Football. What Football ?

Ava Sheppard, Lois Ford and Scarlett Ford.
I’m acutely aware that there maybe other sporting events happening at the moment but surely we are all aware that for real quality sporting competition we need look no further than our very own club.

As if to prove the point it has been yet another extremely busy week.

As well as the events featured in this week’s newsletter I know there was the Summer Special Open Event at The Pingles but I haven’t been able to find the results at the time of writing. We have just one road race report, kindly submitted by Lesley Kirk. I’m sure there were probably other road races but I haven’t received reports on any.

There are, however reports on Quadkids at Leamington and the Heart of England fixture at Banbury.

There’s a taster for the upcoming English Schools Championships and our very own Super 2, as well as reports on Alex Wood’s busy weekend and Jasmine Mothershaw finishing first girl in last week’s junior parkrun.

There’s also another great triathlon round up from Simon Taylor. It would be really wonderful to have something similar on road races. Just saying!

Good luck to those competing in the Midland League T&F fixture at the weekend and a plug for our Vets T&F fixture on 21st July. We will be hosting this at the Stratford School track and it’s a big deal. 

I’m on holiday next week, so there will be no newsletter. My wife has absolutely made me promise that I won’t be doing one!

Take care.

Best wishes

David Jones
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Lydia Davis and Kate Hopkins
Ben Harrison
Martha Edwards
Quadkids at Leamington

“Run, jump and throw into summer”
 
Report – Ruby and Lucy Edwards 

It was brilliant to have a competition for the younger members of the club. For a few it was their first time representing Stratford AC in brand new club vests!

Thankfully the thundery rain showers stayed away and we all enjoyed a fun morning.

Splitting up the year groups allowed all the athletes to compete against children their own ages.

The youngest athletes Martha Edwards and Callum Linforth showed both speed and good endurance in their events. Martha also managed a P.B of 2.95m in Long Jump.

The year 5 girls enjoyed great success after initial nerves. Kate Hopkins jumped 3.29m and Lydia and Rachel worked well together in the 600 and achieved a fantastic result of 2nd and 3rd.

Gabrielle Higham, Ben Harrison and Louie Wood put all their Tuesday night training into practice and looked confident in all their events.

The year 6 girls showed amazing potential with Lois Ford running a fantastic 600 closely followed by Ava Sheppard and Scarlett Ford. Ava gained the most points out of all the Stratford athletes and came joint 2nd in the overall results.
 

English Schools Championships

Report -Paul Bearman

Due to the Covid restrictions under which we are all living this year, and the fact that the Championship wouldn’t be able to be held the over the normal two days with the usual 2000 athletes taking part in 300 events, it was decided that this year’s Championship will take place over three days at the Regional Athletics Centre in Manchester this coming weekend, with one age group competing each day.

This meant that normally athletes would be selected and travel and stay near the venue but this year obviously has to be different and entries have been limited in each event to a maximum of 16 athletes to ensure the competition can be completed within the afternoon session and safely within the Covid guidelines

This year, after meeting national entry standards, Stratford have had 5 athletes selected to compete for Warwickshire, Seniors Ollie Wear (Javelin), Georgie Campbell (1500m) and Millie Leighton (Triple Jump) and Inters Zach McKenzie (Triple Jump) and Josh Roberts (Javelin). Unfortunately Josh has had to withdraw because of isolation and he is “gutted”, I suspect like many other young athletes across the country.

With all the restrictions surrounding the ESAA this year, this will be only the second ESAA champs I’ve missed in nearly 20 years since we started sending our athletes to the championships. However, they are in good hands with the team managers and I have no doubt they will perform to their optimum level but I am hugely disappointed for Josh.

We wish them a good and safe championships.

U13’s girls and boys relay teams
From the top: Ruby Edwards, Tessa Parkin and Annie Silvers

Heart of England Central Area

Report – Paul Bearman

With all the mayhem Covid has caused (and is still causing) and having the Track & Field league competition more or less wiped out in 2020, as the Chair of the Heart of England League, I had a choice to not bother trying to organise a 2021 competition or do something. I chose the latter option and after many onerous hours trying to get 28 clubs to back a revised programme we finally got agreement, with only 4 clubs for various reasons declining to get involved.

The prime motivation was to just get our young athletes and clubs back onto the track and competing. Fundamentally we scrapped the divisions for this year and split the clubs into East, West and Central area groups primarily to minimise travel with no promotion or relegation. 

