A Resounding Win.

Zac Lambert leads brother Sam.
We start this week with a report on a resounding victory for our juniors in the latest Heart of England fixture.

Triathlete extraordinaire Rachel Pearce was a top 10 finisher at the World Sprint Triathlon Championships held in Canada last weekend.

3 Stratford hurdlers lined up in the UK Athletic Championships in Manchester last weekend and that was followed by the news that Andrew Pozzi has been selected to compete in the forthcoming World Athletics Championships.

There’s a profile of Maddie Linfoot, one of our busiest and most committed junior athletes. We have reports on both Leamington and Redditch half marathons.

Wednesday night at The Pringles Stadium saw 3 of our athletes compete in the Night of 200m PBs, a night that certainly lived up to its name.

Thursday night sees the Sports Club AGM take place with what promises to be an exciting presentation of their future plans.

Finally, training resumed on the Welcombe Hills last Sunday after a break of a few weeks and 33 of our committed younger members turned up. We have a photo of 6 of them.

I believe Rich Shepherd had a success in an Ultra at the weekend. I’ve tried to find out more details but you can only do so much. Maybe next week.

Take care

Best Wishes

David Jones
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Sam McKenzie left and Will Marriott 
Annie Silvers and Ruby Edwards 
Arran Cooper pushes himself hard. Perhaps tie your shoe laces up next time Arran!
Heart of England Division 1
Report – Paul Bearman

A team of 56 Stratford AC junior athletes took another step in trying to wrest the top spot in the second Heart of England Division 1 match held in Kettering from Rugby & Northampton AC.

The team did exactly that in a resounding overall win. 
The top division is very competitive and although there were a few gaps in the Stratford team sheets, a superb combined effort right throughout the various age groups surprised the team managers when the final results revealed that Stratford had finished the match in top spot with 740 points compared to R&Ns 602. 

Although the points stacked up throughout all the age groups the exceptional team performance came from both the U17/20 teams who, despite being depleted, still romped home by an impressive combined total 93 points from their nearest rivals.
In a match where the old adage every point counts was prevalent and with everyone doing their bit for the team, in some cases in unfamiliar events, it would be churlish to pick individuals out. However, to demonstrate the spirit in the team, after 6 weeks on the side-lines and patiently rehabbing after a tricky hip injury, U15 Sam McKenzie stepped up to the U17s to test his fitness and ended up racking up 23 points out of a possible 24 in the 100m Long Jump and Shop as well as running the first leg of the relay. Some comeback! 

Mike Sheppard, the under 15 team manager commented “we saw some excellent individual performances with loads of PB’s set. Particularly pleasing was seeing new faces performing so strongly on their league debut”. 
“It’s been a really good team performance and it’s all to play for in the final match at the end of July. If we can get our strongest team out we are now in contention for winning the championship again”.
Editor’s note…..Full results will be published shortly after they have been ratified 
World Sprint Triathlon Championships


Club member Rachel Pearce finished in a magnificent 9th place out of 49 in these World Championships held in Canada last weekend. 

A superb performance Rachel.

Reporting on anything to do with triathlons is way above my pay grade but hopefully we might have a report next week.

For the full results please follow this link.


Ollie Cresswell, Andrew Pozzi and Jack Sumners.
UK Athletics Championships

Report – Paul Bearman

The UK Athletics Championships in an extremely windy Manchester was the opportunity for domestic athletes to go head-to-head for the national titles and for selection to the World Championships in Eugene Oregon.
The men’s 110m hurdles featured 3 Stratford athletes with mixed fortunes. 

Jack Sumners was first up and finished 4th in his heat in 14.43s.
Andrew Pozzi and Ollie Cresswell were in the same heat and Andrew (13.54s) cruised into the final with Ollie running a 14.28 PB finishing 5th . He said afterwards “it went OK and I ran a decent race and was pleased with my PB but the wind was so strong it was blowing us onto the hurdles and made things difficult”.
In the final Andrew was leading up to the 8th hurdle but with pressure coming from the eventual winner Tade Ojura, and Josh Zeller and David King, after a slight wobble at the 8th barrier it was enough to let the other 3 through for Andrew to finish in 4th place in 13.44s. 

It has since been confirmed that Andrew has been selected for the World Championships. Congratulations.

Maddie Linfoot
Maddie Linfoot (#needsarest)

Report – Paul Bearman

One of our busiest and most committed junior athletes is undoubtedly Maddie Linfoot.
Maddie is best known as a middle distance runner in Paul Hawkins’ squad but this season she has moved up to the U17 age group on Tuesdays where she joins coaches Dave Battersby and Alison Gravelsons in a merry band of middle distance athletes, before joining in with the multi event activities.
After a long Cross Country season she has switched to Track and Field and week after week is involved in one event after the other.

