|Charles to Chair North West England Athletics Council
Charles Gains, Development Officer for Liverpool Pembroke and Sefton Athletic Club, has been unanimously chosen as Chair of the North West England Athletics Council covering Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. The council follows a major reorganisation of the sport which sees England split into 9 regions. The new council
will be in receipt of Lottery money which will pump about £300,000 a year into the region for the next five years leading up to the Olympic Games in 2012.
“This is a major responsibility and I am not taking it lightly. There is a huge cynicism in athletics that centres round the central location of activity in Birmingham and the fact that so little available funds ever reach the grassroots base. We are not playing with big sums under this grant but it is significantly more than we have ever seen before. The Council has already looked at priorities and we have identified the area of coaching for substantial amounts of disposable funds. The North West is luckier than some other regions in its large number of qualified and talented coaches. If we can build on this we can release the talent that clearly exists in the region. I would like to think that the North West might be a leading player in the revival of a declining sport”
|North West Road Relays
The North West combined county road relay championships always provide indicators of club strength for the coming winter season. Held at Stockport Liverpool Pembroke Sefton fielded what they knew was a strong Under 15 squad in the Merseyside race. Very quickly LPS and local rivals Liverpool Harriers detached themselves from the large field and engaged in a separate battle. David Forrester handed over virtually level and Mike Bride surged into a useful lead but not enough to break his opponent. Sean Dignam dug deep on the final leg but was unable to prevent the Harrier crossing the line in gold medal position. Still silver brought smiles all round. None was happier than coach John McCarten who quietly knew that had he been able to field a possibly stronger Lancashire trio eyebows would have been raised even higher in the North West. LPS ambitions now move on to Northern and National races. Elsewhere a hard working team of Under 13 year olds, Joe Hanlon, Adam Goldfarb and Matthew Scragg finished overall 13th in their race not enough though for Lancashire medals.
The tough training schedules individuals are putting in at the Edge Hill track are paying off elsewhere. Skelmersdale’s Andrew Bowen was chosen to represent the North West in the inaugral UK School Games in Glasgow. The national Under 17 silver medallist was not at his best in the 1500m steeplechase but still finished fourth in a quality field. Another beneficiary of sustained application is Ormskirk sixth former Stephanie Swift who finished fourth in a women`s 5K road race in Liverpool. She was only fractionally short of breaking the magic 20 minute barrier and a few seconds shy of a placing so her spirits will be high for the next encounter.
Report Charles Gains
16 September 2006