Chairman’s AGM report 2016

As many of you know tonight, I am standing down as Chairman. I have been a member since 1983 and a Committee Member for almost 30 years. In that time I have been involved in almost all the big decisions affecting the Club over the years. Some members objected to change and during 1988 when I campaigned for the Club to affiliate to the AAA, a group of members left and formed another Club named Team 88. I  believe they only lasted about two years and haven’t been heard of since.

The past year been very interesting, the Club has been very successful in all forms of Athletics. Our joint Southern League team consolidated their position in Division  One and will fight again next season and will I am sure improve their standing within the league. Our juniors again excelled in their respective leagues and individual events. I was very pleased to see increased numbers taking part the 53-12 cross country league. When we are able to field our best team we are almost unbeatable. I was able to attend most cross country events but due to family, holidays I was unable to attend any track and field fixtures.

It was sad that ‘The Arena Club’ closed as it had been our headquarters for more than 30 years. An older core group of members and past members met regularly on a Friday evening, many of you do not know these persons who have and continue to be the main group of fund raisers for the Club. One good thing came out of the closure is that Dave Wrights boys and girls now train at the track and increase Club funds. They have also been successful in Championship races, Cross Country and many other events up and down the country. Dave has also been very active with the Colchester Park Run where many of our newer members were found.

As this is definitely my last day as Chairman and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who have supported both Margaret and me. We are very proud of our involvement with a great club with so many good people. The Club has enhanced our lives and I’m sure it will continue to give satisfaction to all of you whether an athlete, parent, social member or someone who  supports in other ways. I know the new Committee will be looking for additional volunteers, we can never have too many and the more we have the less work a few has to undertake and the great thing about volunteering is the enjoyment in being part of a successful club and importantly not forgetting the social side. Over the years we have met and made friends within and outside the Club and it was all down to activities enjoyed within Athletics.

Before I go a big thank you to all of our Committee members, past and present who have made Colchester Harriers a brilliant Club. Special thanks to Chris Jeggo, Caroline Sutton for all their work looking after our finances. Chris at my instigation set up our online membership. It was more complicated than I ever imagined and the after-shock was the effect on maintaining financial records. Linda and Steve Garnham are the last remaining members who set up our Track and Field Section way back in the early 90’s, supported by Helen Holdsworth. There are many others I can thank for their friendship and support, the list is too long.

I have many good memories and the one that I am so proud of is the success of our  identical twins Dominic and Daniel. I have known the whole family as friends and neighbours since they were very small and remember seeing them taking part in club handicap race walks on the track  when they were ten years old. I made a prediction then with their parents than one or both would represent the Country at the Commonwealth Games and hopefully the Olympic Games. The both represented England in the Commonwealth Games and Dominic the Olympic Games in 2012 and 2106. I remember the day when dad Steve and I were together waiting a telephone call from Dominic confirming his seat on the plane to Spain with the GB Team for altitude training. We were so proud. Hard work and dedication has brought rewards to both and has shown to our own young members what can be achieved. Believe me race walking is a very demanding event requiring not only technical skill but unbelievable concentration and dedication and on many occasions avoiding dodgy judges.

We will be taking a short break and gathering our thoughts for the future. I still have other interests and soon shall be making similar decisions concerning those. Not too sure if Margaret will be happy with me at home suffering with boredom.

Thank you for your time and the very best for the future. There are many good and talented members within who will take our Club forward and success will be assured.

I shall be watching closely.

Lance Williams November 2016