Chris Perkins made a brilliant first outing in his England vest at the SIAB (Schools' International Athletic Board) XC International in Dublin, romping home in third place to help bring the England team to victory. Chris, who is still not back to 100% fitness after a viral infection last week, is showing a lot of promise, and it seems likely that this won't be his last outing in an England vest!
Early bird reduction in membership fees - don't miss out!
A committee decision was made to stop using Webcollect for our membership subscriptions, and move everything to our own website store instead. We have also moved the membership renewal date from 1st May to 1st April, as this fits in with England Athletics re-registration, and we had lots of problems last year with unregistered athletes taking part in the various T&F league fixtures because of the differing dates of registration.
To make up for the "lost" month this year, we are offering our members a special discounted rate for renewal, but only if paid before May 1st. It's easier than ever to renew your membership - there's a very short form to fill in, and you can now pay by credit/debit card at no extra cost. Here is the link to the renewal option in our store, and the full store (which includes free club entries for the NECAA T&F Champs and entries for the Angel View races) can be seen at the bottom of this post.
For those who would prefer to pay by cash or cheque - you can still do that at club, but please complete the online form and proceed through checkout to enable us to process your renewal. You will NOT be required to enter any card details at checkout, but it will ask you for your name and email address (phone no. is not required) - please provide these as EA now require valid email addresses for all members, whether registered as competitive athletes or not.
Additionally, we now have a Square card reader available at the club, which can be used to pay for memberships, race fees, club kit and even your nightly subs (no more scratching around finding loose change for a club night!). Again, this will not cost any extra for our members and we hope you will find the service beneficial.
So, in summary:-
After many enquiries and interest over the past few months, there will be two Pole Vault camps in March at Gateshead Academy for Sport indoor track.
Great way to learn pole vault to see if you have a hidden talent for it or if you just want to help your club get a few extra points in the summer leagues. All ages welcome from above 11.
Weekend 1 -
24th - 25th march - beginners (never pole vaulted before)
Weekend 2 -
30th-31st March - experienced (vaulted at least once before)
Beginners who attend the first weekend who wish to attend the second are more then welcome.
New Balance English Schools Cross Country Championships 2019 – Temple Newsam Park, Leeds (Report by Jeff Southern)
Six Birtley AC athletes all boarded the Durham Team coach on Saturday for a relatively early morning trip to Leeds to take part in the English Schools Cross Championships. Those six Birtley athletes competed in all championship age groups with the exception of Intermediate Boys, a fantastic achievement for the club.
Temple Newsam Park in Leeds was holding the Championships for the second year in succession so the course was familiar to some making a return.
The weather, as forecast, was dreadful with incessant rain and a gusty wind but this would not dent the spirit of the athletes who had all worked so hard for their selection. They were all determined to enjoy their day.
The course was hilly and run, generally, on well cut grass fields forming the grounds of Temple Newsam House. The course, however, was soon to cut up and by the last race was very heavy underfoot with extremely tricky downhill sections where even long spikes did not guarantee a ‘slip free’ descent.
The day began with Tess Graham in the Intermediate Girls Championship run over a distance of 3710m. Tess had a really solid run finishing in 117th position out of 341 competitors and was Durham’s fifth girl home. Tess still has another year in this age category.
Next up was Chris Perkins in the Junior Boys Championship competing over a distance of 4100m. Chris had a great start and was soon occupying what is becoming a familiar position at the front of the race along with his local rival Josh Blevins along with another athlete known to Chris, Lewis Sullivan from Suffolk. It was a three-horse race until the beginning of the second longer lap, at which point Lewis pulled into an unassailable lead, with Josh clear in second. Chris was occupying a comfortable third place but it was clear that there were a number of runners who appear to have left something in the tank for a final push to the line. On a difficult uphill finish, Chris relinquished three places but finished in an excellent 6th place to claim his first England vest - a fantastic achievement.
The Junior Girls were up next with both Katie Francis and Abigail Thwaites competing over the 3000m course. Katie did not get the best of starts, possibly due to her diminutive stature but she quickly started moving through the field, eventually finishing in 19th place and first counter for Durham - a fantastic run. Abigail, on a course that was perhaps not to her strengths, dug deep to finish in 307th position . Both girls have had brilliant cross-country seasons.
