As fine an array of hard working and talented young athletes as you will see anywhere. I mean anywhere.
This is coverage of our annual Club Awards night, where our very own World Champion Andrew Pozzi, was on hand to present many of the awards.
We also have a report on Oscar Barbour’s fabulous 10k run in Leeds plus Dave Wolstencroft’s first marathon for 15 years, run in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.
From top to bottom : Senior Female Athlete of the Year – Paula Williams. Senior Male Athlete of the Year -Josh Newman. Junior Male Athlete of the Year – Lewis Byng. Joint Junior Female Athlete of the Year – Millie Leighton.
The Annual Club Awards.
Report – Jon Mulkeen and Paul Bearman
The Club celebrated another highly successful year at the club’s annual awards evening at Stratford School.
An audience of 280 attended as athletes of all ages were recognised for their efforts and accomplishments throughout 2018.
World indoor 60m hurdles champion Andrew Pozzi was on hand to present many of the awards. At one point during the evening Pozzi, who earlier this year became the first Stratford athlete in history to win a senior global title in athletics, was invited on to the stage to answer a range of questions from his fellow club mates.
Other special guests included Barbara Wood, the wife of Allen Wood,, who was the joint junior’s founder with John Dell in 1979; Gwil Price, who is the driving force behind schools athletics in Warwickshire and beyond and Becky Freeman Morgan, the president of Warwickshire County Athletics.
“It has been another full, exciting and successful year across the club,” said club coach Paul Bearman. “We pride ourselves in doing the very best we can with our coaching and then performing as well as we can as individuals and as a club in the various leagues and competitions that we get involved in and involving as many athletes as possible.
“We also feel a level of pride when our athletes are selected to represent their county and even their country.
“But all of this doesn’t happen by magic; it happens because this club, like most others in the country, is run by a fantastic army of volunteers.”
Versatile distance runner Josh Newman scooped the male athlete of the year award while all-rounder Paula Williams won the female athlete of the year.
International shot putter Lewis Byng was named junior male athlete of the year while the female equivalent was split between Millie Leighton and Georgie Campbell.
All other award winners are listed below.
Aside from the performances of their athletes, one of the club’s other big highlights of 2018 was the refurbishment of their track.
After raising £20,000 and receiving a £40,000 grant from the Town Trust, work got underway earlier this year and was finally completed three months later.
With a much improved training facility, Stratford AC can surely look forward to many more successes in the coming years.
Hall of Fame inductees 2018:
Paul Hawkins, Richard Shephard, Ceri Shephard, Fern Hordern, Rachel Pearce.
Athletes of the year.
- Senior male: Josh Newman.
- Senior female: Paula Williams.
- Junior male: Lewis Byng.
- Junior female: Millie Leighton, Georgie Campbell.
Senior track and field athletes of the year.
- Male: Phil Brennan.
- Female: Paula Williams.
Junior all-round athletes of the year.
- Male: Adam Farrow.
- Female: Millie Leighton, Imogen Sheppard.
Senior triathletes of the year.
- Male: Joe Lee.
- Female: Emma Bexson.
Cross-country runners of the year.
- Senior male: Josh Newman.
- Senior female: Emma Vickers.
- Junior male: Alex Adams.
- Junior female: Georgie Campbell.
- Most improved junior male: Cameron Black.
- Most improved junior female: Niamh Hillard.
Most improved athlete.
- Senior male: Matt Burdus-Cook.
- Senior female athlete: Cadie Hibberd.
- Junior male athlete: Freddie Clemons.
- Junior female athlete: Caitlin Buckley.
Special award: Javelin coaching group.
Most Improved Senior triathletes: Male: Richard Eden. Female: Rebecca Pridham.
Stars of tomorrow:
- Male: Joshua Roberts.
- Female: Lucy Lane.
Allen Wood endeavour trophy:
- Male: Cole Williams.
- Female: Charlotte Gravelsons.
Best performance over 300m/400m
- Junior Male: Adam Bayliss.
- Junior female: Imogen Sheppard.
Senior club personality: David Jones
Junior club person of the year: Archie Musk
Junior triathlete awards
- TS1/TS2 performance: Molly Bullock
- TS3 performance: Hope Lawton
- TS1/TS2 commitment: Martha Bullock
- TS3 commitment: Charlotte Marshall
- Dave Battersby (senior),
- Cavan Farrow (U20),
- Mathew Millward-Brookes (U17),
- Freddie Clemons (U15),
- Joshua Roberts (U13),
- Seb Hillard (U11).
