancelled until further notice.
They have also advised that competitions, committee meetings, athlete camps, running groups and social events should also not take place.
Athletes are encouraged to maintain their own personal fitness and keep active but do so whilst complying with the social distancing measures advised by the Government.
The full statement from England Athletics can be found here.
It was a good start to the British Fell Running Championships for Nina Skilton as she finished third in the V50 category in the first race of the season at Yr Aran in Wales.
Nina completed the 10 mile race, with a climb of 945m in 2:09.36.
Congratulations to Craig Pearson who won a silver medal in the M35 category at the British Masters Cross Country Championships at Corwen on Saturday (14th)
Craig completed the course (approx 8km) in 33:34.
Olivia Riley came 25th out of 46 competitors taking part in the National Combined Events Championships at EIS Sheffield on Saturday (14th).
In the 60m hurdles, Olivia ran a pb of 9.40 and then followed this with a 1.51m clearance in the high jump. She gained a second pb of the day in the shot, throwing 9.02m before jumping 4.33m in the long jump.
Olivia finished the competition with a run of 2:48.04 in the 800m for another pb to give her a total of 2795 points.
There was one C&S athlete taking part in the English Schools Cross Country Championships at Sefton Park on Saturday (14th).
Luke Powell came 312th in the Senior Boys race.
Paul Edwards and Mathew Paynter both won medals at the BMAF Indoor Championships and Outdoor Throws at Lee Valley last weekend (7/8th March).
Mathew won four medals, three bronze in the discus (36.15m), hammer (26.53m) and 15.88kg weight (8.40m) and a silver in the javelin (34.23m). He also came fourth in the shot with a throw of 11.11m.
Paul won a silver in the 60m hurdles, finishing in 10.26 seconds.
Congratulations to Dot Fellows who broke the W75 British Record for 5 miles at Alsager on the 2 February. Dot's time of 39:01 is also, unofficially, a World 8k record!
Natalie Griffiths (Ainge) took part in the 400m at the British Indoor Championships in Glasgow on Saturday (22nd), finishing fourth in her heat in 57.47.
Bill Chesters and Chris and James Perrin took part in the National Cross Country Championships at Wollaton Park in Nottingham on Saturday (22nd).
In extremely muddy conditions, Bill came 93rd out of the 195 competitors who completed the Junior Men's race.
In the Senior Men's race, Chris Perrin finished 199th and James 575th of the 1710 that managed to complete the course.
In her first appearance at a National Championships, Charis Farmer ran a 60m pb of 8.32 in her heat at EIS, Sheffield.
Mia Wainwright ran pbs in the 60m and 200m with 8.40 and 27.52 respectively at an Indoor Open meeting in Manchester. Charlie Peters also competed in the 60m, running a season's best of 8.16.
Five Cannock & Stafford athletes were in action at the BUCS Indoor Championships in Sheffield last weekend.
Becky Brown, representing University of Central Lancashire, came 6th in her 1500m heat in her best time for two years, 5:14.60.
Hannah Malpass (Newcastle) came third in her 400m heat in 59.08 and Becky's sister, Cara (University of Birmingham), cleared 2.60m in the pole vault.
Megan Davies (Loughborough) and Amy Pye (Bath) both ran for their university in the 4x200m heats and helped them to reach the final with the two fastest qualifying times (1:39.79 and 1:40.37 respectively). Unfortunately, neither were selected for their teams for the final.
A number of our athletes were in indoor action over last weekend.
At the truncated Midland Indoor Championships event at the HPC, Cara Brown won bronze in the U20W pole vault, clearing 2.40m. Olivia Riley just missed out on a U17W high jump medal on count back, clearing 1.55m. She also jumped 4.35m in the long jump and Charlie Peters ran a season's best of 8.17 to finish fourth in her SW 60m heat.
At the Masters Grand Prix event in Sheffield, Rob Law ran two pbs, 8.32 in the 60m and 26.49 in the 200m. Stephen Terry-Short ran 8.06 in the 60m and 26.39 in the 200m.
