CHAIRMANS REPORT FOR THE AGM HELD ON FEBRUARY 27th 2020
The year started with a visit from The Princess Royal, HRH Princess Anne and the naming of the Athletics Arena after Tony and Pat Jefferies in recognition of their tremendous contribution to the club, the Arena itself and athletics in general.
We eventually got the completed track back in July just about a year after the refurbishment started. We didn’t allow that to effect us, we continued to build!
The season was yet again a great success with more athletes and parents getting involved in the sport and our club.
Sadly Mike Smith, our first chairman passed away at the the end of the year, but it was fitting that during the year, he witnessed the completion of the refurbishment of the track he originally instigated.
It feels we are now building on his legacy taking the club into the next decade.
We had a visit from Black Heath and Bromley who were about to embark on their own track refurbishment. They were very impressed and envious of the facilities were have here at Yate, yet another reminder of the huge opportunity we have to grow a club to provide athletics for young and old, elite and club athletes alike.
The club entered a team in the sport hall league for the first time, a learning curve for us but I am sure the coming season will be better and more supported.
The future looks exciting, as we have been accepted into the National Athletics League (NAL) which is the top League in the country. This will be a huge challenge for the club, team manager and athletes alike. It does, however, allow the club to offer a pathway from beginner right through to elite within our own club.
We must remember to nurture the whole pathway, not just the end result. Our AT&F team is equally important to set athletes on the right path, and give opportunities to all. The YDL league, where juniors gain more competitive experience and Midland league, the first taste of senior only competition, all play their part in the athlete, officials, parent and clubs development.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those involved in the club, parents, officials, team managers, Committee members, helpers on the day, as well as all our athletes.
This is a great club you are involved with and creating.
The future is great the future is Green and Gold!
We have not held social events in 2019, yet the club seems to be becoming more tight knit.
We support the Cancer UK Relay for Life and Fire Works with more people getting involved with coaching, working on the bar, helping out at events, or just having a chat in the club house.
Recent events have shown how important a good support network really is.
Avon Track & Field League
This is where it all starts for most people, whether a quad kid or a senior starting something new, as it is one of the few Leagues that contains all ages and most disciplines, we need to strike a balance between opportunities and competition.
Yet again we came second over all in 2019, again by 1 point behind North Somerset. We seemed to strike the right balance between fielding as full a team as possible, whilst remaining competitive but inclusive.
YDL Upper age group in Midland Premier League (South West)
Again We provided a large percentage of our athletes for team Avon (Yate/B&W/ Team Bath/ North Somerset) we not only reached the regional final again we came 3rd in the National Final in Manchester. One better than our 4th last year! What was also great to see on the day were how many A and B Medals were being won, how many personal bests were being registered as well as those terrific performances where athletes compete outside of their chosen event to get the team points! Well done to those selected, this means you stood out against all the clubs within Team Avon, also those won medals and those who went the extra mile to get the team extra points, a complete team effort!
YDL lower age group in Midland Premier League (South West)
This turned out to be a very competitive age group this year. All competitions were close and we narrowly missed out on staying in the premier division by 13 points out of thousands over the season. With an influx of new athletes I know Team manager Sam is eager to get on with getting back into the top flight. Please look out for emails and FB communications with team selections. Also look out for Sam’s communication meetings where she wants to liaise with tall the parents to guide you all through the selection process etc.
Midland League Division 1
Now in our fourth year in the top division, our composite Yate/Bristol and West Team won the division again that’s twice in the last three years!
Yet again we provided a major part of the team.
It is a great opportunity for our U17 and U20 athletes to taste senior competition and support the seniors. Often seen as a bit scary for them, please remember if they are selected they are good enough, those who took the selection invite thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the experience.
Our target for 2020 year should be to encourage as many younger athletes to make the transition into senior competitions, whilst providing quality competition opportunities for the established seniors, and those coming back from university. This will be particularly important bearing in mind we are to field a NAL team as well.
Sprints and Hurdles and Opens
With the track out of action were were unable to hold our sprints and hurdles, which is a great shame, it will be back in 2020 better than ever, so please support our first event of the year
In 2019 we also jointly held 3 opens on Wednesday evenings with AAA and B&W (incorporating the Avon T&F Championships) Whilst numbers were not quite what we were hoping for in all cases, it did provide more opportunities for our athletes to try competitions for the first time at their home track which takes a lot of the fear factor away, not to mention the travel and car parking cost else where!
I congratulate all those that wore the Yate and District vest, whether in first place or in your first competition. We have had a huge range of achievements this year from smiles in competing for the first time, in an open or league match, to champions of Avon, the Midlands, the South West and country both in and outdoors.
14 of our athletes were selected by their county to compete in the English Schools Track and field championships in Birmingham. Bringing home 4 medals; one in run, one in jumps and two in throws. Congratulations for those selected and those who medaled!
All our athletes should be proud of their achievements both individually and in our various league teams, it is your commitment to training and competing (whether your chosen event or not) that has got you and the club the results we secured in 2019!
We are very proud of you!
The club and athletes also need to be aware of their own journey, whether they are already along the path, their first exciting, nervous selection for AT&F or national honours, they and the club play a changing role supporting each other.
Coaches have had a particularly difficult beginning to the year, some of whom had been away from our track for 12 months by the time we got the track back! Their commitment and dedication in sorting out alternative arrangements for our athletes has been outstanding and we thank them very much, especially when we reflect on how well the athletes have actually done!
We are continuing looking to grow our coaching base including our academy coaches, through out the year, as well as for our university students during the summer which provides ideal opportunities for them during our busy summer period.
We must thank our team managers for the huge amount of work they do, not only on the day of the event, but the constant behind the scenes effort of encouraging, chasing, learning about the athletes and juggling the question of best team verses opportunities, as well as filling gaps in teams due to athletes unavailability, holidays, illness or lack of athletes in some disciplines.
To support the managers the club needs to keep improving the understanding of parents and athletes of how athletics, leagues, opens and selection actually work, to see selection to represent the club as a goal, something to be proud of and cherished. In the coming season we will also have the NAL and Sports Hall league to support.
Whilst our club is very lucky to historically have a good number of experienced officials, it is pleasing to see more getting involved, with the coming season our aim has to be to continue to increase numbers to spread the load and support the additional leagues we will be in as well as increase the social bond it creates.
Crucially the points we gain for supplying officials are more critical for the leagues this coming year demonstrating what a true club effort putting out teams really is.
We have such a good reputation with other clubs for providing quality officials at events, it does get noticed and appreciated.
Thank you to you all!
IT – Communication – Web site
The communication side of the club is improving all the time, results news awards, history all feature. The hard work of the team is playing a huge role in the feel good factor of the club and getting the good name of the club out there.
The amount of favourable reports and enquiries is growing all the time, a real success story
2019 saw another successful awards night, building on the new voting system as well as trying a few tweaks to the evening.
The close results of the voting with ties for some awards reflects the development of the club and athletes where competition is more keen for the honours than I can remember.
The next target for the committee is to encourage more award winners to attend whilst not giving away the results.