Monday, June 3, 2013


That was the number of PBs achieved by Yate youngsters at the YDL match in Yeovil on Saturday. And overall the team gained more points than in the first match, so they managed to hang on to third place.

But it was a bit like the Battle of Waterloo - a damn close-run thing. Yate and Yeovil kept swapping third and fourth place. Yeovil had been ahead for quite a while when it was announced, just before the last race, that Yate were four points ahead. A 4x300 race is always an unknown quantity. Many people don't know where the takeovers happen for a start!

Our boys were a mixed bunch and set off gamely in pursuit of the leaders. Yeovil seemed to be out of it. But they had left their best runner to last and he stormed around the track and took not just third place but second, leaving the inexperienced Yate boy two places adrift. So had we done it? Yes we had, but it wouldn't do to run it so close every match.

The two girls Lesley had persuaded to throw the hammer came up trumps. Both threw big PBs and gained valuable points. They may not know this but the last girl she dragooned into throwing the hammer ended up going to the Commonwealth Games!

Henrietta Ebbs made it safely down the flights of hurdles and looked all the better for it. Amazing what a bit of confidence will do for an athlete.

From my position at the top of the very steep Yeovil timekeepers' stand, it was a grand afternoon's athletics. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to the rest of the season. Maybe - just maybe - if we can fill a few more gaps in the team, we could make some headway on Bath.

There was a bit of a shadow on the meeting because Bill Whistlecroft, Yeovil's President, died on Thursday evening. He was a stalwart of athletics administration and Lesley was extremely fond of him. He was chairman of SW Schools Athletics and by all accounts ran a lively meeting once a year in Wellington. As vice-chairman, Lesley will now have to take his place in those meetings - a prospect she is not looking forward to. At noon we all assembled on the infield and gave him a minute's applause and never was it more deserved.

The committee meeting on Friday evening spent some time discussing the Academy and how we can improve the route through Wednesdays into the club and on to competition and training on Tuesday and Thursday. There is apparently a waiting list to join the Academy - which seems a shame as we might be turning away really promising young athletes. Mark Lodge's session on Thursday could be a useful overspill.

We also talked about the need to raise money to replace the considerable sums that Pat's tuck shop raised. It's a lot easier to talk about this than to do it. We've been rather blasé about fundraising in the past, but now we have to seriously think about it.

Congratulations to Luke and Charlie Lodge on completing their skydive. I can only imagine what Mark must have felt watching his sons plummet out of the clouds..... If you pledged them money - or even if you didn't - it's time to get the wallets out.

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As a student I worked in a hotel in Devon. We waiters worked in pairs, sharing a work station, and my partner was an Italian called Giorgio....