As most of you are probably already aware, Ed Lown has decided to hang up his coaching hat after 30 years of service (though he will hopefully still be helping out now and again in an unofficial capacity). Ed has made a huge contribution to this club over the years, doing even more work behind the scenes than during his coaching sessions, with numerous grant bids applied for (and won), and countless committee meetings attended. Ed's enthusiasm and dedication is well recognised outside of as well as within Birtley, and we have been very fortunate to have had him at the helm for so long.
Also leaving the club is Christine Pearson, who after 20 years of coaching is taking a well earned break to focus on her own grandchildren's sporting interests.
Everyone at Birtley would like to wish both of these dedicated coaches all the best for the future, and we hope they have a long and happy "retirement".
Please read the documents below carefully before returning to the club. To book your place on any of our sessions, see our Noticeboard page. Please note, Tommy is unable to make a 6pm session so is holding his sessions separately at Chester le Street. To renew memberships*, please visit the Club Store. Membership renewals are due by 1st August, so no rush!
* Memberships are being charged at 2/3 of the usual rate to allow for time lost due to Covid restrictions - renewal date will remain the same, April 1st 2021.
If images below are unclear, the full document can be downloaded here
Katie Francis was the first woman in the Step Up Virtual Sunderland City 5k run with a time of 18.45. This was arranged by the events of the north earlier this month, since the actual races had to be postponed.
Katie has been enjoying following her training sent by Gary (which is obviously working!) and taking part in the occasional solo social distanced time trial style race. Congratulations to Katie on a brilliant time!
Next week (beginning 25th May) I just want you to complete 1 session and then one of the days next week complete a circuit of core exercises! (if you can’t get down I want your child to pick any of the sessions I have posted and go through them !) :
Pictures are displayed below, park just down from the priory (been circled on picture)
Warm up jog from the car park- follow the white line I created to the stairs which are pictured below. You are going to jog down one and run along path at bottom to get to them stairs.
Session on stairs:
1st) 10 seconds- as many single steps as you can ( keep count) walk back down. Repeat the same till you get to 45 seconds if your not up the top of the stairs by then
2nd) repeat the same again but double stairs at a time. See if you can get further by doing this (remember to drive up the stairs, bringing your knees up!)
3rd) fast sprint up the stairs (up to you whether you do single or double steps at a time, walk back down recovery. Repeat 3 times
4th) try and use the sand just down from the stairs- I want you to try and complete ramp ups- (slow to fast- start heel flicks Into bringing your knees from behind body up into high knees where you will end up into a sprint - fast as can count for 5 seconds when you get into the sprint - slow down gradually not just abrupt. Repeat 5 times, walk back recovery
Light Jog back to car park, static stretches
If you can send any pictures of your children doing the session, it may motivate others! Hope everyone is staying well and keeping safe !
It was intended this year to organise and rerun the C2C relay that the Club completed during June 2008, of course due to the current situation, it’s not possible. So why not have a virtual relay?
The route is along the C2C cycling path from Whitehaven to Roker and has up to 30 legs of various distances and terrain, covering 135 miles of continuous running. There would be 2 cyclists to accompany the runners with mini buses carrying the other leg runners to the next change over point.
This year’s date was to have been 20th and 21st June, depending on the race calendar, so the challenge is for people to choose a leg and run their distance during that weekend. More than one person can do the same leg, and you could do more than one leg, although the estimated time between them should be used, or run 2 or 3 continuous legs. Where possible you should try and run the same type of terrain and gradient as your chosen leg i.e. if you choose a leg in the heart of the Lake District you’re bound to have some uphill running so choose your virtual leg route to match your chosen leg’s terrain, (see the attached information regarding the route). To map a route near home and check out elevation, distance, gradients etc., Mapometer is a great free site that's easy to use.
The challenge is open to everyone in the club and all ages, it’s not about being the quickest, it’s about being part of the “virtual” team to cover the distance.
Below are links to the legs and the distance, and also some further information about the C2C route. Hopefully next year we can do the actual event.
