Junior News 2023

Junior Section Report for April 2023

April has been a reasonable month for the Juniors, with a few events to report on.

Saturday, 1st April

Sutton Park 5K Road Championships

Five Juniors made the trip down through Rugeley and Lichfield to these events in which we had two age categories, the Under 13’s and Under 15’s Boys.

Under 13 Boys

Finlay Summers
Brandan Smart
Korey Langston
Fraser Stamp

Total number of finishers: 28

Under 15 Boys

George Millinchip

Total number of finishers: 24

A big well done to everyone that ran in these races, in which there were some high-calibre young athletes.

Wednesday, 19th April

5K Time Trial, Castlefields

George Millinchip was the only Junior to compete in this event, the first of several to be held on a Wednesday evening from April through to September and is intended for people to measure their improvement on the same course over time. George ran a very impressive 21:18, finishing in first place. Well done George!

Outside of the Harriers brother and sister Finlay and Imogen Summers have been stirring up some dust at the local Isabel Trail Park Run, Fin getting a PB of 21:44 and his sister competing in her first ever Park Run! Well done both for putting in some great performances and keep up the fantastic effort. Also, George Millinchip, Oliver Richardson and Daniel Plimmer have continued to participate in these events, with Dan getting a new PB of 22:43 – well done all!

The Monday night training sessions at the Cricket Club have continued to be steady with typically between 18 and 26 Juniors in attendance, and some new faces showing up, which has been encouraging to see. The lighter nights now open up more scope for improved and varied training sessions.

Junior Section Report for March 2023

Sunday, 12th March

Stafford Half Marathon 1 mile Fun Run

Finlay Summers ran in this local event around the town centre of Stafford putting in a top performance and finishing in a very respectable 4th position, so a big well done to Fin!

Saturday, 25th March

Rowley Park 4 x 1mile Relays

We had three teams of four Juniors running in this event, all putting in some great times, so well done to all that ran. Also, a big thanks to Chris Skellern, Antonio Treglia, Saffron Latham and Kerri Delaney for helping out on the day.

After much consideration, the Committee have decided not to pursue the EA Funetics initiative for the time being due to the limited perceived benefit it would bring to the Club. Also, given the relatively large amount of resources needed to successfully support the delivery of this, it was felt the Club could not fully commit at this time.

On Wednesday, 29th March the Club took part in a Duke of Edinburgh Award evening at Stafford Grammar School, whereby we had a display area with giveaway goodies where would-be recruits could find out a little more about the benefits of joining Stafford Harriers. I am told the evening was a great success and some potential new recruits were identified, so a big thanks to Saffron Latham, Vanessa Welham and Ian Hodkinson for supporting with this event.

Some of our Juniors have continued to compete in the local Park Runs all putting in some great performances and achieving some awesome times – well-done guys and keep up the great work, they really do pay off!

Finally, it should be noted that six of our previous Juniors ran in this year’s Stafford Half Marathon including Matthew Hilsdon, Lucas Willson, Robbie Gorman, Jack Heath, and Amy & Jake Oliver, and I think this is a real testament to the Junior section and indeed the Club that they have continued to run into adulthood and embrace the sport. Well done guys!

Junior Section Report for February 2023

February has been another quiet month for the Juniors, with little race participation to report on other than the weekly Park Runs and some inter-school cross-country events. Finley Summers, Daniel Plimmer, Korey Langston, George Millinchip & Fraser Stamp have produced some excellent times at the local park run venues – well done to everyone who continues to run in these events which offer some fantastic opportunities to regularly run a set distance, under race conditions and monitor improvement.

The Committee have been looking at and reviewing the potential benefits of signing up to the England Athletics Funetics Legacy initiative – an opportunity for the Club to provide 4 – 11 year olds an introduction to athletics though participating in fun activity sessions in the hope they will join the junior section in time. A decision on whether or not the Club will sign up will be made imminently.

Junior Section Report for January 2023

January has been a quiet month for the Juniors with no participation in any races, as far as we know other than the local Park Runs, where we have seen a few taking part in these events, all putting in some great performances.

The Monday night training sessions at the Cricket Club started back up 9th January and have proved to be popular with some new faces showing up, which has been encouraging to see.

Saffron and I had a quick catch-up with a lady from England Athletics about the possibility of introducing Funetics to the club and the potential benefits it can bring, which we will present to the Committee for further discussion.

