Saturday evening felt like the real opening of the clubhouse under our management. The firework display was a fine evening, but rather thrown together. This Saturday was the chance the club has to look at itself and take stock of where we are.
It's always a delight to hand out the shields to the athletes that committee felt justify the title "Athlete of the Year". Just to get on the list of nominees is a good achievement, which is why we print certificates to testify to the achievements that each nominee as racked up. I fully expect each of those to be framed and hung on bedroom walls by now.
It was a particular pleasure to welcome Mike Smith back to the club. He's never actually gone away because he's been on all our paperwork as the club president, but he hasn't been seen around the club for a good while. And I was even more pleased to see his wife Cath again - once more in the clubhouse and taking pleasure in what our athletes have done.
The awards that were specially noteworthy were the under-17 women, the under-20 man and senior woman. For the first time ever the committee were faced with four women who had performed exceptionally well. Three of them had been the only three girls from the same county to make the final of an event at English Schools. Ellie Leather, Elllie Wallace and Hannah Hobbs fully deserved the award. So did Yvette Westwood who ran for Gloucestershire at English Schools and also broke the club record for 100m at a different meeting.
Adam Wilson has been a fixture at training nights ever since he was a little lad, so to hear of him winning national events and setting records has been a real thrill. The same is true of Beth Tucker who thoroughly deserved the senior woman's shield.
The clubhouse stood up well to the numbers of people who attended. It's already looking better for the work that Jeremy and Mark have put into the place, to say nothing of the really hard work that Ann Dale and Mel did that afternoon and most days since we took over.