- Eleanor Johnson (senior),
- Monaswee Millward-Brookes (U20),
- Imogen Sheppard (U17),
- Millie Leighton (U15),
- Lucy Lane (U13),
- Martha Peters (U11).
- Josh Newman (overall),
- Kieran Tursner (U40),
- Matt Burdus-Cook (U45),
- Peter Sugden (U50),
- Owen Goschen (U55),
- Malcolm Bowyer (U60),
- Allan Coldicott (U65),
- Roger Wilson (65+).
- Female: Lynne Hinson (overall),
- Sarah Boundy (U35),
- Emma Donnelly (U40),
- Rebecca Pridham (U45),
- Suzi Graham (U50),
- Sarah Bland (U55),
- Naomi Whittaker (U60),
- Sally Bliss (U65),
- Ruth Calderbank (65+).
Grand Prix shield:
- Male: Peter Sugden.
- Female: Lynne Hinson.
Triathlon grand prix trophy:
- Male: James Purdy.
- Female: Caroline Gionis.
Chris Claxton trophy: Cadie Hibberd
Most supportive juniors:
- Archie Musk (U20/U17),
- Harry Gravelsons (U15),
- Joseph Ballinger (U13),
- Seb Hillard (U11).
- Maddie Clark (U20/U17),
- Sophie Smart (U15),
- Antonia Leece (U13),
- Ruby Edwards and Ella Peeke (U11).
A library photo of Oscar Barbour.
The Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash.
Report – David Jones.
This race, now in its 33rd year, is one of the biggest 10ks in Yorkshire.
The flat, PB-busting course is perfect for first-timers and seasoned runners alike and every step the runners take helps to support older people when they need help most.
One of the over 8000 competitors to finish this year’s race was the club’s talented Oscar Barbour. Oscar ran a PB time of 33.03 to finish 131st. He also managed to finish 8th in his highly competitive U20 age category.
His time was a big improvement on his previous best time of 35.34, set in 2015 and it is one of the quickest ever 10k times by a club member. The club record remains at 32.14, set in 2008 by Joe Brocklehurst. Something to aim for Oscar !
He had hoped to dip under 33 minutes and so professed himself slightly disappointed with his time, commenting “ I was a bit disappointed as I dropped off in the last 2k. I am happy but I’ve got more to give”
The race was won by Adam Craig in a time of 29.08. The first lady to finish was Fionnuala Ross in158th place with a time of 33.30.
Thames Meander Marathon.
Report – David Jones.
This race follows a ﬂat and scenic riverside trail, alongside the River Thames, where it meanders along the Thames Path.
It was here that club member Dave Wolstencroft competed in his first marathon for 15 years.
He was running to raise funds for The Teenage Cancer Trust.
Dave commented “I finished in a time 4:49 which was not quite what I was hoping for (around 4:30).
However my watch gave up on me half way round, added to which, the fact that the narrow towpath along the whole distance was very crowded with other runners, walkers, cyclists and dogs was always going to be a limiting factor.
My first 12 miles were sub 10 minute miles, so I must have slowed down later on. I also met a fellow runner from Massey Ferguson who has mutual friends in our club, so I ran the second half of the marathon with her. I realised that the world of marathon running is quite a close knit community!
The weather was great, warm to start and a cool breeze on the return. The 700 ish half and full marathon runners enjoyed the scenic, busy activities of Thames river life, as they ran from Kingston on Thames towards Fulham and back. The two mile loop at the start and finish, which seemed easy outgoing, was a never ending slog on the return!
There was good organisation, support and lots to munch on the way round, so I would recommend this event to others. It is run a number of times a year.
I would like to thank SAC members for their marathon advice and support enabling me to raise much needed funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
From top to bottom : Chairman Paul Hawkins being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Senior members – Bev Bridgen, Rachel Pearce, Sally Bliss and Richard Eden.
Paul Hawkins with Niamh Hillard.
Yours truly with 3 of the club’s outstanding junior athletes – Alex Adams, Seb Hillard and Niamh Hillard.