On Top of the World.

The current official World Masters rankings for the W45 javelin which shows our very own Paula Williams on top by a comfortable 74cms.

This week we’ve got a smashing report from Paul Bearman on current world rankings. These show that not only do our club members excel at local and national level but also on the world stage. Once again, as a club, the term punching above our weight seems appropriate.

The world rankings do make fascinating reading. Paul Hawkins said he was delighted to crash into the worlds top 500 M60 hammer throwers last year, making an entry at 482nd. On a more serious note, Paul had a very impressive world ranking of 28 in the 3000m racewalk event. I was particularly amused to find that after a 20 minute coaching lesson form Paul Bearman and Paula Williams I had stormed in to the world M65 triple jump rankings at a lofty 175th.

Many of you will remember Jordan Metcalfe who was a member last year. Jordan is now living in St. Leonards on the south coast and he sent me a lovely email last week that included the following comment “I’ve really missed being part of StratfordAC. It’s such a brilliant club. I’ve tried a couple of clubs In Hastings (the AC and Hastings Runners) but they’re not a patch on STRATFORD!”

Thank you Jordan.

This week we’ve also got some more pages from the legendary Paul Hawkins Archives, along with an introduction from the man himself.

We’ve also got a note from Louise Stewart with details of the The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee that she plans to compete in and finally we have a press cutting from The Herald in 1991 that features club members who competed in the Warwickshire County Sports Hall Athletics Championship of that year. One of those team members was Sophie Mansbridge, who happens to be the auntie of Arthur Mansbridge, one of our junior endurance group members. It’s a family affair !

Enjoy the rest of the week, take care and stay well.

Best Wishes

David Jones

Club members who are flying high in the world rankings. From the top : Paula Williams, Andrew Pozzi and Lewis Byng.

Paula Tops World Rankings.

Report – Paul Bearman.

With Track and Field competition still some way off, it’s worth reflecting that the hard yards and work is done in the winter to prepare for the outdoor season.

Looking back to the indoor and the limited and official outdoor competitions so far, Stratford AC athletes are right up there in not just the domestic rankings but way up there in the world rankings.

The Masters 2020 Indoor T&F season so far has produced some really wonderful performances in their respective age groups with David Jones being “surprised and hugely thrilled” to find out he is currently ranked 6th in the 800m and 7th in the 1500m in the world rankings, with only one other athlete in both top 10s.

Peter Coote is currently ranked 20th in the javelin and Phil Brennan is 11th in the 1500m. Incidentally, Phil finished last year on top of the world rankings in his age category for the mile as well has having top 10 indoor rankings in 800m, 1500m and 3000m. Impressive or what ?

This was already looking great until a scan in the Women’s rankings revealed just how good Paula Williams is as one of the World’s top all round Masters Athletes. She is currently ranked 3rd in the Triple jump, 7th in the Hurdles, 9th in the Shot and 14th in the 60m and she is comfortably in top spot in the Javelin, where she leads the world rankings by 74 cms !.

Andrew Pozzi’s season finished before the European Championships could take place and he finished 3rd in the 60m hurdles world rankings with a time of 7.48s that was just outside his PB.

Last weekend top UK Juniors Lewis Byng and Serena Vincent took part in the Virtual Shot Put Competition against senior British champions Scott Lincoln and Sophie McKinna, and the Juniors beat their senior counterparts 37.69m to 37.68m by just 1cm.

Officially Lewis is ranked 7th in the world with the 6kg shot, with a PB of 19.18m and although the results from the virtual competition cannot count as official marks, his huge throw of 20.08m shoots him up the ranking to 3rd.

These rankings cover a 60 year age gap between our youngest and oldest athletes, which makes their achievements all the more special and so let’s hope they and everyone else get the chance to compete again sometime this year.

Stay safe

Paul Bearman

Latest Update from England Athletics.

Paul Bearman.

This is the latest update from EA looking towards some kind of resumption to training at some stage but mainly about a potential scenario for competition through to September.https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/news/update-on-competition-and-training-2020/

On the assumption that we get the go ahead from EA to resume training at some stage and we can get access to the track from the school, the coaches will be liaising to look at options of how we could manage the transition back into training.

However, the very complex nature of all the variable activities that we do and how we need to do them safely to meet any new government guidelines makes it all extremely difficult.

When the new guidelines do come out it is likely that they will understandably be short on detail regarding, for example, what safeguarding we would need to put in place to meet the social distancing criteria, but we will also need to know as volunteers what we could reasonably expect our responsibilities to be to meet the criteria.

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The Paul Hawkins Archives.

I first joined Stratford AC back in September 1988 so naturally I’ve kept every Newsletter since then. At the start of the lockdown I was ordered into the loft by David to hunt them out and they were sent by courier to him. I did blow the dust off first. Well you can’t do that with Facebook!

It’s interesting, possibly, to see some of the results and fixtures that David is printing today. The Grand Prix fixtures have a few races that still happen but there’s a lot of long forgotten ones. Equally, in the Shakespeare race results there’s not too many names who are still with us. Martin Proctor who was first in the Shakespeare and first for Stratford AC in the Roman 9 (when it was the original 9 miler) was our leading junior at the time.

At that time there were four divisions in the GP with twice a year promotion/relegation which made it interesting. And I’d already made it to the dizzy heights of Division 3!
Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee

A Virtual Challenge

Louise Stewart

This is a virtual race I’ve signed up to, the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee (GVRAT). This is from 1st May-31st August, 1000 miles (or 2000 miles if you want to return to the start point). This works out apparently (maths is not my strong point) at just over 5 or 10 miles a day.
Here’s the link.

I’m hoping it will keep me motivated, I’ve found it quite hard to maintain my mojo as I had at least one race booked per month and they have all being cancelled. This, along with the virtual club races, alphabet challenge and virtual S&C is helpful in making me get out!
This is a clipping sent to me by Adam Mansbridge, the father of Arthur Mansbridge, who is one of our talented junior endurance athletes. The article features his Aunty Sophie when she was in the club’s junior team back in the 90’s (1991 he thinks). Adam’s memories of his sister being a part of the team was the reason Arthur got involved with the club.