In normal times Under 11s aren’t included in the scores and the U17s are but for this year the U11s were included in the overall club’s scores although the U17s were left out completely to have a more “relaxed” timetable to ensure we could maintain the strict Covid competition guidelines.

It got the league ticking over after the 2020 washout and judging by the strong feedback from the other matches as well as ours, it has done its job. The organising clubs, Banbury, Kidderminster & Stourport and Corby did a brilliant job staging the matches and apart from the very lively competition amongst the thunderstorms they ensured we were Covid safe as best they could.

Despite the withdrawals due to athletes having to isolate, 40 junior Stratford athletes headed to Banbury and after all the havoc caused to team selection we only failed to have an athlete in 6 events considering the late withdrawals. This is a compliment to the Age Group Leaders with Friday late into the evening becoming a frenzy of changes to the team sheets.

Carolyne Johnston, the under 11 team manager commented “it was disappointing that that there were athletes unavailable but the upside is that it opens up opportunities for others and we saw some excellent individual performances with loads of PB’s set. Particularly pleasing was seeing new faces in the first year of their age groups performing so strongly on their debut for the club and combining with established performers all doing their bit towards the teams overall 2nd place behind a very strong Rugby & Northampton team”. 

She added “it was great to be back on the track as a club competing against some big and very well organised clubs. We picked up good points across the team although the positions aren’t particularly relevant, it’s the competitive opportunity and experience that was the most important part of the competition. It also shows the terrific team spirit we have in the club and we are grateful for our Officials also doing their bit to support the athletes”. 

For all the Under 11 athletes this was a step up into club competition, but none of them were phased by the occasion. Benji Fernandez’ best Howler throw of 35.95m was particularly eye catching and he looks like another of our good javelin throwers of the future.
Under 11 Male

Team : Benji Fernandez, William Hamlyn, Ben Harrison

Under 11 Female

Team : Luiza Talowska, Lydia Davies, Sophie Horne, Rachel Sparrow

After a lot of last minute chopping and changing in the Under 13s a spirited team performance by them, with the majority in their first year of the age group, produced some encouraging performances.

One of the stand out performances came from Josh Davies who continues to improve in several events. His previous PB of 3.00.9 for the 800m was obliterated as won the 800m in a time of 2.33.3.

Hurdling is becoming something of a feature in the U13s training programme and all 4 of the athletes produced personal bests; in the boys Ethan Winning 14.2s and  Alex Wood 14.4s and in the girls Tessa Parkin 12.7s (lowered again the day after to 12.6s) Annie Silvers 13.6s.

U13 Male 

Team : Alex Wood, Elfric McKenzie, Ethan Winning, Josh Davies, Josh Harrison, Louie Newton

U13 Girls

Team : Annie Silvers, Ella Smith, Laura Talowska, Lois Ford, Marijke Tear-Verweij, Martha Silvers, Olivia Corbin, Scarlett Dawson, Tessa Parkin

The U15 team were again a good mixture of established athletes and debutants in this age group and Maddie Linfoot epitomised the team’s solid performances winning the 800m in 2.33.1, just outside her PB. There was also a “double win” in both the A & B Long jump for Ruby Edwards 4.28m and Niamh Hillard 4.05m.

Under 15 Male

Team : Alex McMillan, Henry Wheeler, Hugh Markham, Jake Richardson, James Day, Joseph Valiaparambil, Linden Williams, Luca De Freitas Pires, Seb Hillard, William Mayes

Under 15 Female

Team : Anna Blokhuizen, Caitlin Boyle, Ella Peeke, Maddie Linfoot, Martha Peters, Niamh Hillard, Ruby Edwards, Tilly Campbell

Jasmine Mothershaw, with her trademark smile, finished in 6th place overall and was first girl in last weekend’s Stratford Junior Parkrun. Well done Jasmine.
The shy and retiring Graham Black
BIOPHYS Broadmeadow Marathon & Half Marathon

Wednesday 30th June 2021

 
Report – Lesley Kirk
 
A mid-week marathon & half marathon isn’t what you would normally expect to come across in the events calendar but then former SAC club member, Chris Seeney isn’t your usual event organizer!

Having set up Broadmeadow Runs a few years ago, Chris has put on several ‘low key’ events over the years, that attract people from all over the country.

Having run hundreds of marathons himself in the past, Chris knows lots of 100 Marathon Club members, who especially seek out his ‘quirky’ events.
 
And so it was, after a few postponements, including bad weather and then Covid, Chris finally managed to stage his latest event, not on a weekend, or along his original planned route but on a Wednesday, in a more condensed form along The Greenway. 
 
