With there being no presentation evening this winter, the majority of the 2021 club awards have been presented at training sessions over the last couple of weeks.
Henry Heathcote was voted the Most Improved Young Athlete by the club's coaches for his performances over 200 and 400m last season.
Craig Pearson was presented with the President's Trophy by Bob for his assisting in organising events during lockdown as well as his joint management of the men's veterans team and recruitment of long distance athletes to the club. Craig also received the Midland Veteran's League winning shield. Chris Hollinshead was given the David Sunderland Memorial Award for his performances this season as well as his coaching at the club and Ann Robinson was given the Women's Veteran Athlete of the year by team manager, Emma Hollinshead.
The Midland Senior League top point scorer awards were won by Natalie Griffiths and Allee Rigby, the female YDL upper age group winner was Sydney Davies and the lower age group awards were won by Thomas Stephens and Sapphire Wainwright.
AAA Standard Certificates were also given to Mia Wainwright, Tom Larkin, Georgia Griffiths and Jacob Smith for performances during 2021.
Two awards are yet to be presented. They are the Male Veteran of the year award won by Martin Roberts and the male YDL upper age group top point scorer trophy won by Jack Turner.
Beth Beeson came a fantastic third overall in the under 11 age group of the North Staffs Cross Country League after another third place finish in the meeting at Betley on Saturday (18th).
In the u13 girls race, Georgia Griffiths came home second, Ella Haycock 22nd and Harriet Penn 25th.
Ella Beeson finished 7th and Delilah Dempsey 12th in the under 15 girls and, in the under 17 women, Caitlin Disley came 7th and Angel Wood 8th.
Our Senior Women only just managed to put a team together but excellent performances from Allegra Soutar (17th), Nina Skilton (19th), Hannah Malpass (27th) and Sue Kneill-Boxley (47th) saw them finish fourth on the day and avoid relegation.
In the Senior Men's race, Mark Shepherd finished 40th and Malcolm Down 94th.
The final club session before Christmas is next Thursday (23rd) and the first session back in the New Year will be on Tuesday 4th January.
The park will be closed in the evenings between these dates and, if you train during the daytime, please pay the Rangers.
The young athletes from Cannock & Stafford were in action on Sunday (5th) when they competed in the third round of the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League held at Aldersley Stadium in Wolverhampton.
There were many good performances starting with Beth Beeson who ran in the U11 girls and finished in a splendid third place. With this race and the 5th place she secured in the second round, she is in contention for an individual trophy.
Another athlete running really well on the day was Georgia Griffiths who finished fifth in the under 13 girls. Like Beth, she has also put herself in contention for a trophy.
In the under 17 girls event, Natasha Lee finished really well in 6th place. She was given good support from Abbie Pendlebury (33rd), Caitlin Disley (40th), Maddy Batchelor (44th), Angel Wood (48th) and Dawn Riley (49th).
There were three competitors from C&S in the under 15 girls with good runs from Ella Beeson in 17th, Robyn Lee in 41st and Delilah Dempsey in 48th.
In the under 11 boys, Charlie Cresswell and Archie Herriman both had solid runs with Charlie 10th and Archie 43rd.
The under 13 boys saw Luke Cresswell finish in an excellent 21st place and, in the under 15 boys, George Herriman finished in a good 67th place.
Overall, the performances were outstanding and my wish now is to attract more young athletes into the club.
Bob Hughes - Team Manager
Following the excellent turn out for the first meeting recently, a depleted team took part in the second meeting at Stratford on Saturday (4th). Fortunately, we were able to field six scoring athletes to maintain some hope of promotion with strong performances in the final two meetings.
Chris Perrin came third on the day to move to second in the overall individual standings. Phil Wolfe was our second athlete home in 28th followed closely by Craig Pearson in 34th. James Perrin finished 54th, Tom Orton 92nd and Paul Lester was the all important sixth man home in 138th.
The team came 11th on the day and dropped to 6th in the league table but still have a chance of finishing in the top three and securing a return to Division One.
Despite the fact that we spent the beginning of the year in national lockdown and were unable to use the track until the end of March, it has been a busy year for the club.
Our dedicated athletes once again found paths, roads and fields to train during the lockdown ensuring that they were in good shape for the restart.
On behalf of all of our athletes, I’d like to thank the coaches that continued to support them and set sessions for them to carry out. Also, on our return to the track, the coaches have been excellent in adhering to the restrictions that we had to put in place to operate safely. This assistance has continued throughout the year for which I’m really grateful.
