Andrew proudly displays his bronze medal alongside games volunteers Michael Lane, Emma Sparrow and Mandy Newton
No prizes for guessing pride of place in this week’s newsletter. It is club member Andrew Pozzi’s stunning bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games, with him literally diving over the line to claim the much prized medal.
Andrew started his journey in athletics at this club, so it is fitting that we also have a report on many of the current talented junior members who are also starting their athletics journey as they were proclaimed First Division Champions in the Heart of England League.
There’s a small piece on the Police Services UK Champs with two of our vets competing. Talking of vets, it was another stunning night at Worcester on Wednesday in the Midland Vets T&F League. Hopefully we’ll have a report next week.
We have quite a few photos from Alexander Stadium and I urge you to get hold of a copy of this week’s Stratford Herald with a double page centre spread on Andrew, together with profiles of a few of our possible stars of the future.
Good luck to our Midland T&F team at Solihull on Saturday for the final league fixture of the season. After 3 matches it is incredibly tight with Yate, Cheltenham and ourselves scrapping for the two promotion slots at the top of Division 3. It promises to be an exciting day.
Take care and don’t forget the sun cream and also to hydrate in this hot weather.
250 and counting
This is my 250th edition of the newsletter and last week I revisited my first, on 15th July 2017. In my first editorial I said :
“I think possibly the greatest strength of this wonderful club of ours is both the quality and quantity of what we do. This, together with the age range of participating members which I think is currently 8 – 75 years of age, makes me wonder if we aren’t pretty much unique. I would urge junior members to make themselves aware of what their elders are doing and senior members to take note of what our super talented juniors are up to”
I don’t think I’d change a word, except to say that the age range is now 8-80 not 8-75!
As hinted at in that editorial, my aim has not been to inform road runners what other road runners are up to, or T&F athletes what other T&F athletes are up to, it is to try and keep you all aware of what is happening in the many sections of this wonderful club.
One of the nicest compliments paid to me was a member who thanked me for a particular newsletter even though she didn’t know most of the people involved.
One Club One Voice.
We are a wonderfully diverse club in the range of activities on offer, from 60 metre sprints to 100 mile plus ultras, triple jump to triathlon, shot put to sprinting, hammer to howler to high jump to hurdles, the list goes on and the aim of the newsletter is to keep as many of you as possible informed as to what is happening.
However this cannot happen without input from those of you taking part in this multitude of disciplines. Please keep the reports and photos coming.
A True Local Hero.
Last Thursday was a magical moment for our very own club member Andrew Pozzi as he dived across the line to claim a superb bronze medal in the 110m hurdles at the Commonwealth Games.
It was a performance witnessed by very many club members who were there, resulting in it taking him an absolute age to complete his lap of honour as he generously stopped, time and time again to greet fellow club members. The Stratford Herald’s sports editor Craig Gibbons told me that if his train hadn’t been cancelled he would have missed it anyway due to the length of time it took Andrew to get to the press section. Please try and get hold of this week’s Herald which has a glorious double page spread on Andrew
Andrew was full of praise for the Birmingham crowd and he is always quick to acknowledge the support he has had from his family and also others in the club who have helped him over the years.
Andrew Pozzi on the podium with Barbados’s Shane Brathwaite and Jamaica’s Rasheed Broadbell
L to R: Emily White, Eve Mulliner, Billy Sheppard, Connor Stratford and Eli Ford.
Annie, Martha and Maggie Silvers.
Heart of England League
Report – Paul Bearman
After 3 years away from the competitive Heart of England league due to Covid, in an extraordinary final match in Rugby, Stratford upon Avon AC juniors emerged from the pack as Division 1 champions.
Despite going into the match with a slight lead over their main rivals Rugby & Northampton AC, the home team selected their “A” team and dominated the track with Stratford following in their footsteps in many of the events. However, in the field there was a more even contest across all the 8 teams with Stratford fighting their corner and picking up big points.
