The 500 Club draw for April has now taken place and the lucky winners are:
£50 - Carole Filer
£30 - Tim Ash
£20 - Gillian Ball
£10 - Dave Willis
You can become a member of CoNAC's 500 Club for as little as £1 per month, payable by standing order; please click here for further information and details of all the recent winners.
Our Annual General Meeting took place this evening. Clive Poyner reviewed a successful year for the club and Hugh McGill presented a healthy set of financial statements.
Clive stepped down as chairman after five years in the role, to be succeeded by Mark Feeley. Hugh retired as Treasurer (also after five years in the role) and from the CoNAC Executive Committee to concentrate on his role as Race Director of the City of Norwich Half Marathon. John Whitney succeeds Hugh as Treasurer. Julie Brand stepped down as one of our Sportshall coordinators with Helen Stubbs continuing in the role.
Clive, Hugh and Julie are all thanked for their years of service - please click here for full details of the Officers elected for 2013/14.
Revised membership fees were approved for 2013/14 to acknowledge an increase in EA levies from 1 April 2013 and the rising costs of developing the club. All members will receive full details of the new arrangements when our new membership portal goes live in the next few weeks.
Thanks to all the CoNAC members who attended - if you missed it, please click here to read the notes that were handed out during the meeting.
We have been notified by England Athletics (EA) that a considerable increase in their annual affiliation fees for competing athletes from April 2013 is being proposed.
Currently the annual CoNAC membership fee structure includes an amount of £5 per athlete per annum which we then send to EA when we register first-claim CoNAC members for their competition licences. This amount is now set to rise from £5 to £20 pa for an athlete who takes part in track & field leagues and competitions and to £10 pa for an athlete who competes in cross-country and / road races but not in track & field leagues and competitions.
There has been much disquiet in the national athletic press and circulating on the internet about both the size of these increases and the manner in which they are being proposed, effectively without any real consulation with EA affiliated clubs. Not surprisingly, many people hold very strong views about this.
Your CoNAC committee is currently working hard to understand the implications of these proposed increases but clearly one option which cannot be ruled out at this stage is a significant increase in the annual CoNAC membership fee structure from April 2013.
We will keep you posted.
CoNAC-er Sean Watson lead the Great Britain (under-19s) Biathle team home to Gold medal success at the 14th UIMP World Biathle Championships held in Dubai on 3 November 2012.
Please click here to watch Sean's race on YouTube. The commentator takes a little while at the start to find his microphone so please be patient!
This year’s World Championships saw the greatest number of competitors compete in the event with 392 athletes representing from 24 different countries in temperatures in the mid-30s degrees. The event was held at the Dubai International Marine Club, with the run course along the coast wall and the swim in the sea with the entry off the beach. During the day the tide change which caused the early events to have longer than anticipated swims before the run course and buoys were adjusted to take into account the changes in conditions. Sean’s event was held over 3000m run with a 200m swim with teams from South Africa, France, Argentina, Greece and India qualifying for the event. Sean’s race was held at midday in the heat of the Dubai sun and promised to be one of the most competitive races of the day, with both the defending South African Gold and Silver medallists from 2011 returning to defend their medals.
The pace at the start of the race was fierce and as such surprised the race commentator who commented on the speed and their ability to keep up the pace for the whole of the race. The first 1500m saw a small group of the athletes break away from the rest of the field with Great Britain, South Africa, Argentina and Greece taking out the initial pace. As the athletes went into the swim transition Sean sat at the back of the group entering the water in sixth position. He steadily worked his way through the field on the swim and managed to find himself a gap as they came out of the water in second place. As the group of athletes left the transition into the final run Sean found himself chasing the two times World Champion Llewellyn Groeneveld (South Africa) for a medal. Behind Sean there was a group of three athletes all racing for the bronze medal which came down to a sprint for the line between Gauthier Romani (France) and Nel Johan (South Africa). The defending world champion proved to be too strong over the second run and won in an overall 11mins 28secs. Sean held on to his second place in 11mins 41secs ahead of the race behind him for the bronze medal (11mins 43secs).
Great Britain’s next two athletes home were Jonathon Dudley (11mins 59secs) and Adam Weightman (12mins 04secs) finishing in fifth and sixth places replicating the order in which they had all qualified in Salford back in July. This was enough to see them secure the team Gold medal. The under 19’s race proved to be one of the fastest of the day with the top athletes times for the same distance as the Junior and Senior men’s events which would have seen them also placed amongst the medals in the senior age groups. Next year will see both Sean and Llewellyn compete for another year in the same age group when the event takes place in Alexandra, Egypt.