Because of the restrictions and rules for the return to competition imposed by the Government and England Athletics, it has been a testing year with regards to the organisation and running of the club. I’d like to thank the members of our committee for their support again this year. Any issues that we have had to deal with have been dealt with promptly.
It was also fantastic to see the support volunteered after we were asked to host a Senior League match at Burton with relatively short notice. This enforced what it means to me to be a part of Cannock & Stafford AC, everyone pulling together as a team to achieve a goal. Thanks to everyone’s help, the meeting went off without any problems.
I’d like to show my appreciation for the work carried out by all of volunteers at the club. Without our officials, our athletes wouldn’t be able to compete in league competition. They also score valuable points for our teams. Our coaches and those who help them on training nights, either collecting training fees or assisting with sessions, are invaluable and our team managers and those who organise the teams on match day do a great job.
To all of the athletes who thank their coaches after sessions, please understand how much this is appreciated. Our coaches don’t get paid but a simple “Thank you” at the end of the session is really valued.
With regard to the actual athletics, the 2020/21 cross country league season was cancelled but, as soon as it appeared that we would be able to get back to restricted competition, the track and field leagues were quick to arrange competition. The YDL and Senior Leagues divisions were rearranged to keep travel to a minimum and programmes were amended to help shorten the competition day.
Our YDL U17/U20 team finished second in their division behind Stoke. Going into the final meeting, the teams were level on points but Stoke won the final meeting by just 6 points to take the title. Our Senior League team also did well and we were able to give a number of under 17s their first experience of Senior competition which bodes well for the future.
Our U13 / U15 squad is an area where we are seeking to improve. There seems to be a common problem at all clubs in attracting young athletes in the numbers that there have been previously. Whether this is due to other interests or some effects of Covid lockdowns, I’m not sure but it is something that we will have to try and address. If anyone has any ideas that they are willing to help implement, please let me know.
Probably the biggest growth area in the club is the Veterans (or Masters) section. Our Men’s team once again won the Midland Veterans League North Division title and the Women finished runners up to Telford.
There were also a number of C&S athletes who achieved individual success. I apologise if I have missed anyone out. I know our athletes have had success in meetings both in track and field and road running across the country but I’ve tried to mention all achievements at area level or above.
Amy Pye achieved the standard necessary to compete at the British Championships and Olivia Riley was selected to represent Staffordshire at an English Schools Championships where only the top ranked athletes in the country were invited to compete.
Jak Carpenter, Jack Turner, Cara Brown, Natalie Griffiths, Tom Larkin, Matilda Perry and Natasha Lee all won medals at Midland Championships.
In the veterans competitions, Carl McMullen, Paul Edwards, Mathew Paynter, Vici Browning and Emma Hollinshead all won medals at BMAF Championships, Paul Edwards and Paul Lester were successful at the Welsh Championships and there were a large number of medals won at the Midland Masters Championships by our athletes.
Darrell Wilde, Malcolm Down and Mathew Paynter were also selected to represent the Midlands at the Masters Inter Area Competition in Nuneaton.
Finally, our Senior Men’s cross country team had great runs to win silver medals in the Midland 7 Cross Country Championships at Nuneaton recently.
Just a note to say that we have decided not to hold a presentation evening this winter but presentations will be made at training sessions to those who have won awards this year, as soon as we get the trophies back from the engravers.
I hope our cross country runners have a good end to the year and I wish everyone a safe, happy and healthy Christmas and a successful New Year.
Congratulations to our Senior Men who won silver at the Midland 5 & 7 Cross Country Championships at Bulwell Hall Park in Nottingham on Saturday.
With each club's top six athletes to score, Henry Webb finished first of our athletes in sixth place. Phil Wolfe followed in 14th place and then just over a minute separated our next four athletes with Tom Eustace in 17th, Craig Pearson 19th, Mitch Blundell 23rd and Jon Biddle 25th. They were ably supported by Paul Lester and Darrell Wilde in 36th and 42nd respectively.
We had our largest turnout for many years at the Birmingham & District Cross Country League meeting on Saturday, so much so that we even managed a B team score!
Chris Perrin and Bill Chesters both finished in the top ten in the Division 2 race (4th and 9th respectively) and were supported by Henry Webb (28th), Phil Wolfe (32nd), Craig Pearson (39th) and Tom Eustace (52nd) as our top six scorers finished second overall in the team standings.
Mitch Blundell, who finished in 57th, was followed home by James Perrin in 69th, Jon Biddle (74th), Paul Lester (92nd), Tom Orton (102nd) and Christian Roe (121st) who beat Darrell Wilde by one place in a sprint for the line. These performances meant that we also finished second in the B team scoring.