The route started and finished at the Stratford Bike Hire carriages, taking in a mile of the Greenway, before turning off, through fields along the river towards Weston on Avon, then back towards the Greenway, turning right and running all the way to Long Marston.

Once there, after a brief pit stop at a drinks station, it was just a matter of following the route in reverse, again via Weston and on to the finish.

One loop completed the Half and for those lucky enough to have entered the full marathon, it was a quick turnaround at the finish point, to go and do it all again!
 
Graham Black & Lesley Kirk chose to run the full marathon, which wasn’t the most sensible idea on Lesley’s part, given her longest run up until that point had been fifteen miles. However, she knew she could rely on Graham’s cheerful banter to help keep her going when the going got tough – and it certainly did!

After what seemed an eternity along the Greenway the second time round, the finish eventually came into view, and they happily crossed the line together in a respectable time of 4.20.

Unfortunately, they then discovered that, as both their Garmins were set to ‘pause’ mode, their watch times hadn’t taken into account their various portaloo & drinks stops, so were disappointed to find their official time was in fact 4.51.30!

It was still good enough however, for them to finish in 7th and 8th  place out of the 25 completing the marathon, and Lesley was 2nd lady finisher.
 
There were 15 runners taking part in the Half marathon, two of whom were SAC long-standing members, Allan Coldicott and John Butler. Allan finished in a time of 2.42.08, while John, who was suffering with exhaustion towards the end, crossed the line in 4.30. 
 
Coincidentally, the first lady finisher in the half, and 2nd overall, Justine Lynch (1.36.13), was a former SAC junior, coached under Paul Bearman, and now aged 31!
 
Alex Wood

Alex Wood’s Busy Weekend.
 

Report – Roger Wood

Alex Wood (first year U13) had a busy weekend of athletics – part of the Stratford Heart of England League Team in Banbury on Saturday, followed by a trip to Nuneaton on Sunday for the Summer Special Open.

Saturday started with Alex’s second ever 75m hurdles race and a time of 14.4, nearly a second quicker than his first attempt a few weeks ago and taking him into the top 20 on Power of 10 (3rd for a first year U13). This was soon to be followed by a new 100m PB of 14.1m.

After a frustrating long jump plagued by run up issues, he anchored the U13 boys to 3rd in the 4×100 relay, a great effort by the whole team who had never even passed a baton to each other until 20m before the race, especially from Josh Harrison leading the team out, stepping in at the last minute having just run his 1,500m.

Then on to Sunday, having decided to have a bit of a sleep in and skip the early morning 100m, we arrived at Nuneaton with the specific aim of a 200m PB. Alex did his bit finishing in 28.88 moving him up slightly in the Power of 10, and from 7th to 4th fastest for a first year U13.

Rushing straight from the finish, with just enough time for one practice before the start of the Long Jump, and still rather puffing (which may have helped control the run up), he jumped a new PB of 3.94 with his first attempt, a really unexpected bonus.

A very worthwhile weekend for the taxi service of Dad!

 
Tessa Parkin
Tessa achieved two hurdles PBs in two days, firstly at the Heart of England fixture in Banbury and then at the Nuneaton Open on 3rd and 4th July, winning at Banbury in 12.7 and coming second at Nuneaton in 12.6.

She also ran 800m raceTessa Parkin.s on both days but, according to her father Dave Parkin, after a long lay-off from endurance running she still has some way to go to recapture last years form.
James Kidd
The Saturday morning swim session.
Triathlon News.
 
Report – Simon Taylor

‘JAMES KIDD, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN’ are the words James had ringing in his ears as he stormed across the finish line of Ironman Bolton at the weekend.

Whilst most of us were enjoying a long Sunday lie-in (or maybe just me?) after a late night of watching the football and a few celebratory glasses of pop, James was wading into a lake in Bolton at 6.30am to start his massive Ironman adventure.

14 hours 30 mins and 18 seconds later James heard the words that every Iroman competitor wants to hear. James is an Ironman. Well done James, you have earned your tattoo.

Bolton is an established IM on the IM annual calendar and has seen quite a few SAC club members taking on the challenge (where ‘former’ triathlete Wayne Vickers qualified for the World IM Champs in Kona). Seen as a tough course, the event has a great atmosphere as locals turn out to support the athletes.

James has been training hard for the event for several months, which showed in his times of; 

3.8km swim in 1.42.22, 
180k bike leg in 7.15  
run in 5.17.53.

James commented that he absolutely loved the event, although the second half of the bike course saw some appalling road conditions but beautiful scenery.