Natalie Ainge ran her second fastest 400m time of 56.59 and Hannah Malpass started her season with 59.32 in the same race.
It was a disappointing end to the cross country season this weekend as our Senior Men were relegated from Division One of the Birmingham & District Cross Country League.
Needing to finish comfortably ahead of Wolverhampton & Bilston to maintain our place in the top division, we could only finish 15th of the 16 clubs on the day to remain in 14th in the final league table.
In the meeting, at Newbold Comyn, Chris Perrin came 33rd to finish 20th in the overall individual standings and Bill Chesters an excellent 42nd to place him fifth in the U20 individual competition for the season.
Phil Wolfe came 59th and was followed home by James Perrin (98th), Craig Pearson (133rd), Matt Bonney (158th), Owen Hurcombe (174th) and Darrell Wilde (180th).
On Sunday, the final WMYACCL meeting of the season took place in horrific weather conditions at Aldersley.
Martha Shenton came 53rd in the U11G race and Isla Williams 59th in the U13G.
Caitlain Disley (29th) and Isabel Beckett (65th) ran in the U15G and Harry Beckett finished in 65th in the U15B.
Each season, the top point scorers in the Midland Senior League, Youth Development League - Upper Age Group and Youth Development League - Lower Age Group, are presented with an award at the club's presentation evening.
The top 10 scorers for 2019 in each age group are shown below.
Megan Davies won a silver medal at the Scottish Championships and Olivia Walker silver at the Welsh Championships over the weekend.
In Glasgow, Meg came second in her 400m heat in 58.83 to qualify. She then improved to 57.10 to take the silver medal in the final.
Olivia ran her best 60m hurdles time since 2014 to finish second in her heat in 8.61 in the Welsh Indoor Championships in Cardiff. In the final, Olivia came fourth in 8.67, taking silver as the second placed Welsh qualifying athlete.
It was the first indoor outing of the season for many of our athletes last weekend.
With only short track events catered for at the Midland Counties due to the unavailability of a full indoor track in the Midlands, many of our athletes ventured to Sheffield on Sunday (26th) for good quality competition.
In the 60m, Stephen Terry-Short ran 8.05, Paul Edwards 8.94, Charis Farmer a pb of 8.36, Sydney Davies 8.56, Matilda Perry 8.50 (pb) and Mia Wainwright 8.61.
Henry Heathcote ran a pb of 25.06 in the 200m, as did Rob Law with 26.58, Olivia Riley (27.09), Matilda Perry (28.98), Ella Beeson (32.87), Sapphire Wainwright (33.33) and Beth Beeson (35.96). Allee Rigby was the quickest of our athletes with 23.86, Stephen Terry-Short ran 27.00, Paul Edwards 29.23, Natalie Ainge 26.26, Sydney Davies 28.43, Charis Farmer 27.64, Heather Law 29.36 and Mia Wainwright 28.06.
In the 400m, Henry Heathcote and Rob Law again recorded pbs with times of 57.96 and 63.18 respectively. Natalie Ainge ran 57.01.
Ella and Beth Beeson both ran 800m pbs (2:49.27 and 3:04.64) and Heather Law cleared 1.50m for a high jump pb. Olivia Riley jumped 1.55m.
Sapphire Wainwright threw a pb of 5.53m to win the U13G shot and sister Mia jumped 4.18m in the long jump.
Up in Manchester, Charlie Peters ran 8.27 for a season's best in the 60m.
Christine Kilkenny and Dot Fellows both won gold medals and Nina Skilton picked up a bronze at the Midland Masters Cross Country Championships in Loughborough on Saturday.
The Masters event was integrated into the Midland Cross Country Championships. Nina was our first athlete to complete the course, finishing 48th overall in the SW race and third in the W50 category. Sue Kneill-Boxley came 96th which gave her fifth place in the W50s and Chris Kilkenny 125th which won the W65 race.
Dot Fellows picked up the gold in the W75 category, finishing 171st in the SW race.