Some outstanding performances were achieved at the second West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League meeting at Warley Woods.
With the best in the Midlands competing, our highest placed finish was Georgia Griffiths who crossed the line in an impressive 3rd place in the under 13 girls. Also in impressive form was Beth Beeson in the under 11 girls finishing in fifth place.
Natasha Lee continued her good form in the under 17 women's race with another 8th place, the same position as she finished in the first meeting in Rugby. Giving Natasha good support was Abbie Pendlebury in 33rd, Maddy Batchelor 42nd, Dawn Riley 51st and Izzy Beckett 52nd.
The under 13 boys had two competitors with Luke Cresswell 18th and Jack Hadley in 20th. The under 15 boys also had two competitors in Jake Weavell 20th and Luca Keeble, on his first appearance for the club, 42nd.
Delilah Dempsey finished 39th and Ella Beeson, suffering with a cold, 69th in the under 15 girls.
In the under 11 boys, Will Hadley finished in a creditable 71st. Finally, in the under 17 men, Ethan Eisenhauer finished 41st and Harry Beckett 49th.
Report by Bob Hughes
The AGM of Cannock & Stafford AC will take place on Thursday 2nd December 2021 following training at 7.45pm. The meeting this year will take place virtually.
Any members wishing to attend, please send your email address to our Club Secretary, Karen Moody, on firstname.lastname@example.org, by Friday 26th November 2021 and you will then be sent the details of how to join before the meeting takes place.
The meeting will receive the annual report of the club's activities in 2020/2021, as well as the accounts. This will be followed by the election of members to fill vacant positions. These are Vice Chairman and Treasurer.
Please complete the nomination form on the attached agenda for anyone wishing to stand for the vacant committee positions. Please note the Vice Chairman and Treasurer role is a 2 year tenure. As the Chairman and Secretary are half way through their term in office, these positions are not up for election until the AGM 2022.
There were some great performances from our athletes at the North Staffs Cross Country League meeting at Parkhall Country Park on Saturday.
In her first cross country meeting for the club, Georgia Griffiths had a great race splitting two Stoke athletes in a sprint to the line to finish second in the U13 age group.
Beth Beeson has a great chance for a top three finish overall this season as she came home in 3rd in the U11G and Archie Herriman had an excellent run to finish third in the U11B.
In the U15G, Ella Beeson came 13th with Delilah Dempsey a place behind her and Caitlyn Disley and Angel Wood finished 7th and 9th respectively in the U17W.
George Herriman was our only U15B competitor and he finished in 12th place.
In the Senior Women's race, Allegra Soutar (35th), Natalie Boswell (53rd), Christine Kilkenny (67th) and Ann Robinson (97th) kept our hopes of Division One survival alive and, in the Men's race, out of a field of 195, there were great runs from Mark Shepherd (30th) and Malcolm Down (83rd)
The North Staffs Cross Country League and West Midlands Cross Country League both held their latest meetings last weekend (16/17 October).
On Saturday, the North Staffs League took place at Stafford Common.
In the Senior section, our women's team claimed an excellent 4th place on the day in Division One to move to 5th overall in the league. Allegra Soutar was our highest placed finisher in 19th place, closely followed by Sally Gray in 22nd. Sue Kneill-Boxley came 35th, Lisa Knight 38th, Vici Browning 40th, Natalie Boswell 59th and Lyn Clare 96th.
Malcolm Down came 68th and Martyn Clare 139th in the men's race.
There were also a number of good performances from our junior athletes. In the U11G race, Beth Beeson came home in a superb 3rd place. Ella Haycock finished 15th in the U13G and, in the U15G race, Ella Beeson came 11th and Delilah Dempsey 13th. Caitlain Disley was the 7th finisher in the U17W with Angel Wood finishing one place behind.
A number of our younger athletes were in action in the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League on Sunday at Newbold Revel.
Natasha Lee had a fantastic 8th place finish in the U17W. Angel Wood, running her second race in two days, came 46th, Maddy Batchelor 53rd, Dawn Riley 55th and Izzy Beckett 56th. In the U11 boys, Archie Herriman was 44th and Will Hadley 73rd.
Ethan Eisenhauer finished 45th and Harry Beckett 49th in the U17M and George Herriman came 64th in the U15B. Unfortunately, Jack Hadley competed in the U15 race instead of his own U13 age group so was unable to record a position although Bob Hughes commented that he had ran very well against the older athletes.
Congratulations to Craig Pearson, Paul Lester and Chris Hollinshead who all completed marathon runs at the weekend.
Craig (2.56.54) and Paul (3.49.12) ran in the London Marathon and Chris (2.55.31) ran in the Chester Marathon.
