The Run England Awards were presented by Craig Blain
Run England group of the year: Walney Wind Cheetahs
Walney Wind Cheetahs were established following a local fun run training group that simply did not want to end. Registering with Run England as an official group in 2012 several group members willingly volunteered to train as leaders completing the LiRF qualification. From this point the Wind Cheetahs have been growing ever since with regular attendances at sessions in excess of 30 runners on a regular basis. Wind Cheetahs are well linked with local businesses and work closely with Active Cumbria to help support the most important asset to the group - the runners! They have become a well known and loved addition to the local community of Barrow the group continue to offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all to get active and achieve their personal goals.
Run England leader of the year: Stephen Jones
Stephen was the lone group leader till recently and had to manage the varying abilities of the group from complete beginners to those taking part in local races. He recently registered his group to Run England after qualifying as a Leader and nominated 6 other members to become leaders and assist him with the group to help cater for the growing numbers. His nominator said “he always puts the group first , making sure all standards of the group are catered for different distances and always with the safety of the group first in mind. There are always extra runs when we are training for an coming event at the weekends, Stephen does the planning and takes the run even at the expense of his own training. Stephen has got 7 first time marathon runners trained for the Manchester marathon earlier this year, even though he was injured he was around the course on his bike making sure everyone was okay. Stephen holds running close to his heart and has passed invaluable knowledge through the group which in turn some of us have passed down to our new groups.“ As recently as this year the group showed their support of the Run England programme at the Great Manchester Run with 50+ of their runners taking part as one to complete the course.
RE project of the year: Halton Borough Council.
Run Halton has a massive 239 Registered participants; the group meet every Monday & Thursday evening from a local athletics track. Members can either walk, jog or run in the safety of floodlights with the freedom to follow their own programme or seek advice from a Coach/Leader for those who want a structured session. They link into Widnes Wasps Ladies Running Club to help with training on Thursday evenings as well as other local clubs. Run Halton also helped to develop three beginners running routes across Widnes and Runcorn. The project are in the process of training new leaders to start new running groups to further support running in the area.
The annual achievement awards were presented by Lucy Archer
Development club of the Year: DASH AC
Over a 12 month period, DASH has developed and grow at a rapid rate, with membership more than doubling. In response to this, the number of active coaches and assistants in twelve months has also doubled. The 1st generation of athletes are progressing through the club and achieving high competitive standards, including medals at Northern Championships and England Championships finalists. DASH Quadrathlon has become a leading multi events competition for young athletes with over 250 athletes from across the country coming to compete, mixing club athletes with newcomers to the sport from local schools. DASH has an athlete development fund to help remove the financial barriers to athletes achieving their potential. The club has also focused on the development of its coaches, with many attending LCDP programmes. Senior coaches are mentoring newcomers which has created a team culture where information is shared and individual development of each coach is encouraged.
Athletics Network of the Year: Isle of Man Athletics Network
The Isle of Man Athletics Network consists of Manx Harriers, Western AC, Northern AC and IOM Veterans AC is now completing its second year as a network but third year as a development group dedicated to enhancing athletics on the island. The network has made great links with many partners to achieve its objectives. Run England has managed to help launch two running groups with LiRF leaders delivering quality sessions for beginners and effectively nurturing them into confident people and engaging in the IOM athletics scene. DEFA and DOI have played major roles in the development of measured running courses with Douglas Promenade up and running. Other partners in education and Sportshall Athletics has seen the IOM involved in UK based Fun in Athletics regional competitions attracting private sponsors Medis and IOM sports Council to help transport the athletes. Education has helped to launch the inaugural interschool 5K endurance relays with sponsors Kirby Estates. The IOM Sport Institute enabled affordable strength and conditioning sessions in their purpose built gym with qualified coaches for IOM network athletes.
Community partner of the year: Preston Parkrun
Local clubs can use Parkruns to recruit new members and local race organisers can use them to publicise their events. Preston Harriers have already had new members join the Club as a result of the link to Parkrun including juniors. With Michael heading up the local event co-ordination team and with Harriers members as part of that team the Preston Parkrun has taken off this time and success looks assured. There were several reasons why the Harriers wished the Parkrun to be successful. The City is 'European City of Sport' we thought establishing a Parkrun a good vehicle for encouraging the general public to begin activity and create a lasting legacy. Participation is growing steadily without advertising, there are now almost 600 people registered at our Parkrun over half of whom are not involved with clubs, yet. This year is also Guild Year for Preston and the council are hosting a series of 4 road races so there has been a greater local interest in becoming involved in running which we hope to take advantage of.
Development coach of the Year: Tom Cullen
Like many parents, Tom fell into coaching coming in to help out with the young ones but ended up staying on as a coach. In the last few years Tom has taken the youth section from having next to no coaches and athletes to having very healthy numbers of both. The children have great respect for him and have learnt a great deal from him. He has also encouraged the youngsters he coaches to compete in outside events and Trafford now have lots of representation in English Schools and National Championships. Tom has forged links with local schools and the majority of the athletes that train at Trafford are local. Tom coaches U11’s, U15’s and U17’s therefore managing the improvement and development of the youngsters all the way through to senior level. Aside from coaching Tom has also been team manager for the Northern league, co-ordinates the Cheshire League and is involved in the Young Athletes and Junior Leagues.
