24.Sep.12 Wallsend Harriers’ Community Evening: The Dream Makers
Wallsend Harriers organised a Community Evening on 29th, August 2012. The event, which was held at Churchill Playing Fields (Whitley Bay) featured a “Jessica Ennis Heptathlon” as its centrepiece. The occasion was billed very much as a “come- along-and-have-a-go” affair.
The heptathlon comprised of: 50 metres, 100 metres, 200 metres and 400 metres running races and a cricket ball throw; all rounded off with 2 undertakings of that well known relay event – the 3 x 200 metres!
The club reports:
Our targeted participants were youngsters with little or no previous experience of athletics and we were delighted with the turn-out; 9 hardy champions of the future registered for the competition.
After the initial 50 metres, our crack team of handicappers quickly got to work, ensuring competitive races and maximum motivation. Additional recovery time was incorporated, whilst competitors posed for group “Mo-bot” and “Lightning Bolt” photographs; and dressed in GB/ Ross Murray (Olympic semi-finalist) paraphernalia.
Throughout the evening, a spirit of camaraderie and good natured humour was evident by the bucket-load. Parents, carers, organisers and competitors were left in little doubt (as if there had ever been any) that athletics has lifelong health benefits and is a peerless life-skills educator ... but it can be more thrilling and more fun than any games console or virtual social network.
And there was talent out there to boot. Raw talent, arms and legs pumping everywhere; but as much passion as Jess’ London 800 metres and equal commitment to Mo’s long distance double. In fact the only major difference to Jess’ Olympic heptathlon was that somehow (just somehow) there was a nine-way tie for first place! The competitors (on a wet night) were begging for more events; at Wallsend we are already planning to accomodate their appetite for training and thirst for competition.
The Community Evening has proved a huge success. Yes, track and field is hot right now, with a profile comparable to the Coe, Ovett and Cram days; but, it is felt, that the real legacy will hinge upon whether, as clubs, we are able to foster competitive opportunities, motivate the next generation, develop their skills’ base and provide the necessary competitive opportunities.
. . . We are the dream makers!
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