Paul Edwards and Paul Lester took part in the Welsh Masters Championships on Sunday.
Paul Edwards won golds in the M60 long jump, 100 hurdles and 200m whilst Paul Lester broke the club record for the M50 3000m steeplechase with 12.02.07
Henry Webb, Malcolm Down and Sally Gray all won their age categories at the Staffs Knot 5 mile race on Cannock Chase on Wednesday evening.
Henry came second overall and first in the U19 age group, completing the course in 27.13. Malcolm won the M60-64 age group in 32.45 and, along with Tom Eustace (4th overall) and Martyn Clare, the Cannock & Stafford men won the team title with a combined time of 2hrs 5 mins and 56 seconds.
Sally Gray was our highest female finisher in 8th place, winning the W45 category in a time of 34.44. With Emma Hollinshead finishing 24th and Lyn Clare 30th, our women finished 3rd in the team event.
Three Cannock & Stafford athletes won medals at last weekend's Midland U17/U15 Championships at Nuneaton.
Tom Larkin won bronze in the U17M triple jump with 11.25m. Tom finished 5th in the 100m final in 11.63 after qualifying in second place in his heat in 11.50. He also finished 5th in the 200m final with 23.29 after earlier running 23.34 in his heat. To top off a successful weekend, Tom gained a new long jump pb of 5.48m.
After finishing second in her 100m heat in 12.84, Matilda Perry took home a silver medal from the final despite the electronic timing failing.
Natasha Lee was the last of our medal winners with a bronze in the 1500m in 5:04.75.
Mia Wainwright qualified for both the 100m and 300m finals. In the 100m she came 4th in her heat in 13.13 and in the 300m she qualified in second place in 42.61. The finals of both events were only ten minutes apart and Mia came 7th in the 100m final before just missing out on a medal in the 300m when she finished fourth in 42.42.
Henry Heathcote came fourth in the U17M 400m with his second best ever time of 53.68 and then clocked a pb of 23.63 in the 200m. Josh Blakesley gained a new long jump pb with 5.57m and Sapphire Wainwright threw 6.63m in the U15 shot.
Paul Edwards won two silver medals on day one of the British Masters Championships at Moorways Stadium, Derby.
Paul's first medal came in the 100m hurdles where he ran 16.95 seconds to finish second. He then ran 51.16 for the 300m hurdles to finish third in his age group but took the silver as the winner was an American guest athlete.
Malcolm Down was also in action and just missed out on a medal by finishing 4th in his 800m race in a time of 2:33.96
On the second day of competition, Mathew Paynter won an amazing five medals in the M40 age category - three gold and two silver. The golds came in the discus (35.91m), shot (10.25m) and javelin (33.33m) and silver in the hammer and weight throw.
Vici Browning won silver and Emma Hollinshead bronze in the W45 800m, Vici finishing in 2:41.22 and Emma 2:47.48.
Rob Law and Stephen Terry-Short both took part in the M50 200m. Rob finished 3rd in his race (9th overall) in 26.95 and, in the same race, Stephen ran 27.60 to finish 5th (12th overall). Rob also just missed out on a medal after finishing fourth in the triple jump with a pb of 9.38m and Stephen ran 12.98 to finish 4th in his 100m heat (11th overall)
Heather Bates competed in the 100m and 200m finishing in 4th in her heats of both (9th overall) with times of 15.12 and 31.42 respectively.
Olivia Riley competed in both the high jump and the 80m hurdles at the England Athletics U15 / U17 championships at Sportcity last weekend.
On Saturday, Olivia came 6th in the high jump after clearing 1.59m. On Sunday, despite carrying a quad injury, she ran 12.24 into a 2.4m headwind to finish 5th in her hurdles heat.
To reach the entry standard for these Championships in two events is an impressive achievement. Well done Liv!
Congratulations to Darrell Wilde, Malcolm Down and Mathew Paynter who all represented Midland Masters in the recent Inter Area match at Nuneaton.
Darrell ran a pb of 61.4 In the M50 400m to finish 5th.
Malcolm ran 2:27.1 for a new M60 800m Club Record to finish 3rd and Mat got a new M40 Discus Club Record of 38.10 when winning the M35 Discus event.
PLEASE STOP before you just skim over this thinking that you’ll leave it to someone else!
Without officials there would be no athletics meetings. Today, we have received notification that Staffs AAA will not be holding a County Championships this year due to the shortage of officials. The Power of 10 will also not accept results from meetings where there are insufficient qualified officials in attendance.