We also have an opportunity to promote the Club, including the Junior section at a Duke of Edinburgh evening held at Stafford Grammar School in March, where we hope to be able to talk to some children, make them aware of the Stafford Harriers Junior section, hand out some flyers and be on hand to answer any questions.


Junior Section Annual Report for 2022

Over the course of 2022, we saw a reasonable but steady attendance down at the Monday night Junior training sessions held at the Cricket Club, with typically between 15 and 30 regularly showing up, as well as seeing some new faces over the course of the year, which is always encouraging to see.

In March we had three Juniors running in the Stafford Half Fun Run, Finley Summers, Abe Langford and Sharna Burbridge, all putting in some great performances. Fin and Abe even managed to make the front page photo of the Staffordshire Newsletter – well done all!

Also in March we saw our older Juniors – Lucas Willson, Matthew Hilsdon and Ben Green move into training with the seniors and running as young adults in races, and on behalf of the Junior Coaches I would like to express my thanks for their hard work, determination and commitment over the years in representing the Junior Harriers, and I hope they all continue to progress as they move into competing against the seniors.

June saw the Stone St Michaels Relays in which we had two teams of Juniors racing, and for some their first competitive event, running alongside the adults, and all putting in some fantastic performances, and for many giving the adults a run for their money! All that ran received a medal and goodie bag, along with a photo of the Mayor of Stone! A big thanks to the parents who helped out with marshalling and organising the juniors at the various changeover points on the course.

Also in June the juniors were very lucky to have an England Athletics coach take one of their Monday night training sessions, which provided some fun coaching, but also some inspiration and learning was taken, and this knowledge has since been used by the junior coaches on subsequent sessions.

In July the Harriers hosted the Staffs Knot 5 Mile race and Fun Run, in which we saw eight juniors participating in the latter, with Jack Dawson finishing in a very impressive 2nd place, in an excellent time of 11:49 – well done to Jack and of course all of the Juniors for representing the Club, putting in some fantastic performances, and great to see some family participation too.

During late spring and the summer months, the Club put on the 5K Time Trials in which we saw some of the Juniors competing, all keen to improve on their previous times – a big well done to all who ran in these events.

September saw the Harriers put on the Showground Relays, in which there were three Junior teams racing, each with four runners and all putting in some great performances, and more importantly, all enjoying the team spirit.

The autumn saw the return of the darker nights however training was able to continue on the grass with the available lighting in place, and thankfully only a handful of sessions had to be delivered on the nearby car park due to waterlogged grass.

The Committee voted unanimously to use some of the Together Active funding to buy some winter training clothes for those Juniors who had shown an ongoing commitment to the Club and regularly attended the training sessions over the course of the year, and it was pleasing to see this being worn whilst attending the autumn cross country events, providing a smart consistent appearance whilst representing the Club.

A couple of former Juniors, and now running with the seniors, kindly drafted a flyer to advertise the Club’s Junior section, and with thanks to Tom Davall for his assistance with the graphic design, and Steve McHugh for the printing, we have now got a professional looking leaflet available for distributing at various events and local sporting venues. It is hoped in time this will start to improve awareness of the Club’s Junior section and boost membership.

Park Runs

Some of the Juniors continued to run in the various local park runs during the course of last year, all putting in some great performances, and for Reuben Willson he ran his 100th event in July, which is a tremendous achievement. It’s really pleasing to see these events continue to attract the Juniors on a Saturday morning, and through regular attendance and hard work, their times continue to improve.

Pete Hodgett’s Memorial Handicap Races

The Club was able to put on three of the Pete Hodgett’s Memorial Handicap events during 2022, and two of which saw Junior George Millinchip winning the race – a big well done to all who ran in these races, as always providing some stiff competition for the adults.

Cross Country Races

Last year we had a number of Juniors competing in the four North Staffs Cross Country Races held at Betley Court Farm, Stafford Common, Park Hall and Keele University, typically 10 or so running across the various age categories. A big well done to all that ran in these races as the quality and calibre of runners from other Clubs is often high.

Finally, I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the Juniors who have continued to run with the Club, and to the parents for their support and commitment, and of course to the Junior Coaches for their ongoing dedication, hard work, enthusiasm and encouragement, without whom, we would not have a Junior Section.

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