UK WAL Sportcity 07-08-16
It was a busy weekend for athletics in Manchester with a Northern League match on the Saturday followed by the UK Womens Athletics League on the Sunday. Both at Sportcity in Manchester. Athletes, officials, coaches and volunteers all came out in force despite the start of the Olympic Games in Rio being a distraction on the tely.
Tony Simmons should be congratulated for getting the athletes out for a winning end to the season after two very difficult away trips to the far reaches of the South in round one at Chelmsford, followed by Southampton in round two. Pity the Scots of Victoria Park, for those two away days. Our points total this weekend almost doubled that accumulated in the first two meets. This is not a club problem but a National one as people juggle the demands of modern life. Some of these women have families to organise too. The savvy notice those good athletes who are not far away but do not have a club in these leagues and recruit accordingly, for example, the good young vaulter from Sheffield and Dearne. This is all legitimate.
Replacing a manager such as Eric Hughes is a tall order and somewhat akin to replacing Fergie (yes Eric was that good a manager) - it takes time. In any area of life it’s futile to expect any two people to be exactly the same. Tony needs support in any way that anyone can whilst he builds up his experience and his current pool of athletes. Athletes who have friends who could compete might suggest to Tony athletes who may fill gaps, especially on away days. Sometimes people just need encouraging with the belief they can compete at this level and follow good advice from coaches. This was a very good result to finish the season and could be built upon next year as it moves in the right direction. Tony has done a good job this year.
Two shining examples are our two International athletes who competed. Kirsty Law won the Discus propelling it ten metres further than her nearest rival and bettered her throw in the Diamond league and her Commonwealth games throw two years ago. She is herself a diamond, down to earth, competing for the second day running, having performed in the Northern league on Saturday. Jessica Taylor as a heptathlete is able to not just cope but bring valuable points in three events plus a relay. Her win in the Long jump would also have won the league above. Ably supporting her winning the B long jump and also doing the triple and 400 was Tyra Watson in her first year of working life in a demanding job.
Tyra started competing for Sale ten years ago as an u13 and what a reliable athlete she has been. Two other young ladies who doubled up were Megan Davies and Aimee Pratt in 800 and 1500, always difficult for young athletes, both still developing. Megan scooped maximum points as the B runner after both girls worked together. Flying to victory in the 100m were Lucy Evans who took the very competitive A race and Zavia Hill winning the B race. Lucy also took valuable points in the B race. Emma Finney and Luisa Candioli are relatively new to track and field having missed competing in YDL but improving all the time and will learn from their experiences and their quality coach. Luisa manged a p.b. and it looks like there's more to come. Katy Wellam yet again braved the barriers of the Steeplechase. Annie Williams took on the technically difficult Pole vault and triple jump. Rose Semenytsh almost grabbed the Javelin win and supported in the High Jump. Rachel Pugh threw the Hammer and the discus gaining valuable points. The willowy figure of J'Nae Ward looks more suited to the High Jump, her best event, but as a multi eventer the talented U20 athlete competed in the Shot, showing her versatility.
I'm sure Tony will notice some discrepancies in my observations as I don't know his team as well as he does but my attempt hopefully recognises the work the team has done whilst allowing him one less demand of another job on a busy weekend. This convincing win is a platform to build for next year. Well done Ladies. If you fancy having a go at writing reports then let Frank Cordingley know as the years fixtures are so diverse nobody goes to everything and often managers need leaving free to run the team. Frank is currently doing a sterling job of getting everything on the website. Most of us work full time; remember none of us is as good as all of us.
Posted 09/08/2016 08:18