At Cannock & Stafford we have a small dedicated bunch of officials but the problem is that a few of us have to officiate at all of the club meetings.
If we had more qualified officials, we could rotate a little more to allow the officials we already have a break.
I know it’s nice to just turn up and compete or watch your athletes or children compete and leave the officiating to someone else but, if everyone has that thought, shortly there won’t be any meetings for athletes to compete at.
We’re not asking a lot. Maybe three or four meetings a season where your athlete / son / daughter / wife or husband is competing will really help. If you’re field judging, it’s rare that we can’t work it to allow you to watch the events in which you have an interest. If you’re track judging or timekeeping, you have a front seat view!
The club will pay for the course as long as you promise to officiate at some club meetings during the season. It’s not a long winded process to get qualified. You do a short course and then assist at four meetings to gain your level 1 qualification.
Please contact me if you are willing to help.
Olivia Riley was the sole Cannock & Stafford representative at the English Schools this year. Today, in her 80m hurdle heat, she ran 11.99 to finish 6th and then she recorded a new pb of 11.78 in the 'B' Final later.
Well done Olivia!
Congratulations to Olivia Riley and coach Paul Edwards on Olivia's selection to represent Staffordshire at the English Schools Championships in the Inter Girls 80m hurdles.
Also, to Gary Myles as coach to Stoke's Owen Sproston who has been selected in the Senior Boys 110m hurdles.
Amy Pye is our only representative at the British Championships this year.
On Friday evening, Amy came fourth in her 400m hurdles heat in a time of 60.67, not far outside her pb.
Well done Amy!
Cannock & Stafford had three athletes in action at the National U20/U23 Championships at the weekend.
On Saturday, Jack Turner came ninth in the U20 hammer, throwing 48.72.
The following morning, Amy Pye and Chloe Wilde both reached the U23 400m hurdles final by qualifying from their heats. Amy finished first in her heat in 60.40 and Chloe second in hers in 63.89.
In the final, Amy looked to have hung on for a great second place but was denied by a disqualification for an infringement early in the race. Chloe ran her second ever fastest time of 63.89 to finish fifth.
In scorching conditions, Cannock & Stafford athletes won two gold and a silver at the second day of the Midland Championships at Nuneaton..
Jack Turner was the first to pick up a medal by winning the U20 Men's hammer with a throw of 51.20m. This was followed by Cara Brown winning silver in the pole vault with 2.60m.
Natalie Griffiths then controlled the 800m from the front to win gold in 2:22.66.
Chloe Wilde ran a pb of 62.99 to finish 5th in the 400m hurdles final and James Malpass clocked 54.41 in his first 400m race.
In the 200m, Charlotte Hall ran a pb of 26.86 (albeit wind assisted) and, in the same race, Issey Kelly recorded a time of 27.39.
The first day of the Midland Championships took place in sunny weather at Nuneaton on Saturday (12th).
Jak Carpenter won a bronze medal in the shot with 12.34m, only 2cm behind the gold medal winner. Jak also came 5th in the discus with 34.63m and ran 25.24 in the 200m. Ross Goode ran 26.25 in his 200m race.
Anthony Douglas came 5th in the U20 200m final in 22.28 after winning his heat in 21.82, a fraction outside his own club record.
Olivia Walker came 5th in the 100m hurdles final in 14.35, an impressive time considering the lack of hurdle training she's been able to carry out in South Wales due to Covid restrictions.
Charlotte Hall ran a pb of 62.13 in the 400m, Allee Rigby ran a season's best 58.83 in the 400 hurdles and Rebecca Brown clocked 5:04.68 in the 1500m.
URGENT information for those attending the Vets League meeting at Telford on Wednesday.
All attending will be required to either use the NHS App to scan the track and trace code at the entrance or complete a NHS track and trace card (copy here if you'd like to print one off and complete before you arrive)
Toilets are located in the Leisure Centre and can be accessed via the back door instead of going via reception.
If using blocks, please bring your own as they will not be provided by the host club.
ALSO, PLEASE KEEP YOUR NUMBERS TO USE AT THE OTHER LEAGUE MEETINGS THIS YEAR. Do not throw them away or hand them back.
The track at Rowley Park is now booked out between 1 and 4 o'clock on Sunday afternoons. Our athletes will not be allowed to access the track between these times.
The County Schools Championships take place on 19th June 2021 at Northwood in Stoke and are being organised slightly differently this year.
As no District events are taking place, entries are being compiled by contacts at local clubs. You can enter whether or not you are a member of a club.
If you are a club member, please give your details to your coach who will then pass the info to Matty Mayne, who is organising entries from Cannock & Stafford. Matty has also sent details to all of the schools, so you may be asked to enter via them. This isn't a problem but please don't tell school you will do one event and then tell your coach you want to do a different one.