However, although her competition schedule is busy, as with all our junior athletes it’s not over stretched to safeguard them and prevent injury. 
Apart from training 2/3 times a week, take the month of June as an example of Maddie’s competition schedule:

On the 5th June she joined the senior team in the Midland League at Wolverhampton and competed in the 200m (28.7s), 1500m (05:03.0) and the Long Jump (3.97) and the 400m relay….a pocket sized points machine.
On 11th June Maddie represented the Central area in the Warwickshire Schools Championships at Nuneaton in the Javelin (21.42) and by winning the 3000m (11:39.2) she was selected to compete the following week for Warwickshire Schools in the highly competitive inter county Mason Trophy competition in Stoke on the Saturday finishing 7th.
The Heart of England league in Kettering was the following day and Maddie was insistent that she wanted to compete but I needed her events to be managed sensibly to prevent her overdoing things.
In the week running up to the Mason Trophy, Maddie had surprised us as and her coaches by declaring that she was going to compete in the Heptathlon in the English Schools Midlands Regional Combined Events in Banbury on the 25th and 26th. This meant that in between her running schedule working on her technical events with Sandy and Imogen Green and me.
After running the 3k on the Saturday in Stoke her HofE events needed a different emphasis and an opportunity to practice some heptathlon events and again she stepped up competing in the High Jump (1.30 PB), Javelin (20.74m) and 800m (2.27.9).
The trip to Banbury for 7 events for a seasoned combined eventer is a tough ask at the best of times but once again Maddie rose to the occasion. She did extremely well with 4 PB’s, 1cm off getting a LJ  PB and her best CE 800m. 
200m  28.2s  PB 
800m  02:28.9   
80HU17W  15.9s  PB 
High Jump  1.29m  PB 
Long Jump  3.96m   
Shot  6.64m  PB 
Javelin  20.65m   
Heptathlon  3036 points  PB 
Hard as it may seem but as well as all of this, Maddie also finds time to help the coaches out on a Thursday evening with training the younger members of the Junior Endurance Group, where she demonstrates various strides and also helps out with the main activity of the night before sprinting over to train for her own combined events.

Maddie is the epitome of a committed athlete who supports the club and tries to improve herself but now it’s time for a rest….although that’s not easy with Maddie! 

Amy Rowe. It wasn’t that hard really. Honest.
Ade Mason and Hannah Osborne.

Leamington Half Marathon

Reports – Amy Rowe & Hannah Osborne

First, a confession. The only reason I completed this particular race is because I had no way of getting back into Leamington otherwise.

I was on about 8K when I decided I’d bitten off more than I could chew.

I felt tired.

So very tired.

The Leamington route is described as a fairly flat, fast course – I felt as if the first 5K was entirely uphill but like all runners – I think on a different day (with better training), I’d have said it was barely an incline. 

Hot and a little windy, it was obvious I wasn’t the only one struggling. But anyway, I dragged myself in after several walk n runs at an official chip time of 1.57.26 (not sure how I managed that actually).


While a sub-2 hour half is not to be sniffed at – it was 10 minutes slower than my pre-baby PB so I was a bit sad. But as fellow SAC runner Lisa Stevens said: ‘Use this as a new benchmark!’ And I think that’s a good idea. Onwards and upwards!


There were some seriously impressive performances overall. Ross Broomfield of Walden Tri took first position at 01.10.40, while first woman was Olivia Harris for Royal Sutton Coldfield Athletics Club with 01.25.29.


SAC members did the club proud, with great efforts from Ade Mason, who came storming in with a chip time of 1.25.41. Hannah Osborne, who only entered the race a few days before, flew in at 01.43.09. Bola Bamford was in at 02.01.50 and Caroline Mann in at 02.16.57. A great haul all round.


P.S. The ice cream van at the end was a nice touch

Hannah’s Half.

Last Thursday I was offered a free place for Leamington Half due to a drop out.

Having a bad back and only managing short runs myself last week and not enjoying Stratford half I was hesitant! But with no pressure on, I decided to go out and take it as a training run.

The day came, I did a little warm up, struggling at 9 minute miles and my head doing the usual thing of ‘there’s no way I can run quicker’.

I looked out for other yellow vests and spotted Ade for a hello! They had delayed the start by 15 mins due to no toilets arriving on the day, so I was busy texting Becks on the start line when we set off – 2 mins ahead of time!

I didn’t know the route but had seen from the profile it was undulating and the weather was warm but very windy.

I set out at a comfortable pace and enjoyed the rolling route and countryside. With  closed roads and over 1300 runners and lots of support on the course from local clubs, the atmosphere was good.

By 7 miles my back had eased and I still felt comfortable, going on feel not time. As I turned a corner and hit into the wind and up an incline I started to feel it, a large hill at 9 miles and I decided I’d had enough ups and would like to be finished now!

