The club’s new initiative of ‘Introduction to…’ events kicked off on Saturday 16th September 2017 at Whitehall with Keith Brackstone and Robbie Stewart introducing 24 young athletes from the club into the back art that is steeplechase running. Using a model that owed much to a recent England Athletics steeplechase coaching event in Birmingham our coaches led the athletes through a warm up, drills, a comprehensive set of exercises over hurdles, before the group graduated on to barriers and finally the water jump. The whole session lasted 2 1/2 hours and culminated in an offer of one timed lap over four barriers ad the water jump – all 24 athletes took the coaches up on the offer with Hugh Sadler clocking 68 seconds at the front of the first group – despite a stumble coming out of the water jump. All twenty-four showed remarkable progress in the space of such a short time.
Despite a forecast of a 90% chance of rain the sun actually shone and no-one got wet until the water jump work at the end of the session and after the warm down at least 3 athletes thought they weren’t wet enough and explored the full width, length and depth of that particular obstacle.
A big thank you to all the athletes who attended especially Claudia Spice, Grace Claridge and Danni Sinclair who represented Paul Owen’s group strongly; the Mums and Dads (some of whom stayed to watch the whole session (there’s dedication) ) and to the coaches who promoted the session (particularly Emma Withers).
Now that our twenty-four would be steeplechasers have a good grounding Keith and Robbie will look to run steeplechase specific sessions every 4 to 6 weeks if there is sufficient support from those who would be interested in competing in the event next summer.
It is anticipated that dates for an ‘Introduction to..’ hurdles, high jump, hammer, discus and shot (all separate events) will be announced shortly.