Our Senior Men are still battling to remain in Division One of the Birmingham & District Cross Country League after the penultimate race of the season at Northampton on Saturday (11th).
Chris Perrin finished in 28th place, Bill Chesters 82nd, Phil Wolfe 93rd, James Perrin 95th, Craig Pearson 137th, Paul Lester 174th and Tom Orton 232nd as the team finished in 14th place on the day.
In the WMYACCL meeting on Sunday (12th) at Nuneaton, C&S had five athletes competing.
Jack Hadley came 37th in the U11B race and Harry Beckett 71st in the U15B and, in the girls races, Delilah Dempsey finished 61st in the U13G and Isabelle Beckett and Dawn Riley came 69th and 70th respectively in the U15G race.
The club's presentation evening took place at Stafford Rangers FC on Saturday (4th).
During the evening, acknowledgement was given to the following, with apologies for any achievements that were omitted in error.
For the third year on the trot, Carl McMullen won the World M35 title at the Icosathlon World Championships in Helsinki. The Icosathlon is a double decathlon over 2 days.
Carl and Emma and Chris Hollinshead won medals at the European Masters Games in Turin
There were medals for Carl McMullen at the British Masters Pentathlon Championships and Per Kristian Lundby, Martin Roberts and Sally Gray at the British Masters Outdoor Championships.
Sue Kneill-Boxley and Martin Roberts represented the Midlands in the Inter Area competition in Solihull with Sue doing four individual events and a few of our Masters athletes took part in the Welsh Masters Championships with Stephen Terry-Short winning the M45 100 and 200, Emma Hollinshead winning the W45 400 and 800 and Chris Hollinshead the M50 3000m.
In road running, Chris Hollinshead retained his title in the M50 age group at British Masters 10 mile Championships and in the 5k Road Championships, Hazel Cane won silver in the W55.
Our Senior Women’s cross country teams retained their place in the first division of both the Midland Women’s and North Staffs Cross Country Leagues and the Men maintained their position in the top division of the Birmingham and District Cross Country League.
In the North Staffs League, Nina Skilton won the W50 competition for the third year running with Sue Kneill Boxley finishing in third place. Christine Kilkenny won the W65 category and Dot Fellows the W70. Geoff Kitching came third in the M65 age group
Nine of our athletes represented their county at the English Schools Cross Country Championships. Allegra Soutar, Thando Hart, Tom Peters, Bill Chesters, Matt Bonney, Connor Mills, Josh Ward, Jasmine Lovatt and Lucy Richardson all represented Staffordshire.
Track and Field
In track and field, this year, we only had four athletes chosen to represent Staffordshire at the English Schools Track & Field Championships:- Amy Pye, Jack Turner, Bill Chesters and Olivia Riley. Amy won bronze in the 100m hurdles.
Five of our athletes were invited to compete in either the British indoor or outdoor Championships – Again, all female!:- Olivia Walker, Natalie Ainge, Amy Pye, Beth Rees and, for the first time, Cloe Wilde with Beth winning her third successive bronze medal in the javelin. Beth also won bronze medals at the BUCS Championships and England U23 Champs.
In other National Championships, Olivia Walker was Welsh Champion in the short hurdles in both the Welsh Indoor and Outdoor Championships. Also at the Welsh Outdoors, Beth retained her javelin title and Chloe took silver in the 400m hurdles. In Scotland, Megan Davies won silver in the 400m in the Scottish Indoor Championships
Nat, Chloe, Beth, Amy and Charlie Peters represented Staffordshire in the Senior Inter Area competition and Jack Turner was selected to represent England Midlands in the shot in the Welsh International.
Before we start giving the awards to the athletes, our Chairman thanked the following:
Firstly, all of our coaches who give up their free time for no payment, in fact it costs some a considerable amount of money to come and coach our athletes. Also our officials and other volunteers for the work that put in during the season. Without these people giving up their time we simply wouldn’t have a club.
