West Midlands Regional Council

Council Members

  • Stuart Paul (Chair)
  • David Ashbourne (Clubs)
  • Martin Flowers (Clubs)
  • Peter Coote (Clubs)
  • Lijana Kaziow (Coaches)
  • Tom Gould (Coaches)
  • Pete Afford (Offcials)

You can get in touch via westmidschair@englandathletics.org

Chair – Stuart Paul

Stuart PaulI got involved in the sport through my family, my mother Janet, was coached by Nelson Neal, and achieved modest success, before I arrived and ruined her career!  She then got involved with Sportshall athletics in 1978, and together we ended up running the Birmingham league for nearly 40 years.

When my brother Andy joined Birchfield Harriers I was asked to volunteer helping with results and officiating. I took on organising the Birchfield Open and became the club’s Promotions Officer. I have now been on club committee for almost 20 years. I also coordinate the club’s heritage work and am writing a book on the club’s first 100 Olympians.

The late John Bullen, and his wife Maureen recruited me into being an official – I tried most of the disciplines but concentrated on being a Starter’s Assistant (marksman) – I achieved Grade One (now level 4) in 1997 and have been officiating at meetings ever since, – including Olympic, World, Para, European and Commonwealth Games. This year I’m the Lead for the UKA Starter/SA Peer Group, just one of several officials’ groups I contribute to.

Since retirement from teaching I have become a Couch to 5k graduate and have almost completed my first 100 Park runs. I occasionally Orienteer but rarely have time.

I’m really looking forward to the next few years as Birmingham prepares for CG2022. There is a lot to do to promote our sport in the local area and beyond.

Clubs – David Ashbourne

David Ashbourne     I’m David and I am a coach, official and sometimes an athlete at Leamington C&AC and have been involved in the sport for over 10 years.  I came from the typical route of being a parent to children who took part, to being a helper and then later a full coach.  My main reason for standing for the Regional Council is to provide a voice from a club’s point of view and to influence any decisions that might affect them.

I am an active member on the Club committee and represent the junior section as well as being the coaching co-ordinator.  Having successfully implemented a proper coaching pathway for young athletes at Leamington and been influential in creating a throws and jumps group, the structure is much stronger to enable the club to forward into the future.

My decision to join the regional council was to try to be a voice between the West Midlands clubs and England Athletics.  At the same time, I can gain a greater understanding of what the clubs would like to see EA do for them.

Clubs (Endurance) – Martin Flowers

Martin FlowersHi, I’m Martin and I’ve been running for over 40 years. Having secured a place in the second London Marathon, which I couldn’t run due to injury, I completed my first marathon the year after. I went on to complete 14 more, including 4 Londons, as well as numerous road, cross-country and track races for a number of clubs around the Midlands. I had a brief successful period as part of the Midland Masters, winning a few area titles and one national medal at 10 miles. In recent years, my ability to compete has reduced and I mainly run for fun now. Having retired a few years ago, after over 30 years in NHS finance, I took on the Chair of my local running club Wye Valley Runners.

As a competitor, I was never particularly interested in the workings of England Athletics or it’s predecessors. I wanted to join the Regional Council, partly out of curiosity, but mainly to try to promote running within the sport. The growth of park run has been fantastic, but our new breed of occasional runner does not necessarily see the need to join an affiliated club. Unless we tackle this and help to address the many pressures that clubs find themselves facing, I fear for their future. I wanted to try to represent those running clubs in more rural areas, like my own and who compete mainly on the roads and cross country.

Clubs – Peter Coote

Peter CooteHi, I’m Peter from Stratford upon Avon Athletic Club. I returned to athletics 10 years ago after a gap of over 30 years and have been grateful for the welcome and support I have, and continue to, receive.  Originally a javelin thrower, I have progressively diversified across throws, sprints, and jumps primarily to compete in the excellent veterans league that we have in the midlands.  Most recently, as my body struggles with some of the higher impact activities, I am further diversifying into road running and am now a regular Park Run participant.

I believe that athletics and running can make a substantial contribution to health and well-being and we need to work together to provide individuals of all ages and capabilities with a range of opportunities to start or return to regular exercise, and then the development paths and support that work for them.  I joined the West Midlands Regional Council because I felt that I could contribute my time and expertise, as well as bring the perspective of an older competitive athlete.

Coaching – Lijana Kaziow

LLijana Kaziowijana has been involved in athletics for over 20 years. Lijana is a tutor of both coaching and officiating qualifications for England Athletics. She shares relevant knowledge on the courses and workshops that she delivers. Lijana has been using Athletics 365 since 2010 and as such was on the NCDP for Youth Development. In the past she focused on youth development: from coaching at her local club, to running Star: Track schemes and to this day, still works with Sportshall Athletics.

In her time as a regional council member she has consulted on the coach education system, tracked the development of coaches within the area, mentored individuals through the AC course and assisted clubs with youth structure. All in a bid to share her passion for athletics and increase participation within track and field athletics. When not involved with athletics, she spends her time teaching or lecturing.

Coaching – Tom Gould

Tom Gould Hi, I’m Tom. I currently study at the University of Warwick and I am secretary for the university athletics club and also regularly volunteer with Coventry Godiva Harriers as an Athletics Coach and official. As well as the coaching portfolio holder alongside Lijana on the West Midlands Regional Council, I am a former England Athletics Youth Panel member and am still heavily involved with my home club Bicester AC in Oxfordshire which I have been a member of for the last 13 years.

I applied to join the West Midlands Regional Council because I wanted to continue representing the voice of young people within athletics, something I was enthusiastic about whilst a member of the Youth Panel. I wish to provide a platform for young people to have a say and help develop and provide improved opportunities for Young people to get involved in the sport, from participation to volunteering, so all of us can enjoy a continually improving sport we all love.

Officials – Pete Afford

Pete AffordI have been involved with athletics for over 30 years and I am a level 4 timekeeper and a level 4 photo-finish official and being a level 4 official I can also work in the call room, which I did for the World Championships and the Para World Championships in 2017 and have done so for quite a few Diamond Leagues.

I am a life member of Telford Athletics Club and am on the committee of the Club as the newsletter editor and I am part organiser for our two open competitions.  I am also the club’s representative on the Shropshire AA where I was for 6 years the County Sportshall Championship secretary and am now the Vice Chairman. From the Shropshire AA I am the County Rep for the Midland Counties Association.

I am involved in all levels of the sport from U11s to Internationals and all aspects from track and field to road running and cross country.