It would be best to message me (Tommy) and not on this post, with your preferred leg/legs, and I’ll put your name against it.
Please note that all government recommendations regarding social distancing should be used, and all young athletes should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
C to C (or Sea to Sea) Route
Information about the route
Hope everyone is staying safe, keeping fit and healthy, and coping with the current situation. This is a bit of a roundup of what people have been up to during the club closure, and it looks like most of you are still training well, even on your own. Please comment on this post with your own news, training ideas, or thoughts on virtual challenges we could do as a club.
Fiona's group have been doing some solo time trials, as have Gary's group - if anyone has missed these because they're not on Facebook, drop me an email and I can give you details. Below are the the mile times for Gary's group.
We have special coaching pages on this website (links on the home page) with sessions and training suggestions, so keep checking back for updates there if you're struggling with your training plans.
Some of our athletes have been competing in virtual races, and there are various items by EA online such as this one - check your emails for regular updates and helpful advice from EA. If you haven't been getting any emails from EA, your email address has probably changed since you first registered with the club - drop me an email and I'll get your profile updated with the correct one.
Finally, no decision has yet been made on our membership fees - any news on this will of course be passed on both here and via email.
Message from Tom Millmore
Free!! England Athletics are offering a free download of the 365 Athlete Handbooks. This could be of interest to athletes, coaches and parents.
Hope everyone is well and keeping safe.
Look after yourself and look forward to getting back to some kind of normality and hopefully towards some competition.
Here is the link for the download
As hopefully most of you are aware, our club membership is normally due for renewal on 1st April. However, as nothing is normal about the situation at present, we are suspending renewals until we have a firm date for a recommencement of club activities. Once everything has settled down, we will decide on a course of action for renewals - in the meantime, stay indoors as much as possible, stay healthy by following your coach's solo training plans if you can (see our coaching links on the home page), and stay safe!
As the Good Friday Relays have been cancelled (along with just about everything else!) we have obviously refunded the athletes who paid for their entries - you should be receiving the repayment in a week or so. Many thanks for your interest in the event, fingers crossed we have events to enter again in a few months time.
IMPORTANT NOTICE re training - please read! Following the statement issued by EA this morning (shown below), training at club is suspended until at least the end of April, or until further notice. Regular updates will be published both here and on the
website. We apologise for this, but we're sure you all understand the importance of following this advice and keeping both yourselves and your families safe at this difficult time.
"The UK government has advised that everyone in the UK should now avoid “non-essential” travel and contact with others to fight coronavirus. Whilst it has not issued any ban on public gatherings of any size either indoors or outdoors at this stage, the advice is to avoid non-essential contact with others, including going to sporting events, pubs, clubs, theatres and social venues.
As a result, England Athletics advises that all face-to-face activity such as club training sessions, events, competitions, club committee and face-to-face meetings, athlete camps, running groups and social events should be suspended until at least the end of May.
The decision has been taken in the interests of athletes, runners, officials, coaches, volunteers, supporters and the wider athletics and running communities. This decision is also in alignment with actions taken by the home country athletics federations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and is similar to action taken by other sports.
Where possible, athletes and runners at all levels are encouraged to maintain their own personal fitness and keep active during this time, while following government guidelines about safe distance and safe exercise environments.
England Athletics will continue to review and monitor government advice and will provide detailed updates on the impact to our sport in the coming weeks. We appreciate that the current situation will undoubtedly place our member clubs in a difficult situation and we are working with UKA and the other Home Country Athletics Federations on the best way to help alleviate the situation and will update you as plans evolve."
The Birtley AC AGM will be held at 7pm on Monday 20th April 2020 at the Birtley Hub. Decisions about future membership fees, setting of nightly subs, and voting in of committee members will all take place, so it's vital that you come along and have your say - all members are eligible to vote on these important issues.
If there are any issues that you would like to see on the agenda, please email by April 14th for consideration by the committee. There is a list of key committee posts available for nominations prior to the AGM, please consider volunteering for some of these roles as the club cannot function without our members's support.