At 2.35, it was the turn of the Senior Girls with Birtley’s sole representative, Eve Southern, competing in her first English Schools Final. Its great to see that after so many near misses, Eve finally got her chance and she wasn’t going to let anything spoil her day. Due to the pen system at the start, Eve was not able to get off to her usual positive start but the 4100m course would provide plenty opportunity for her to work steadily through the field. This she did and finished in a creditable 237th position.
In the final race of the day Ollie Barret was competing in the Senior Boys Championship having only taken up running seriously last Autumn. The course was extremely heavy going at this stage and Ollie was not the only boy having difficulty with their footing. In the longest race of the day, run over 6700m, Ollie did well to stay upright and finished in 288th place and sixth counter for Durham.
For all those who competed, the day was a fantastic experience with every single Birtley athlete doing themselves, their County and Club extremely proud. A big thank you to all of the parents who made the journey to support and also to Gary and Shannel for their support on the day but also throughout the season.
Rebecca is the North East Pentathlon Champion 2019
Cross-country wasn't the only event this weekend - the NECAA Indoor Pentathlon Championships were also taking place (in somewhat warmer, drier conditions!). Young athlete Amy Drummond was competing in her very first pentathlon, and she PB'ed in almost every event - well done Amy!
Rebecca Pottinger excelled, becoming North East Champion whilst up against a variety of talented athletes, ably demonstrating that it's always possible to come back to track and field, even after a few years out! Huge well done to Rebecca - full results can be seen on this link
Despite a cold wintry day which turned even colder as the age groups progressed (with the u15/17s running in an awful mixture of rain and sleet), the junior relays had a record attendance, with 382 athletes turning out on the day. There were some terrific performances, with true grit and determination being shown by the youngsters in very trying conditions.
The girls u11 was a particularly hard fought battle, with only 3 seconds separating the winners Elswick from second place North Shields Poly, with NSP's Katy Otterson winning fastest leg prize.
The u11 boys team race was won by North Shields poly, with Zac Brannon also finishing fastest leg for the same club.
The girls u13 team race was also won by Elswick, completing a successful day of racing for them, while Hannah Bowyer from Blackhill did the honours for fastest leg.
The boys u13 team race gave Morpeth their first result of the day, whilst Bertie Marr made it the double by running the fastest leg.
Morpeth again got the honours in the boys u15/u17 team race, although Birtley pipped them to fastest leg with a speedy performance by Chris Perkins.
Finally, the home u15/17 girls team claimed a resounding victory, finishing well over a minute clear of their rivals, with Abigail Thwaites also claiming fastest leg for Birtley.
Huge congratulations to all who ran, we hope you enjoyed the event and hope to see a lot of you back next year! (Results link below pic)
The following results are provisional - please email with any queries ASAP. (Latest update 09:40 on 12/3)
Photos of the day can be seen on our FB page - here are the links for those of you who have FB.
Photos by Darren Fairclough:- U11 Race 1 U13 Race 2 U15/17 Race 3
Pictures by Stuart Whitman are available on this link
Photos by John Geddes on this link (Birtley AC runners only)
Thanks to all of the photographers who kindly stood there in the awful weather!
Two Team Birtley athletes raced today at Loughborough representing the North East in the Inter Counties Championships. Katie Francis won team Gold and Adrian Bailes placed well in the team. Fantastic racing both of you, very well done!!
Young athletes - this is your last chance to run cross-country this season, with a home ground advantage!
Parents and older athletes - please step up and help out with set-up, marshalling, and other duties - you'll still be able to support your child!
Other clubs - if you haven't signed up your young athletes for this event yet, now's your chance! Full details and an online entry form here.
Please remember to keep an eye on the Fixtures page for the latest race info - currently there's news on there about the Blaydon Race and Darlington 10k, as well as some other events. The main fixtures heading on the front page is mainly for races that are entered by the club on your behalf (North Easterns, Northerns, relays etc.) - all other races will appear on the Fixtures page so make sure you don't miss out.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - YOUR CLUB NEEDS YOU!
The Birtley AC AGM will be held at 7pm on Monday 8th April 2019 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 1st for consideration by the committee. There will be 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 which will 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!