Non club members can also enter via their school. If you haven't heard anything from your school but you still wish to enter, please send me an email with contact details.
Age Groups are:
Junior - Years 8 and 9
Intermediate - Years 10 and 11 and
Senior - Years 12 and 13
The following details are needed to enter:- Name, Date of Birth, School, District that your school falls under (eg Cannock, Stafford, Staffs Moorlands etc) and the event that you wish to enter (you can be considered for a maximum of 3)
For the 2021 season only, the Midland League has been rearranged into zonal divisions with no promotion or relegation. The Staffs division consists of C&S, Stoke, Tamworth, Burton and Newcastle.
The first meeting of the season will take place at Burton on 20th June and the second will be at Stoke on 11th July before we return to Burton on the 15th August.
Our lower age group athletes (U13 / U15) will, this season, compete in a division alongside Stoke, Tamworth, Telford and Wolverhampton & Bilston.
The first two meetings, at Telford on 5th June and Stoke on 17th July, are planned to have a reduced timetable. The timetables can be found here
As with the majority of Leagues this season, the YDL has made alterations to League structure and timetables to cater for Covid-19 restrictions.
This season, our Upper Age Group Competition (U17 / U20) consists of a league of five teams:- Stoke, Tamworth, Telford, Wolverhampton & Bilston and ourselves.
Four meetings were planned but it is extremely likely that the first one. planned for 30th May, will not go ahead as no venue has been found. The second meeting at Stoke on 27th June is planned to have a reduced timetable and the final two meetings will hopefully consist of a full programme of events. The timetables can be found here.
Return to the Track
The track at Rowley Park will be re-opening from 29th March.
Athletes can only attend if they have pre-arranged to train with their coach. Please contact your coach if you wish to train but haven't heard from them by next weekend.
Please note that NO SPECTATORS are allowed. Parents of under 18s should remain on site in their cars wherever possible for emergency purposes.
We operate in a Covid secure environment. Social distancing is to be maintained at all time and all athletes, coaches and others attending training sessions should remind themselves of their responsibilities by reading the information contained on our Health & Safety Information page
We have been saddened to learn of the recent death of one of our ex coaches, John Turner. John died suddenly on the 18th December during a visit to his allotment. John was 82.
John was a no-nonsense merchant seaman who coached international athletes David Nelson and Jason John, alongside Charles Taylor at Wolverhampton and Bilston, prior to joining Cannock & Stafford AC.
Whilst at C&S, he looked after the senior men’s team at the club. At training sessions at Cannock Stadium, he would hold a session for the young athletes in the early evening before taking his sprint group later on. On meeting days, he would often work in the café serving drinks and snacks as well as encouraging his athletes.
He demanded full effort from the athletes in his group and, in return, he gave them his full support.
Along with our past President, Derek Fellows, John was instrumental in trying to save the old Cannock Stadium and they attended many meetings with Cannock councillors, albeit unsuccessfully as they wouldn’t change their decision.
He retired from athletics in his mid 70s to spend time with his wife, Sandra.
Derek Fellows said “John was a member of Wolverhampton & Bilston in their glory years and a close assistant to David Coleman who was their president. He used to attend most of the major championships and if David Coleman wanted to interview someone John was sent to arrange it. John was a sprints coach and among many athletes he coached, Denise Lewis was probably the most successful winning Olympic gold. John was very proud of his service as a merchant seaman and could always be seen as their flag bearer at memorial services.”
Our condolences go to his wife, Sandra, family and friends.
A number of John’s former athletes paid tribute:-
“I first met John in 1996 at a sports hall athletics competition at Weston Road high school. He came up to me and gave me his business card and asked me if I’d like to join his training group. I was over the moon. I can remember the very first session I did with his group, I was last in everything. They were all so good. Over the years I slowly progressed through the ranks and eventually became his right hand man.
He taught me so much over the years. Hard work, loyalty, leadership, friendship and passion. When I stop to think about the commitment he gave to Cannock and Stafford Athletic club and especially to his athletes it makes me smile. We really did take for granted the fact that he and all the other amazing coaches at the club gave up so much of their time to coach us, all for free!
John would pick me up for Training, take me to competitions and always be there for me. Together we built an amazing squad of talented individuals, Young and old. We really were a band of brothers and sisters, Many of them I am still friends with to this day. There is no bond like the one that is created on the track, and I made so many of them.
