The Club held its Annual Winter Awards Evening on Friday 15th April 2011 at the Rose Green Centre, Whitehall. As well as presenting awards to current athletes the event also marked the opening of a Club Hall of Fame and the four new inductees were all present to mark the occasion.
First up was John Gingell, the Club’s very own ‘Chairman of the Boards’. John dominated 800m indoors during the 60s; represented GB & England numerous times. A great stalwart of Bristol Athletics since he joined the Club in 1953. John was British record holder indoors in 1966 at 1m 52.3. Eight times a BAAB international – 26 GB vests and 2 for England. His PBs include 22.7 for 200 metres; 48.4 for 400 metres; 1m 48.9 for 800 metres and 3m 50 for 1,500 metres. John was supported by his wife Pauline who was also a great fund raiser for Bristol AC (as the club then was). John is still very active today regularly supporting Chris Elson at the Bridge Inn 5k races.
Ken Holmes, the second inductee, competed for Scotland in the 1970 Commonwealth Games where he was 7th in the Javelin. Ken has been a coach for more than 40 years and has coached Olympians Nick Nealand, Lorraine Shaw and Emma Carpenter. Ken was previously Club Track and Field team manager for 22 years and was a key competitor in the the Club’s successes in the British Athletics League in the 60s and 70s. Now a leading regional and national coach; Ken has a coach development role in the javelin for England Athletics. Ken is currently the Chair of Bristol & Avon Schools Athletics Association. A former head of PE at St. George’s School – now the City Academy – that has a crucial role to play in the future of the Club.
Margaret Williams (nee Critchley) was a GB 200metre representative at the 1972 Olympic Games (200m s/f) and was a silver and bronze medallist for England at the 1970 Commonwealth Games. Margaret was also a semi-finalist at the European Championships in Finland in 1971; before returning to international competition in the European vets 200m championships in 1985 and the World vets championships in 1986 in Rome. Margaret won over 20 Great Britain vests in an international career that spanned from junior level 1961 to veteran level in 1989. Her PBs were 11.3 for the 100 metres; 23.1 for the 200 metres and 54.7 for the 400 metres. Margaret is still very involved in athletics today coaching young athletes at Telford.
The fourth inductee was Nick Rose. Nick is a double Olympian, has finished third in the World Cross-Country Championships and has won the English National Cross-Country Championship. He is still the British record holder at Half Marathon. A club member for 45 years; Nick has run 13:18 for 5,000 metres on the track, 3:57 for a mile and 27:30 for 10,000 metres. Like all the other inductees, Nick is still active in the sport and is a very successful coach of Ellie Wimshurst and previously Olympian Kate Reed.
The club also paid tribute to Chris Elson and Mike Down with the award of Honorary Life Membership. Chris Elson has been – and remains – the Club’s Senior Track and Field Manager and has led the Club Team to Midland League Division One titles in 2009 and 2010. Chris has been Membership Secretary, Bridge Inn Organiser, Coach (both at Coombe Dingle and with the new Recreational Running Group at Whitehall since January 2011) and before that represented both Scotland and British Universities as an athlete.
Mike Down has been an athlete and endurance running coach extrordinaire for nearly 50 yrs: during this time he has coached over 20 internationals including Rob Whalley and Ian Gillespie. Mike has been Club senior cross-country and road-running team manager; experiencing great success up to and including national level. As Club Chair for the last 7 years he negotiated major sponsorship support from Hargreaves Lansdown and was instrumental in the birth of Bristol and West Athletic Club.
Further pictures and a write-up of the Annual Awards will follow.
Photographs of these and other presentations are available at Photos – Social Club Winter Awards Evening – 15 April 2011.