This year, the track has been fuller than ever before on training nights. The club now has 22 coaches (six of whom are ex-international athletes), and these volunteers have worked tirelessly to make sessions enjoyable and beneficial. A number of new members have come from the local schools where Deb Keenleyside (schools coordinator) has been doing workshops and a number of athletes have transferred from other local clubs.
|Click HERE for a blog post by Coach Deb, first published in Athletics Weekly|
Petra Carroll has done a grand job with the U13s and there are often around 40 of them at training. This has resulted from the introduction of Saturday morning sessions with athletes from years 3, 4 and 5. Athletes in this age group work on all the athletic events and also develop speed and stamina. Petra has been helped by her daughter, Amber, Rob Wright and Danielle Town.
The development squad has expanded too and they have kept Cathie Woolfrey, Jamie Bradley and Summer Clarke busy. This group has Improvements have been vast and many will move into events groups in the autumn.
The sprints group, coached by Gavin Town work on the home straight during training sessions and talents such as Destiny Ogali (silver medallist at the English Schools Champs) are on show weekly. The hurdlers, who do their technical work on Sunday mornings, are also involved in doing speed work in the evenings.
John Garner (ex- international decathlete) joined the coaching team last autumn and has made a great difference to our multi-talented athletes. He has a group of very talented performers who work on the various events of pentathlons and heptathlons.
Mike Dunphy, ably assisted by Jonathan Edwards, puts the middle-distance runners through their paces every Tuesday and Thursday evening.
Field events are covered by ex-paralympian Doug Greer (javelin), Charlie Rowland (javelin), ex-Olympian and BBC commentator, Paul Dickenson (hammer and discus), Seb Wadlow (discus), world masters champion, Trevor Ratcliffe (shot/javelin), ex-international John Hopper (high jump) and ex-international, Andy Jackson (pole-vault).
The athletes work hard at training and their hard work pays off. 35 have represented Hertfordshire / Buckinghamshire this year and 5 gained medals at the English Schools Champs (this amounted to 44% of Hertfordshire’s medal tally). The U13s, U15s and U17 team should make the Eastern Young Athletes League Final and the senior team are en route to promotion in the Southern Athletic League.
It has been a good year!