Our group and the club enjoyed lots of success over the years and I know he was proud of all of us. He truly was my Father on the track. My heart broke when I found out he had passed. He went like a champ in true JT style. In his passing he had brought our group back together. So many different era’s We have all been sharing our stories together. It’s been lovely.
When he hung up his stop watch 8 years ago it was because he met his lovely wife Sandra. She made him so happy, I could see that from day one. She really did put a spring in his step. This has given me such comfort to know that he was so happy in his last years. They enjoyed lots of happy times together.
I’m so proud to have been a part of his life and he a part of mine. He brought so many people together and I’ll always be thankful for that. All that’s left to say with a heavy heart is goodbye my friend. Rest easy big man and give them hell up there. You’ll be truly missed.”
“To me John was just “the guy”. The absolute role model of what a person should be like. Kind-hearted and supportive are what come to mind. He was always there for me, in life and on the track. Countless times he would travel with us to whatever small race it was, anywhere in the country, he was there giving the guidance and support you needed. Such a selfless person and I’m so glad he was a part of my life and will forever miss you Coach John. I will still hear you shouting “Arms” at me for the rest of my life, and that makes me so happy because I know I will always remember you!”
“John was a huge inspiration to me and pushed me to some achievements that I would never have dreamed of achieving. He didn't just take a coaching interest in us, he was personally invested in helping us improve. He often drove miles out of his way to pick me up and take me training (even on New Years Day!!!!). His belief in me is still with me today. “
“I had the pleasure of training with John for 7 years - I say pleasure, if you would have asked me that back then I could've thought of a different name for it! Although I didn’t realise it at the time, John's coaching and mentoring from an early age, formed the foundations of invaluable Life Lessons - to which I still stand-by to this day! In the line of work I do now, I can honestly say I wouldn't be doing it without the guidance I had from John.
When I reflect back on how much time, dedication and love he gave and never asked for anything in return, we really do realise truly how much of a pivotal figure he was in our lives. And although sometimes it was tough love, we'd always thank him for it and know he had our best interests at heart. He really will be missed.”
“John was such a great person and coach. He supported our team no matter what the weather and never failed to motivate us to do our best. Training with John and the team are some of the best years of my life, he always believed in me and pushed me to achieve my goals. He loved to treat us at Christmas to a lovely hand wrapped gift and he was always smiling. You could hear his voice from the next county shouting arms! Or faster! and he definitely had eyes in the back of his head, as he never missed a trick. He was so special and I am so glad I managed to make his wedding day and see him so happy. He really was a true legend and had the kindest heart.”
“John was sometimes a little bit old-fashioned in his training methods however an incredibly knowledgeable guy and I’m very grateful for him to have been part of my life. His lunchbox on meeting day was the size of a suitcase. He loved each and every member of the Sprint group but I think personally loved the lads a little bit more as he gave them a much harder time than the girls. “
“John was simply an inspirational man. Right up until his last moments he worked hard doing what he loved and I’m sure everyone will agree he instilled the same work ethic in everybody who he coached. He pushed us to the absolute limit and wouldn’t accept anything less than 110%, I can’t begin to thank him for the lessons he has taught us and the friendships we have made along the way. “
“There are so many fond memories I have of our great coach and surrogate father John Turner, one of them being when I started playing rugby at 15yrs old for my school team, only to be greeted by John at half-time storming across the rugby pitch and saying to my teacher ‘Jon won’t be playing Rugby anymore as he has to focus on his running!’ I was swiftly substituted and never played rugby again while under John’s tutelage!
This is what I remember of him, hard, no nonsense approach, didn’t accept excuses and demanded everything you had in each session or competition and in our efforts to be a good person outside the athletic arena. In return he offered fatherly care, love and a selflessness that I haven’t seen since. He is someone who taught me what real work ethic looks like and its rewards, gave me friends that I will have forever, sharing some of my most treasured experiences with. He gave me a healthy output throughout my young years and showed me what caring for others looks like. John Turner’s influence on my life is easily seen everyday in my approach to my work, relationships and ambitions. Thank you for everything coach.”
“John was a passionate man and was the epitome of no pain, no gain. He made sure that we left nothing but blood, sweat and tears on the track in each and every session. Although we’d often curse him afterwards, since our bodies had taken a true beating, he taught many people an important lesson, which is to never give up whenever the going gets tough. This is something I know a lot of people, including myself, will take with me throughout the rest of my life.
I can say that with the energy that John brought to the team, friends and brotherhoods were made for life and that is something I’ll always be grateful for.”