Young volunteer of the Year: Tiffany Dacre
Tiffany’s passion and dedication to athletics is inspiring, she oozes enthusiasm for the sport. As well as being a competitor herself, she also gives up her time to coach a group of young athletes at Horwich Harriers. It is obvious from just talking to her that she gains great enjoyment from sharing her knowledge with others. Tiffany has team managed the Lancashire girls Sportshall team and has travelled the country working at Sportshall Athletics events, plus the Birmingham Grand Prix. Her commitment is second to none and she is constantly finding ways to learn more about the sport having attended the UKA Young Leader’s Camp last year.
Official of the year: Chris Wilding
Chris has been a member of Wirral AC for over 20yrs after his daughter joined the club. He then started officiating as a field official alongside his wife Sue who is also a qualified. Chris is not only one of the main officials in his club but also in the county and regionally. For about 8yrs Chris has been on the National list and as such has officiated at most meetings from local Northern and Young Athletes leagues to National meetings including Grand Prix's and the European Indoor Championships at Birmingham. This has not precluded Chris from mentoring younger and also those new to officiating. He is also a Level 2 tutor and as such uses his vast experience in advising others whilst mentoring. Like many colleagues he was selected to be an official at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. However Chris due to his experience was selected to be the Technical Manager which is a significant selection and role.
The servces to the sport awards were presented by John Crotty
Services to coaching: Graham Pilkington
Graham has, for many years now been a leader of the local and regional development sessions for the North West. His enthusiasm is boundless and his energy tireless. Graham is an outstanding coach in his own right and has coached athletes at all levels, from junior to senior and includes disability athletes within his group. He is as competent with international standard athletes as with the raw beginner. Graham has for many years managed the NW sprint Development Group; he attends all the sessions and also manages any feedback information gained at National forums. His approach is always patient and considerate, he will work with athletes across the range of age and abilities and whilst he will introduce new ideas and techniques, he is keen to encourage the coaches to use their own thoughts and skills to develop athletes. He also willingly involves expertise from all areas of support including other coaches, physios, strength & conditioning experts and has an open approach to new methods and ideas. As said by his nominator, “I am proud to know Graham, I regard him as a friend and a terrific supporter of all athletics, in particular sprints at a local level”.
Services to volunteering: Norman Mitchell
Norman is the driving force at Hyndburn AC where he is currently the club president as well as taking on many other jobs. He is the key link with the council, driving maintenance, improvement of facilities as well as innovate activities such as ‘Urban Run’ and Sport Relief. Norman’s key skill is driving participation, links with schools and other groups. He runs Talent ID schools camps, ‘Star Track’ and ‘Go Peel’ athletics sessions. He takes time off work for local schools competitions at the track (volunteers, organises others to volunteer, officials if required) and puts a free minibus on to training. As if he’s not already busy enough, he is currently working with a local boxing club at weekends to increase their agility, speed. Norman is a key coach with Lancashire Athletic Coaching Group and is the lead for the NW combined events sessions. He visits other clubs to coach as well as operating at his home club. It was known for Norman to try and come down to the club to help set up for a competition on the morning of his daughter’s wedding – he was stopped but he did his best to be there!
Services to officiating Margaret Meikle
Margaret Meikle has given long and outstanding service to officiating for over 40 years as a timekeeper. She was a teacher by profession and through the schools system got involved in athletics, encouraging many school children along the way to develop their potential in athletics. As a timekeeper, she quickly passed through the various qualification levels, and gained the prestigious rank of Chief Timekeeper in January 1993, timekeeping or working on photo finish at local, regional and national level ever since. Margaret deserves this award not only for long and meritorious service but also for her support for young athletes and for novice timekeeping officials who she has supported and mentored over the years. She has supported not only her own club as a timekeeper but is a regular chief timekeeper at athletics matches across Merseyside, into Cheshire and the North of England, particularly supporting Wirral AC and Liverpool Harriers locally as well as other Merseyside clubs and Merseyside County in road races, cross country and Track & Field year after year. A measure of the esteem that Margaret is held in is that she has been Chief Timekeeper at the English Schools National Champs for many years. After long service as a team manager, she was elected Chairman of English Schools Athletics in 1981 and is currently a Vice President.
Services to disability athletics: Mike Carter
Mike has played a key role in the coaching of disabled athletes within Wirral AC for twelve years. With his support and encouragement, athletes in the squad have regularly registered success in regional and national championships and several have competed in track and field leagues for Wirral AC teams. Outside Wirral AC, Mike has been involved in the organisation of NW teams sent to National Athletics Championships. Over the years Mike has also been active in raising sponsorship to support the squad and was awarded a Awards for All Grant, which included the purchase of a portacabin to house their equipment at the Oval.
Services to Athletics: Di Shimell
Di Shimell is now reaching retirement and her involvement in Athletics has spanned over 45 years as an athlete, coach, official, manager and administrator. Her involvement includes manager of Island Games Team for nearly 20 years, manager of Manx Harriers Young Athletes League Team for 18 years, managed Manx Harriers Senior Ladies since the 90's and then involved in combined mens and ladies. She officiates at all the above meetings and in addition the Manx Harriers Track & Field League, the IOM X-Country, IOM T&F champs, IOMAA Open Meetings and many many more! Di organises and runs the Manx Harriers T&F league and the IOMAA National T&F Championships for over 15 years. She has supported the Manx Harriers Committee for over 20 years and has been heavily involved in IOMAA committee roles. Di Coaches 5 sessions a week to athletes of all ages and abilities. She has given so much to IOM Athletics for so many years and fully deserves this recognition.
High resolution photos at photobucket.com/NWAwards2012
Walney Wind Cheetahs (Karen Bell & Debbie Abnett)
Liam Browne for Stephen Jones
Halton Borough Council (Steve Wood & Helen Birrell)
Isle of Man Athletics Network
Chris Wilding's daughters