Summer 2023 track & field season success!
The 2023 season has gone really well for the club.
We finished 4th in the National Athletic League! – see below.
In the Youth Development League Upper – for under 20s and under 17s – we compete in the top division in our region and finished 3rd this season.
In the Southern Athletics League – for seniors, under 20s and under 17s – we compete in the top division and finished 3rd this season.
We also finished 4th in the Youth Development League Lower – for U13s and U15s – and 2nd in the Alder Valley League – for U13s, U15s & U17s.
We have over 500 active members, which is an increase on last year. We are a thriving and welcoming community athletics club.
NATIONAL ATHLETIC LEAGUE
We are proud to be one of the top sixteen clubs in the country, who compete in the Premiership Division and In 2021 and 2022, we finished in the top 8 to qualify for the National Finals.
The 16 clubs are split into 4 groups of 4 teams who move together in a round robin format, the 4 teams compete together at all 3 matches and compete once against the other 12 clubs.
There were three matches this season, with no national final to qualify for, so it was all about how high we could finish. We were in a challenging group, with Harrow AC, one of the favourites for the title, but we performed brilliantly in every match, to finish 4th out of 16!
MATCH 1 – at Thames Valley Athletic Centre, Eton – Sunday 11th June.
Team Manager’s report – ‘Amazing team effort for the first NAL match of the season!!’
Well what a day, we had extreme heat, high pollen count, 6 PB’s, 15 seasons bests, 2 equal PB’s, 10 wins and a thunderstorm that resulted in the last few events of the competition having to be abandoned! That’s after the 3K men got battered by the thunderstorm!
The team performed brilliantly, every point was crucial even if an athlete felt they’d under performed their points were invaluable. Thank you to everyone you were all amazing.
With such an amazing team effort, We finished 2nd! A brilliant result.
Thanks to the athletes who turned out but didn’t get to complete their event or compete at all due to the weather abandoning the match. Thank you to the athletes who stepped in last minute to fill events to ensure we got some points. Jess Armah did her magic and helped keep the team out there with a constant rotation of athletes on her massage bed, thank you Jess.
It’s not only the athletes who collate points for the final team position. It’s also our team of officials as we get 45 points for a full team of officials, which makes a huge difference, one of the teams originally finished 4th on Sunday but once the officials points were added for that team as they didn’t supply a full team of officials they dropped to 6th! Thank you to our wonderful team of officials, you are all fantastic.
I can’t miss out thanking the amazing volunteers working behind the scenes doing 10 -12 hour shifts to ensure matches can happen.
Points at each match are distributed for each event:
‘A’ string athletes and all relays, 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 points, for 1st place through to 8th place finish for each athlete.
‘B’ string athletes 10, 8, 6, 5 4, 3, 2, 1 points, for 1st place through to 8th place finish for each athlete.
As you can see the points for our 1st and 2nd place finishes brought in great points.
MATCH 2 – at Harvey Hadden Sports Village, Nottingham – Saturday 15th July.
Team Manager’s report – ‘What an amazing performance by the NAL Team!!!’
Where do I start with this report from Saturday’s match! Lets start with the amazing result that we finished 3rd on the day, incredible performances by every athlete who competed. We were up against the top 2 clubs in the UK so to finish 3rd has blown me away!! The conditions were atrocious! We had gusts of wind where branches were being blown from the trees at the finish area that officials had to constantly remove, torrential downpours resulting in athletes and officials running for cover leaving waterlogged circles, run up areas, crash mats and puddles on the track along with several starting blocks slipping!
The team performed outstandingly, the majority travelled on the coach Friday late afternoon that resulted in nearly a 5 hour journey due to the M1 being closed! So we had some stiff bodies on Saturday that needed a bit of a stretch out before competing. It was very refreshing to have so many younger members of the club competing, we had 6 x U17’s, 21 x U20’s and 30 senior athletes. All the athletes were extremely polite, well mannered and the younger athletes showed maturity beyond their years at the match. We were very lucky to have Alex Haydock-Wilson step in for this match as our Team Captain and he did a great team speech after dinner at the hotel on the Friday evening.
The athletes were competing for the points, the conditions had almost put a stop to obtaining PB’s, but wait, oh yes 5 of the athletes weren’t having any of that and produced incredible performances to get rewarded with PB’s!! Along with 13 season bests! We also had 7 wins in total, brilliant! Every athlete’s performance was crucial, the points they secured were amazing for the team.
From everyone in the team we send a huge thank you to our officials who by being out all day in the awful weather conditions, they secure the maximum points a club can secure for the match, points that make a huge difference to our overall points score and where we finish in the league table. Also a big thanks to Jess our masseur who had a constant rotation of athletes needing her magic touch to get them back out there. Thanks to the athletes who swopped events on very short notice due to withdrawals in the team and to those who doubled up and did an extra event to secure those magic points. You were all incredible!
Finally, thank you for the great travelling support we had at this match, it was lovely to see so many familiar faces.
MATCH 3 – at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham – Saturday 5th August.
Team Manager’s report – ‘An incredible performance!’
Well as you’d expect in the middle of summer it was a lovely warm, bright and sunny day. OH NO! sorry I got that confused with what we’d expect the weather in August to be!!!!!!! Wow what another challenging match in the wind and constant rain, it was bitterly cold with everyone wrapped up in as many layers as possible and having to change out of wet clothing throughout the day. But that didn’t stop the incredible WSEH National Athletic League athletes getting out there, proudly wearing the WSEH blue and yellow and working as an amazing team to pull off finishing 2nd on the day! It blew me away, what an incredible bunch of athletes.
Thank you to every athlete who competed, to our wonderful officials who secure us the maximum 45 points for our full quota of required qualified officials and to the travelling coaches/family/friends who supported the team in awful conditions. Thanks Jess our masseur who managed to work on athletes whilst trying to stay warm herself!
The Premiership division is a 16 club league, at the end of the season the bottom 4 clubs get relegated. After Saturday’s match we finished the season ranked 4th!
There were 3 league matches this season and the league points are allocated from a win through to 8th place – so 8 points, 7 points, 6 points, 5 points, 4 points, 3 points, 2 points, 1 point.
Our first match which was our home match at Eton, we finished 2nd, 7 points.
Our second match in Nottingham, we finished 3rd, 6 points.
Then on Saturday in our third and final match of the season, we finished 2nd, 7 points.
Thank you for contributing to the success of the NAL team in 2023, maybe next year we will creep closer to the title!