Track and Field Report – AGM 2021

It was great to see competitions back in the calender this year including a handful of our league matches– albeit in more localised bubbles- if you can call Norwich local – and without trophies or promotion / relegations to chase and defend in the EYAL and SAL  – at least it gave our athletes the opportunity to put their hard work into practise and produce some great personal achievements – especially when competing on home soil.

Obviously, the lack of T & F coaches has hit the club hard, we have seen a dramatic loss in numbers both in coaches with technical knowledge and athletes. A few of our older Juniors have also moved onto Uni,  however I am delighted to hear they are still training, and we wish them every success – just so long as they come back and compete for us next Summer!

Sam Hart recently sent out a survey to all members asking for their views on League meets – the results of which will be shared at the next Committee meeting.

It is looking likely that we will ask to be dropped down from Division 1 in the SAL league due to the lack of Harrier competitors willing to compete on the track  – this will hopefully allow us to feed in some of our U17’s as well as older athletes  – which will get them some good competition experience and then become part of the senior team who can  strive for promotion again.

The club once again entered men’s and women’s teams in the Eastern Masters T&F league. Although affected somewhat by covid restrictions, there was some great competition and plenty of quality performances across the age groups. The ladies were particularly affected by injury and availability problems, while the men managed to qualify for the final in Milton Keynes where a much-reduced team put up a brave fight.

All the leagues are friendly but competitive events and we will hopefully again be entering teams next year. All masters athletes are very welcome , and any jumpers or throwers would be especially valuable….  If you want any coaching – then come and ask!

We are gradually bringing in new juniors from the waiting list – held trials last Sunday (21st Nov) and again this Sunday (28th but postponed due to weather until 5 Dec)  of 20 athletes. We just need to decide where, when and who they can go to.

Having waited out the delay in EA qualifications we now have Shawn along with young Emily as part of Junior Track and Field coaching team as assistants – with Steph crossing  over from Endurance to assist Dave Junior T &F

Our team of Officials has increased with the addition of Paul P and Tammy Belshaw as Track officials and Denise Larkins and Chris Sale completed their Level 1  Field officiating…  but there is always room for more!

Successes have included:

The club managed to secure 13 Essex County T & F  Medals this year – with Lyla Belshaw  bagging herself yet more Club Records– and with it a Championship Best Performance over the 3k.  

Part of the medal haul saw our three junior heavy throwers all qualify for and reach their hammer finals at the very prestigious English Schools championships in July with Olivia being invited to then compete for England in what was her first and last chance in the Schools Games Final in September at Loughborough Uni.

2nd claim Ollie Graham – made great strides this year in the Hammer arena –  claimed a silver at the English U23 champs with a PB just shy of 63m as well as a Silver in South of England Senior Champs and Third at the Bedford Games

2021 saw 2nd Claim Philippa Davenhall – coming back into great form –  – taking 2nd at BiG throws meet in Bedford in May and at  South of England Champs a 3rd place topping off her season with  a very creditable 7th at the Olympic Trials in Manchester having made the cut for the final in a very strong field.

Track star Rebecca  Jeggo once again provided inspiration for us all, in a season which finally saw her gain her English vest –  competing three times for her home nation in the 4 x 100m relays  at Loughborough International, the  Wales Senior Champs / Home Countries invitational ending on a high at the Manchester Home International where the senior girls took a fabulous Gold.

As an individual competing for the NAL team she bagged herself a Bronze at the Manchester International in the 100m  – and secured a slot in the 100m Semi Final at the British Champs / Olympic Trials  – lining up next to none other than Dina Asher Smith.  She reduced her 100m PB down to 11.66 and her 200m to 23.83.

Charlie Dobson had a stinker of a year  – having smashed out a fabulous PB in the 400m in May– only his second ever effort at this event in a time that saw him place equal first in the UK rankings throughout the entire year  and earnt him his Senior GB vest-  an injury put paid to his Olympic dreams – great to say he is back training and having regular check-ups care of British Athletics.

With the Commonwealth Games next year –  we wish our elite T & F athletes every success for selection.

We wish all our athletes an enjoyable and successful 2022 and thank our coaches, officials and other volunteers for their dedication and hard work.