Thankfully having paced it well I was able to hang on and push it for the last 2 miles and finish in 1:43:09. The same average pace as Stratford 2 months before, but with nearly double the elevation and I actually enjoyed the race.


Graham Hill
Redditch Half Marathon

Report – Graham Hill

I had a spare Sunday, so I looked at what was on offer and decided to pop along to the Redditch Half Marathon and entered the race in the morning with a start of 9am.

There was also a 10K race that started at 09.30am.

I had not studied the course much before deciding on this event and on the basis that this was the first time it was run, then no prior knowledge is sometimes a good thing.

With people talking before the race started, it sounded like it was an undulating course so I decided to try to take it easy and set myself a rough target of 1:40:00 at 4:45/km pace.

The course started in the centre of Redditch and with a few short stretches around the town centre, we headed northwards out of the centre and into the suburbs of Redditch.

Even from the start, the course was already up and down which didn’t bode well for the rest of the course.

The route took us out of Redditch along the Birmingham Road and headed towards Callow Hill. We continued around the countryside Southwest of Redditch, passing the Redditch Golf Club, Hunt End, Ham Green, Callow Hill (again) and Crumpfield with some glorious views before then heading back along the same route back into Redditch in the sun.

The final route back into Redditch retraced our steps back to the finish line with a very hard uphill stretch along Prospect Hill within the last 1km of the finish line. This tested everyone heading back towards the finish, by this time there was a combination of the half marathon runners and 10km runners.

The final 400m was downhill along the high street, so with a quick check of the watch, I could see that with a sprint finish, I could dip under the 1:40:00 mark.

Official time was 1:39:36 coming 47th. Not sure if there were any other Stratford AC runners in the Half Marathon but we did have some runners in the 10K with Richard Gubby finishing 13th in 00:40:37 and John Butler finishing 256th in 01:15:24 and 3rd in his age category.

The complete course is undulating and a certainly tough course, but was a pleasant local run.
Alex Wood with a well earned smile on his face.
Dave Wilson and Elaine Ledden.
Night of 200m PBs.
Report  – David Jones

This event at The Pingles Stadium on Wednesday night certainly lived up to its name. Three of our athletes were competing.

Alex Wood, U13 competed and did exactly what it said on the tin!

Straight out the blocks in his first race of the evening he ran 26.69, which would have been a PB (breaking the 27 second barrier for the first time) had it not been for an illegal tailwind – very frustrating!

Undeterred however in his second run he improved on that time to deliver a new best with a legal 26.5. A great nights work!  

This time moves him up to 14th in the UK rankings for his age. Well done Alex.

Dave Wilson was delighted with his 26.62 which was just 2 hundreths outside his hand timed PB. As this was electronic timed he was pleased. His time puts him just outside the top 20 in the UK rankings for his age. He is currently ranked 14th and 18th in 100m and 400m respectively.

Elaine Ledden smashed her PB in 31.41.  Elaine now moves up to 4th in the UK rankings for her age alongside her 6th and 4th placed rankings in 100m and 400m respectively.

Tonight, Thursday 30th will be a very special AGM of the Sports Club. It will be followed by a Presentation to Members on Future Plans. They are looking forward to getting members’ views and feedback on these draft plans, which could transform Stratford Sports Club.

Message from Chair: Peter J Jones 

The year under review was again dominated by the Covid Epidemic.

Although we received considerable support from a number of grants and Government sponsored payments, the loss of income from the central club and in particular the car park revenue, pushed us, for a second year, into loss making territory.

It is remarkable that our membership levels remained largely unchanged, despite the loss of sporting facilities and also the absence of catering from the central club for a large part of the year.

The positive news was that we took the opportunity to push on with our refurbishment programme which is already having a positive impact on the service provided to members.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank everyone for their support and patience during a very difficult period. Feedback is now showing very positive approval for the new facilities and service levels being achieved. 

We now embark on the transformational part of Project Rubicon, introduced as a concept last year it is all about extending and improving the club to ensure we have first class sporting opportunities, supported by top quality coaching and facilities.

Much work is currently on-going to obtain both funding opportunities and planning consents with all stakeholders thus resulting, over the next few months, with a set of plans which will be made available and the details explained with all members having the opportunity to vote on the future shape and direction of the club.


Annual General Meeting: Thurs 30 June 2022 @ 18:30



Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of 

Stratford Sports Club 

Will be held on 

Thursday 30 June 2022 @ 18.30 

at Stratford Sports Club 

The AGM will be followed by a Presentation to Members on Future Plans. 

We Happy Few. Training resumed on the Welcombe Hills last Sunday morning in glorious weather, with 33 of our younger club members reporting for duty.