Unsurprisingly, James found the run a hard going but looked full of running as the local crowd turned up in force to cheer him over the finish line. James is looking forward to planning his next IM event and getting his well earned IM tattoo.

Next Saturday will see a group of intrepid triathletes venture to Upton on Severn to compete in the Upton Triathlon. A popular and fantastically organised community triathlon should see some great performances.

Just a reminder too, swim sessions are still going on a Saturday morning at Shipston Pool. 6.40am start and 7.50 finish. Often there is a post-swim run. Cost is £3 for seniors and £2 for juniors.

Junior Super 2  

Match 2 16th July

We had a very good response to the first Junior Super 2 and everyone involved made it such a great evening.

Obviously we are still in extremely challenging times, particularly in schools and we are really pleased to be organising this meeting BUT this can only happen in a secure way for all, if everyone abides by our procedures (which follow England Athletics guidelines) and show some flexibility on the day.

Our priority is running the event in a safe way so it is imperative that you thoroughly read and digest all the information below.

PLEASE READ THROROUGHLY – BY ENTERING THE EVENT IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT YOU HAVE READ AND ARE FAMILIAR WITH ALL THE EVENT SPECIFIC COVID GUIDANCE AND HAVE DISCUSSED WITH YOUR CHILD. THE ATHLETE’S CONTACT DETAILS USED FOR ENTRY WILL BE USED IN CASE OF ANY “Track and trace” ISSUES

COVID MEASURES AND PROCEDURES

GENERAL
 

  1. Do not attend the meeting if you have experienced any Covid related symptoms in the last 14 days https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/

  2. Do not attend the meeting if anyone in your household has experienced any Covid related symptoms in the last 14 days
  3. Please ensure that you are fully aware of the Covid related guidance published by the Government in regards to the transmission of Covid

    www.gov.uk/coronavirus


    in particular the requirement to remain 2m from the next person where possible and the importance of proper hand washing and sanitation

  4. Avoid social contact with other families/athletes – it is not a social event but we are as usual extremely keen for the athletes to enjoy being involved and taking part.


  EVENT SPECIFIC

 

  1. Please ask your AGL or a coach for an entry form. Entries from Match 1 will be carried forward but can be changed.

  2. Covid guidelines specify that there are to be no spectators at the event. However, one parent/guardian per child or two if more than one child is taking part is allowed.

  3. You are not to enter the track area more than 45 minutes before the start of the event i.e. 5.15pm for a prompt 6pm start.

  4. Athletes must wear a club vest/crop top. These can be ordered via the club website shop https://www.stratfordac.co.uk/shop/

  5. On arrival athletes only (no parents) go to the tables under the canopy to collect their numbers that will be laid out on age group tables in surname order. Otherwise wear a SUAAC T shirt or a plain white T shirt….no football tops or similar.

  6. Bring your own pins (8) although there will be some available.

  7. PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE EVENT

    As a part of our safeguarding photographers must sign in under the canopy.

  8. The warm up area is on the field adjacent to the track.

  9. No times or results will be announced or posted on paper on the day – they will be posted via email as soon as possible and on the SUAAC website

  10. Abide by social distancing guidelines at all times

  11. There are no covered areas and the Pavilion is not available.

  12. There are no changing facilities – please come changed and prepared for the prevailing weather.

  13. Toilets are available in the school buildings but please try to use toilets at home before coming to the event.

  14. The timetable is simple.

    6.00 Males do field while Females do track

    7.00 Females do field while Males do track
    On the track the 100m will be run first and the 800m immediately afterwards.

  15. All events are manually timed hence THE AREA AROUND THE TIMEKEEPING STAND MUST BE KEPT CLEAR at all times. Please do not stand around the finish line to take your own times or pictures.

  16. All athletes and parents must stay behind the rope fence around the track. Under no circumstances should anyone other than the athletes when they are competing or officials encroach onto the track or the infield.

  17. The track is on school property – HENCE NO DOGS ON THE FACILITY

  18. All equipment will be regularly sanitised during the evening

  19. Starting blocks will be available and will be sanitised regularly, however, athletes can use their own blocks.

  20. Athletes may bring their own throwing implements and should not be shared with others.

  21. Sprint races are a maximum of 6 in each race and may be mixed ages. Longer races will have larger fields

  22. Refreshments will not be available so bring your own supplies.

  23. Use specified entry and exit gates and use hand sanitiser each time you enter/exit the facility or use the toilet.

    See illustration above.

  24. On completion of the event, can we please ask you to leave the facility as quickly as possible and remove all litter

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