He also thanked Alyson Ainge who does a great job looking after all of our young athletes and senior track and field teams, preparing the numbers for each athlete and organising any changes on the day, as well as doing the results at the vets meetings and Alison George for the sports therapy work she carries out for athletes at the club. Finally, he thanked Sandi Thompson who, as well as officiating at some of our meetings this season, organised the presentation evening.
The club has a very strong group of veterans (or Masters) athletes and, this season, against Birchfield, Stoke, Telford, RSC and Tamworth, our men’s team won their league and our women's team came runners up in theirs.
Stephen Terry-Short was called up to accept the League winners shield and he gave a short review of the season and announced the Veterans Male Athlete of the Year. Our Chairman then read a short report from our women's veteran's team manager,Emma Hollinshead, and then announced the award for the Veteran's Female Athlete of the year.
The following awards were presented / announced:
YDL Lower Age Group Divisional Winners Trophy - Collected by Steve Jones
Veterans Male Athlete of the Year - Paul Edwards
Veterans Female Athlete of the Year - Hazel Cane
Young Athletes Lower Age Group, Leading Male Point Scorer - Henry Heathcote
Young Athletes Lower Age Group, Leading Female Point Scorer - Olivia Riley
Young Athletes Upper Age Group, Leading Male Point Scorer - Jack Turner
Young Athletes Upper Age Group, Leading Female Point Scorer - Issey Kelly
Senior League, Leading Male Point Scorer - Allee Rigby
Senior League, Leading Female Point Scorer - Natalie Ainge
AAA Certificates were also presented to Development Group athletes who had achieved them during the season.
Presidents Cup – This trophy was introduced by our past President, Derek Fellows, and is awarded to a person, or persons, who the President feels has provided great service to the club over the past 12 months.
Our current President, Bob Hughes, made the presentation to Donna Tomkins.
Those of you who train at the track will know Donna, especially if you forget your money to pay for training. She’s at the track most evenings collecting the money which is a job that we are obviously grateful to her for doing.
David Sunderland Memorial Award
Dave Sunderland was one of the country’s top middle distance coaches and a great supporter of schools athletics as well as being a coach at the club. When he died in 2014 we were given a trophy to present each year in his memory.
Previously, the award has been given to longer distance runners at the club but this year the club presented it to Bob Hughes who has a great involvement with Schools athletics and long distance running.
Most Improved Young Athlete of the Year
This award is voted for by the club’s coaches and is presented to the athlete who, in the coaches’ opinion, has improved the most over the year. Fifteen coaches voted this year.
This award was presented to Olivia Riley. Olivia had a great season achieving 18 PBs over 9 different events. She improved her high jump from 1.42m in 2018 to 1.58m in 2019 which moved her from 357th to 35th in the country in the rankings for her age group and also earned her a place in the Staffs team at English Schools.
At the relocated County Cross Country Championships at Betley Court Farm on Saturday we had third place finishes for our senior and veteran men and a third place individual finish for Chris Perrin.
The U20 and Veteran athletes races were incorporated into the Senior race and backing up Chris's position were Bill Chesters in 16th (4th in the U20), James Perrin (22nd), Phil Wolfe (29th), Matt Bonney (32nd) and Tim Kelly (38th). Craig Pearson came 40th followed by Owen Hurcombe (48th), Chris Metcalfe (49th), Paul Lester (50th), Darrell Wilde (69th), Nick Tomkinson-Hill (78th) and Malcolm Down (93rd), Pedro Havelock finished 97th, John Cooke 108th and Geoff Kitching 110th as the team finished third.
Tim, Owen, Paul, Darrell, Nick, Malcolm, Pedro, John and Geoff were our athletes that finished third in the Veteran Men's category.
In the Senior Women's race, Rebecca Brown was our first athlete home in 27th with Sue Kneill-Boxley 34th, Chris Kilkenny 44th, Lucy Berry 45th, Dot Fellows 49th and Lynda Clare 53rd.
Ella Beeson came 12th in the U13G race. Delilah Dempsey finished 15th and Isla Williams 16th.
Isabelle Beckett was our only U15G competitor, finishing 26th and Luke Powell our only U17M as he finished 16th in his race.