“I wouldn’t be the man I am today if it wasn’t for John Turner being in my life. John took me into his athletics group when I was a young, insecure 15 year old lad. He taught me a level of self discipline I would never have known myself capable of reaching and gave me the belief to achieve things I would have thought otherwise impossible. I also take away from that group genuine friends for life in the form of Jamie and Adam, both of whom meant the world to John. There are so many reasons to be thankful for John Turner stepping into my life (including that I will never run again without remembering to drive those arms) and it fills my heart with warmth knowing he had love and happiness in his life when he passed. “
“Despite my ageing year's John welcomed me into the group and treated me like any other athlete which helped me push on and enjoy my athletics beyond my wildest dreams!”
“John was the kindest, softest man I’ve ever met. Under his tough exterior was a wise and gentle man. I will never forget how much John did for me growing up, he has and will always have a special place in my heart. The first time I had a training session with him he made me cry, that lit a fire in my belly that has never gone out. Athletics with John and the running family will always be one of my favourite times of my life and will be with me forever. “
“It’s hard to believe our gentle giant of a coach and mentor has gone. His love and support to us all were immeasurable.
He dedicated his life to track and field and to our group. We were a family and we had the best times, albeit pretty gruelling! Those hills at Milford could tell some stories. I can still hear his booming voice across the track now when I collapsed at the line, post 400m session, “GET UP OFF THE FLOOR BEFORE RIGOR MORTIS SETS IN”. Needless to say I got up!
He encouraged and believed in me; and I have carried his words and positivity, that he instilled in me as a youngster, throughout my adult life. Nothing brings me greater pride and admiration in saying that I was one of his team. “
Nicky Pestel (Lake)
“You always called me Bethlum, no matter how many times we’d tried to correct you, but it always made us smile. You’d tell us if we didn’t feel sick by the end of a session we hadn’t trained hard enough, and you’d always tell us off for talking too much when warming up and doing our laps. You were the kindest, most supportive coach I’ve ever had, and also hilarious always making us laugh with your boxing, modelling, claim to fame stories! Your voice travelled for miles and you’d always be in shorts, thanks for your out the box training techniques like telling me to practice my runner arms when brushing my hair! “
“Got all the standard training stories, but one thing that really sticks with me is that he took the time to come and watch me play rugby - not even some of my family did that. Just to show an interest in what you were trying to achieve outside of the track and to put his own time in just to support you. What a guy. I'm emotional even remembering it. He was like having an extra grandad/uncle. In true John style he spent the whole 80 minutes on the sideline, with the dog, shouting "sprint!" every time I got the ball!”
C&S Health and Safety
The Club's Health and Safety Policy has been added to the website. All members should read (It's only just over a page long) to understand YOUR responsibilities as a member.
If you attend club training sessions regularly, are a qualified first aider and would be happy to be added to our list of first aiders, please let Shaun know.
Unfortunately, following the Government's announcement earlier this evening, the track will now be closed at all times until further notice. No training is allowed as Freedom have to close the sports facilities at the park.
We have agreed the following arrangements with Freedom Leisure regarding track availability under the current Tier 4 restrictions. Please note that this may change at very short notice depending on Government advice.
Athletes over 18 are currently allowed to train individually or with one other person (other athlete or coach) only. Under 18s are still allowed to train in groups in organised sessions.
As a club, we can not, therefore, hold sessions for over 18s but will hold sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for under 18s.
Track availability is as follows:
MONDAY – Track available for individual training during the day. Payment to be made to Rangers. Park will close at 5pm (no evening training).
TUESDAY - Track available for individual training during the day. Payment to be made to Rangers. Individuals to have cleared the track by 6pm. Evening Club session for Under 18s only in prearranged coached sessions. No over 18s allowed. Payment for club session to be made to whoever you normally pay at the club.
WEDNESDAY – Track available for individual training during the day and evening until 8pm. Payment to be made to Rangers
THURSDAY - Track available for individual training during the day. Payment to be made to Rangers. Individuals to have cleared the track by 6pm. Evening Club session for Under 18s in prearranged coached sessions. Individual athletes are not allowed but there may be the possibility for coaches to attend with one individual athlete if prearranged with Shaun (we are currently seeking guidance on this). Payment for club session to be made to whoever you normally pay at the club.
FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY - Track available for individual training during the normal park opening hours. Payment to be made to Rangers.
Please make sure you comply with the Government guidelines. Freedom could remove access to the track altogether if athletes do not comply.
Freedom will limit the number of individuals on the track to ensure guidelines are complied with.
Groups of under 18s must be supervised by a fully qualified coach (or have a fully qualified coach on site overseeing the session) and coaches are not allowed to take part in the session.
If you are still unclear, or have any queries, please contact me direct or ask your coach.