The high level of competition meant positions fluctuated from one event to the other which meant every point became crucial when the final points in the various age groups were totted up.
In addition to being Division 1 Champions the individual Age Group final placings……
Under 13 Male
Under 13 Female
Under 15 Male
Under 15 Female
Under 17 Men
Under 17 Female
Under 11 Male
Under 11 Female
Individual best performances across the season were :
U11 Billy Sheppard Long Jump 3.89m
U13 Scarlett Dawson 100m 13.68s & 200m 28.46s
U13 Arran Cooper 1500m 5.03.1
U15 Jake Richardson High Jump 1.51
U15 Nikola Wodzisz Shot 8.68m
U15 Joel Masters 100m 11.4s & 200m 23.5m
U17 Issy Newton Shot 9.18m
U17 Lucy Lane High Jump 1.60m
Under 15 Age Group Leader Mike Sheppard reflected, “We didn’t expect that result! With the revised scoring system now being aggregate points across the 3 age groups it was a great effort all round and like we always say, every single point/place really does count. The unavailability of athletes gave the team managers a constant headache at every match trying to fill all the events and it certainly tested the clubs strength in depth, which it “passed with flying colours”
He added “it was touch and go right to the last match and these are occasions when the club pulls together and individual event preferences go out of the window to support the collective effort.
This has meant the team managers juggled over 80 athletes throughout the season to fill the events and overcome stiff opposition, particularly from close rivals Rugby & Northampton and Solihull & Small Heath but the opposition certainly didn’t make things easy”.
Dave Wilson and Elaine Ledden
Police Services UK Athletics Championships
Report – Dave Wilson.
Elaine Ledden and I competed on Wednesday afternoon in these championships at The Pingles in Nuneaton.
It was a scorching hot day for competition but another well organised meet where competitors come from all over the UK from the police and civil service.
Elaine came 2nd in the woman’s 100m 15.42 ( just outside her pb, but that is hand timed). She was 3rd in woman’s 400m and competed in shot but she had to use the 4kg as this is an open age comp.
I came 4th in a very tough vets 100m, 2nd in mens 400m which was open age group in 60.58 and 3rd in long jump 4.47 m.
Below are some wonderful photos of members enjoying the Commonwealth games either as a competitor, volunteers or fans. As a proud Brummie I can wholeheartedly say it was a truly wonderful and magical occasion.
Andrew Pozzi with Niamh and Seb Hillard
And with Brian, Harry and Charlotte Gravelsons
With his original coach Paul Bearman
So tell me Andrew, this Stratford club really must be an extraordinary organisation.
Club member Danny Tolhurst ( 2nd right ) with Marilyn Okoro (2008 Olympic bronze medalist 4x400m relay – 1st left ) and Gary Shaughnessey (Chair – England Athletics – 2nd left)
Danny’s role at the games was looking after the England Athletics ‘Have a Go’ zone that was situated next to the stadium.
They offered people, mainly children and families, four activities to try – target throw, fast feet ladder, standing long jump, speed bounce and they also handed out free gifts (activity booklets, felt-tips, small balls) to children once they’d completed the activities. The booklet included details of Funetics holiday camps taking place in the Birmingham area in the summer.
For a few days they were assisted by ex-GB athletes Mark Lewis-Francis and Marilyn Okoro. 5400 children took part over the six days.
Danny’s actual role at EA is Participation Programmes Officer, responsible for the Funetics and RunTogether programmes.
The Lamberts with Dame Kelly Holmes
Andrew with Emma Sparrow
Becks and Georgia Pridham
Mike and Imy Sheppard.
Christine and Peter Coote
The double page centre spread in this week’s Stratford Herald
With yours truly.
The Birmingham Bull. Star of the show – apart from Andrew obvs!
Members of our Vets T&F team at a very hot Worcester on Wednesday night. Hopefully there will be a full report next week.
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