Sunday, July 14, 2013

Phew! What a scorcher!

- as the Daily Express used to headline it, back in the days when it was a newspaper.

I think we made all the preparations we could have done for Saturday's match, with temperatures of 30C forecast. Water in a beer fermentation container - factor 30 generally available - my fishing umbrella finally making itself useful over the timekeepers' stand - and every patch of shade commandeered by 10 o'clock. Normally, when I have a bright idea involving construction or G-clamps it falls apart thirty minutes later. Much to my (and Lesley's) surprise, it stayed in place all day and was invaluable. Ben Redwood camped under the gazebo and all would have been right with the field events world if he didn't keep getting called out to sort out some problem or other.

I don't have the results to hand so can't give a comprehensive account of individual performances, but overall we finished third behind North Somerset and Bath. That was probably the best we could have done, and it was interesting to see how close Bath came to winning the match. Spending the day with North Somerset's chairman meant seeing things from a different point of view. When the overall scores were read out, Steve Coughlan did his best to look unconcerned and Melvin Potter (from Bath) did his best to wind him up.

Congratulations to North Somerset for winning the division. No-one seems very certain whether it's one or two clubs to be promoted. Either way, Premier Two will be getting one (or two) good teams and Yate & District will be sitting on top of West One. Now that we have sussed out the new league we should be able to prepare for next season better and I think we stand an excellent chance of following them up.

Anyway, what performances caught the eye? Holly Cunningham won the girls hammer with a new PB of 27.53m and her grin as she told Lesley about it was a joy to see. We were strong in the sprints with Tom Pallot, Luke Messer, Jack Holbrook, Alex Wells looking particularly impressive. The girl sprinters, Yvette Westwood, Rosie Harris, Katie Lodge and Tilly Wyatt, were just as good. We had to feel for the middle distance runners and there were some plucky performances from kids who were new to me, grinding out good scores against strong opposition. Leon Graham did a massive PB in both his events - and again in the relay. Harry Weston won the long jump; Sam Lodge came second in the javelin, and Aidan Noble won the 1500m - with a huge PB (if the result is right... We're a bit confused about what happened in Aidan's race so perhaps he could let us know).

I have to have a bit of a moan - and it's about officials again! I had to move heaven and earth to get a full team of Yate officials out and then, as hosts, we were faced with Telford bringing no qualified officials at all; Carmarthen bringing one official and no parents; Yeovil coming up short too, and North Somerset's resources stretched as far as they would go. You might think it makes no difference whether a person willing to help with field events is qualified or not, but England Athletics rules are clear that the person in charge of long throws has to be at least Level 2b.

And where officials are missing, it's the host club's responsibility to fill the gaps! Fortunately, Ben, as field referee, was able to juggle what officials he had so that all events were covered, but it was a close run thing. Clubs don't gain points for missing officials, but maybe the host club who fills in should be rewarded in some way. I was very grateful to Pete Jackson for turning out the day after the Chipping Sodbury Beer Festival, looking not too worse the wear at all: otherwise we would have been in some difficulty.

Part of my juggling of Yate officials was to persuade Darren Wells to try timekeeping. A quick lesson on Tony Jefferies' stopwatch and we were off. I think he enjoyed the day and the four of us on the stand made a pretty good fist of recording times. My thanks to him.

And now - thoughts in the Nunn household turn to THE WEDDING. Everything seems to be going well - hen and stag dos sorted (we're told) - except the bridegroom's mother's outfit. I will keep you posted......

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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....