England Athletics CEO Chris Jones and local Club Support Manager Chris Mallender facilitated a club forum in Stafford recently, hosted by Stafford Harriers, and were joined by West Midlands Regional Council Chair Stuart Paul.
In attendance were representatives from a number of local clubs including the Staffordshire Athletics Network and members of Tamworth, Stafford Harriers and Newcastle Under Lyme AC amongst others. The forum was held to update club representatives on a number of England Athletics initiatives and provided an opportunity for them to ask a number of questions and to suggest ideas where England Athletics could help them more to continue to thrive as clubs.
Stuart gave a short address to those present on the hopes he had for the newly reinstated West Midlands Council and how he hoped that clubs would recognise the council as a ‘go to’ body that could help to voice the views of member clubs at the National Council and then through to the England Athletics Board where two council representatives serve as Directors. It was a good night with lots of creative ideas aired from the floor relating to areas such as competition, youth development, volunteer recruitment, race organisation and coaching.
Chris Jones commented, “It was an enjoyable week for me in general having been to City of Stoke AC on Tuesday night to watch some training and meet the hard working volunteers who make that particular club so successful. Being afforded the opportunity to visit another part of Staffordshire in the same week just reinforced why athletics and running in the county is so strong. It is clear that the clubs are well led and are enthusiastic to develop and equally prepared to share ideas and resources across clubs as they seek to continually develop at all levels. It was a pleasure to attend and I wish all the clubs the very best for the rest of the outdoor season.”
Chris Mallender added, “We held a similar forum this time last year for Staffordshire clubs and it was good to reflect on the actions taken since we met last year. A number of run leader, coaching workshops and Club Run sessions had been delivered in clubs across the county and we also delivered a road race organisers’ Gun to Tape workshop. There is always a friendly welcome in Staffordshire and a can-do attitude amongst the clubs which means we can work together to get things done and that makes it all the more enjoyable in my role.”