This link will take you to the nominations list and allow you to volunteer yourself or nominate (or second) others - please take the time to have a look at the list and help your club. To enter a name, simply type it in the appropriate column - the document will automatically save. Thank you for your help!
Due to the current Covid-19 crisis, we have taken the decision to postpone our presentation night until later in the year. Please continue to bring your trophies to club, and any non-perishable items may still be donated in the interim, thank you for your understanding during this difficult period.
Our presentation night this year will be held at Chester le Street Cricket Club (this is NOT the Emirates!). The admission price includes a delicious buffet and there will be music and games - remember to bring some change with you for the bottle games! Proceedings begin at 7pm, so make sure you're there in time to grab a seat and a drink before we start the evening. There will also be a raffle and chocolate tombola - all donations gratefully accepted at the club in the next couple of weeks prior to the event.
We hope to make this a fun evening, so no lengthy speeches to sit through, and any proceeds will be going straight back into the club, to help develop our athletes even further. Tickets can be bought via our website or at club - we'll need your orders in by April 1st to allow time to order the buffet, so please don't leave it too late to buy your tickets - this is the online link
We also need a few volunteers to help set up on the day (decorations, sorting out trophies, etc.) - I realise we have asked a lot of you all lately, but hopefully some of you still have some reserves of volunteering left and will offer to help out! If you are willing, please either comment on the FB post or email/text me.
As you know, it's Lambton XC this weekend and for the first time this season, Birtley are helping to organise the event. We need to marshal six points on the course, plus help to set up and take down the course, and we currently have very few volunteers, having lost some to the schools event that is also taking place this weekend. If we don't have sufficient people coming forward to help, this event may be in jeopardy - please PLEASE offer to help if you can. You don't need to be an athlete or a member of the club - we are very happy to have parents/brothers/sisters/next door neighbours, all will be welcome!
You don't need to miss out on your own race to marshal, we just need enough volunteers to be able to swap out when the time comes around for your own race to take place. Please remember that every other harrier league you've attended this year has been organised by other clubs, and that without willing volunteers none of them would have happened - this is the only time we've asked you to help out with a harrier league event, please help us show the region that we may be a small club but we can step up when needed!
Course set-up volunteers need to be at the course by 8.15-8.30. Marshals will probably need to get there around 10.15 for briefing (now confirmed time). The marshalling points are shown below, and full details of how to get to the course on the day are on the NEHL blog here.
Saturday saw the Intercounties XC Champs take place at Loughborough, with Birtley being represented by three athletes - Chris Perkins, Katie Francis and Eve Southern. All three athletes ran well, with Chris coming away with a silver medal for a very closely fought second place finish - well done all. A full report of the event by Bill McGuirk can be seen here.
Sunday saw the action come a lot closer to home, with our club hosting the 4th Birtley Junior XC Relays. Around a hundred teams from north east clubs descended onto Lord Lawson playing fields to run a surprisingly challenging cross country course. The home team won two lots of team gold - well done to the U11 girls, the "Golden Grahams" Nell, Poppy and Kitty, and the U15/17/20 girls Katie Francis, Abigail Thwaites and Tess Graham. There were also individual success for Chris Perkins (fastest U15/17/20), Katie Francis (fastest U15/17/20), Nell Graham (U11) and special kudos to Noah Williamson who despite falling at the bottom of the first hill, picked himself up and proceeded to finish in third place for the first leg of the under 11s. Full results can be seen on our results page.
This weekend (Saturday 22nd February 2020), saw three of Birtley AC’s younger athletes take part in the Blyth Sportshall Athletics Series. The first round of the series was held in November with the finale on Saturday with Poppy, Ellie and Izzy competing in both. The girls undertook five activities (64m sprint, endurance run, standing long jump, vertical jump and medicine ball chest push) and excelled at every one of them. Ellie and Izzy achieved all-time records at the series and all of the girls recorded high grades in the final rankings. With three athletes competing for Birtley AC the small team ranked 6th overall at final standings. It was an excellent achievement by all three girls – well done and here’s to many more!