Stratford athletes surpass expectations at Club Championships

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From left to right: Tim Hutchinson, Matt Burdus-Cook, Ben Stockill, Taylor Stubbins, Alex Adams, Georgie Campbell, Ben Kruze and James Mucklow.

ATHLETICS

DESPITE only returning to training at the track two months ago, Stratford AC athletes surpassed all expectations by recording plenty of personal bests and smashing club records at the recent Club Championships.

The championships are the biggest and most important in the club’s calendar, and more than 130 athletes were expertly marshalled by nearly 50 of the volunteer officials and coaches who enjoyed the event on a crisp, sunny morning.

The championships, for some, were the first time athletes could compete in the summer’s blighted track and field season.

Athletes have continued to train hard this year, despite the severe restrictions placed on them.

After only being allowed back to training at the track two months ago, the performances surpassed all expectations, with more than 200 PBs being recorded and a few club records being broken too.

Event co-ordinator Paul Bearman said: “It really was a terrific team effort and achievement by everyone concerned to put the championships on in such a short timescale.

“Getting it licensed to the stringent, safe standards required by England Athletics only five days before leading up to the championships made it touch and go to run the event.

“Covid-19 has decimated the track and field season. Without the commitment, hard work and attention to detail to make things safe by the small army of volunteers, the championships simply wouldn’t have happened,” he added.

Athlete Millie Leighton said the Club Championships were a great way to end what has been an incredibly short season for many athletes.

Millie added: “Nevertheless, everyone seemed to rise to the occasion and produce some great performances.

“It was definitely a challenge having gone so long without training, but I think it’s safe to say we have all missed competition and it was nice to restore some amount of normality.

“Considering the lack of competition preparation and training at the track over the last six months, along with the majority of athletes, I was very surprised and pleased with my results, managing to get a PB in two out of my three events.

“Given that it’s unlikely that we won’t be able to have the club awards evening this year, it was nice to see the club enjoying being together.”