National Young Athletes League – Results from Cardiff on 17th June 2012

In this Olympic year the National Young Athletes League was allocated three fixture dates for the first part of the season. Only the very successful clubs in the Premier Division progress to an Area Final in July and the top teams then feature in National Finals at the end of August.

Well yesterday after the wet conditions for the Avon School Championships at Yate on Saturday the weather was somewhat breezy, sunny and dry until the very end.

The athletes who travelled to Cardiff did themselves and the club proud. A few perhaps may have been disappointed with their own performance but with schools competitions during the week and then Saturday and Sunday it was a big ask.

In the under-13 girls Eloise Browne continued a winning streak in the 1200m and  Isabella Parselle ran well but not quite at her best in the 75 metres and 150 metres. Uniquely Isabella’s 75 metre time was matched by Hannah Dyer in winning the “B” string 75 metres. Both ran 11.01 seconds. Candice Feddis having won the Avon Schools Shot Putt was encouraged to travel to Cardiff. An 8.00 metre throw was a grade 2 and was the best female performance of the afternoon. Candice agreed to have a go at hurdles and high jump.

Sam Barrett’s 75 metre hurdle performance was the pick of under-15 girls’ results with Sam, Kinnie Songu and Ella Falk covering as many appropriate events as possible with Ellie Evans running 800 metres.

Madison Thomas made her first NYAL appearance for B&W achieving grade 4 in both the long jump and shot. Joanna Taylor ran well in the 800 metres. Alyssa Small ran well in the “B” 100 metres and with some caution ran quicker than I expected in the 200 metres. Yemma Songu ran 13.15 to win the “A” 100 metres.

In the under-13 boys the 800 metres stands out. Anton Mills finished 2nd “A” and Reuben Wilmshurst 1st “B”. The Shot Putt was almost as good with Tom Jones in the ”A”  and Anton Mills in the “B” both 2nd. I must mention a fine 2nd place by Henry Adams in the 1,500 metres.

Corey Haynes and Kieron Dunkley starred for the under-15s. Corey held off the challenge of a Cardiff athlete and Kieron finished rapidly to finish 3rd in the race and win the “B” string event.

The 400 metres and 4 x 400m provided the highlights from the under-17s. Jack Dyer in the “A” race and Ross Shipway in the “B” were both 2nd in the 400 metres. Combining with Lewis Nightingale they were anchored in the 4 x 400 metre relay by Khan Fagan who held on safely to third place.   

In summary the athletes present at Cardiff did well but through sheer lack of numbers in the under-15 and under-17 age groups was never a team capable of mounting a challenge.  The match score reflects this clearly.

For the season as a whole we did not fill 50% of the event slots. With the move to Whitehall and increased numbers training we would have expected to have exceeded the 59% achieved in 2011.

We have scored a maximum for the provision of officials. We must thank Bill Kingston, Colin Hickey and Violet Small for their unstinting support at each meeting. I have improved my time keeping and managed 5 Bingos at Cardiff when my watch matched the electronic time. Top time keepers remain classified as such if they are always within 5 one hundredths.  Zoe Goodman has provided support by officiating and mustering athletes. A number of parents have travelled to each meeting and are always willing to help.

Full results of club athlete performances can be found at: http://www.bristolandwestac.org/downloads/track-and-field-competitions/national-young-athletes-league/

A SPECIAL RECORD OF THANKS TO TEAM MANAGERS Simonne Lowrey and Paula Songu. Facebook, text, phone, e-mail contact and in person are means by which athletes are contacted and chivvied into turning out for the club.

Parents and athletes please realise that this is an unpaid time consuming task undertaken for your benefit.

The plea to parents and athletes is that Bristol & West AC is a competing athletics club. You should expect to compete for the club and that means at Yate in the Avon Track & Field League or a little further afield in the Young Athletes League. There are not too many specific League dates during the summer but we do face some congestion from school meetings. We are realistic about the impact that can have but the turnout and support this year in the Young Athletes League has been poor.

I hear the cry “I’m not good enough.” You will be infinitely better than no one and you may be making progress in your enjoyment and level of performance. It’s of course great to meet new people at the various meetings.

We do not know what will happen to the National Young Athletes League. UK Athletics are seeking to impose a new structure from 2013. We may have been relegated back to Division 1 but we shall have to wait and see how clubs are placed across a newly structured Development League.

Whatever structural changes are introduced we do need athletes who train to compete. In competing you encourage team managers to organise and facilitate your enjoyment of athletics.

Looking ahead we need continuing and additional support from parents. How can you help us? You know your expertise. You may have the ability to become an official as most tasks are straightforward. You may even madly be inclined to be a team manager for a specific age group. You may be able to offer help in other ways so please talk to Hilary Nash or Keith Brackstone.

Hilary Nash Reports – 18 June 2012