All CoNAC members, friends and family are invited to the CoNAC Summer Olympic BBQ on Sunday 15 July from 4pm - 10pm at Lodge Farm, Cromer Road, Hainford, Norwich, NR10 3AT by kind invitation of Mandy & Matthew Lake.
Tickets are priced at £5 each (under 3's free) which gets you a BBQ meal, crisps, nibbles, soft drinks and muffins.
As well as a raffle - prize donations very welcome! - there will be a bouncy castle & slide and sweet shop and also some fun "Olympic" games during the afternoon and a disco later on.
We look forward to seeing you at this fun event.
Once again we're collecting the vouchers which Sainsbury's and Tesco are now issuing at their checkouts. Over the past few years we've managed to acquire several hundreds of £££s worth of equipment for the club and hope to do so again this year.
So please gather your vouchers together and then pass them to your coach or any CoNAC committee member. Many thanks.
Sue Pring stood down at last night's Annual General Meeting and was thanked by chairman Clive Poyner for her contribution as CoNAC's track & field coordinator for the last five years. Clive was re-elected along with Rob Kinge as General Secretary and Hugh McGill as treasurer. Other committee members were re-elected en bloc.
It was agreed that the full membership fee for 2012/13 should be £25 for seniors and juniors alike, payable online from 1 March.
After an excellent 2nd place at the National Biathle Championships in Salford, CoNAc-er Sean Watson was one of six athletes selected to compete for GB in the under 17 category at the 13th World Biathle Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. This was the first time that Bulgaria had played hosts to the World Championships and despite a last minute change of date and location managed to attract seventeen different countries. The event was held at the Sofia Arena Complex in the centre of Sofia under very hot weather conditions, most definitely suited to the athletes from South Africa, Argentina and Spain. The course used for the event was a 50m swimming outdoor pool in the sports complex and a run course was held between the pool and the arena. The nature of the course was very flat and fast course and promised some fast times.
Sean’s race was held over 2000m run with a 200m pool swim separating the two 1000m run legs. The initial run leg was taken out very quickly by some of the more inexperienced athletes which meant that the first transition and entry into the pool was very congested. As usual the South Africans made the swim a very physical event, but this leg saw Sean and national champion Christopher Perham (Poole AC) both make up places lost in the initial run. The final run saw the athletes fighting for team and individual medals. The South Africans took Gold and Silver, with the bronze going to Perham. Sean finished in 5th place with Max Butler from GB finishing strongly in 6th place. These positions were enough to beat the Bulgarian team into the silver team medal position. At the lose of these championships the GB teams placed second in the medal table just behind old adversaries South Africa but ahead of the home team Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Lithuania, France, Germany, Ireland and Argentina.
A phone call to CoNAC athlete Olivia Bush (nee Walwyn) in the early part of last week was from the England Athletics team manager asking her to compete for her country in the Commonwealth Mountain Race Championships being staged in Llanberis over the weekend. Having failed to make the team by right in the qualifying race due to a tactical error on her part she was delighted to receive the late call-up and was determined to prove her worth. This she duly did in great style! Racing over a strength sapping 8km distance Olivia led the field to the top of the mountain. However, on the descent, with legs feeling like jelly, she lost a little ground but hung on to finish in an excellent 4th place and the third scorer for England.
With England filling three places in the first four, this left Olivia feeling as pleased as punch to be part of the team’s success and a recipient of her first Commonwealth gold medal.
Thanks to some sterling work behind the scenes by Helen Stubbs and Yvonne Newton, we now have a good range of branded CoNAC club wear ready for you to order.
Primarily by leading UK manufacturer Ronhill, the range includes long and short sleeve technical t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, trousers, tight, shorts, cotton t-shirts with all tops having the club logo embroidered on the front and City of Norwich AC printed across the shoulders.
Please click here for more details and an order form.
Everyone is welcome to join us at a new social event, the CoNAC Summer BBQ on Sunday 12 June from 3pm-9pm.
The BBQ will take place at Lodge Farm, Cromer Road, Hainford, Norwich, NR10 3AT (the home of the Lake family) and tickets are now on sale priced at just £5 each.
The existing Executive Committee was re-elected "en bloc" at this evening's AGM as membership fees for 2011-12 were frozen at current rates for another year.
Arrangements are now being made to allow CoNAC members to pay their membership fees online in future rather than have to bother with renewal forms, cheques, stamps and all that old fashioned stuff - more details to follow.
Please click here to view the contact details of your Executive Committee for the new year.
CoNAC's Olivia Walwyn is proving to be a rarity in Norfolk athletic circles as she continues to make her mark in the sport of mountain running.
She is currently the one to beat and this proved to be the case at the World Trials held in Llanberis last weekend. The race was to the top of Snowdon, a distance of almost 6 miles, which Olivia completed in 47min 25secs over a minute ahead of the runner-up.
Her impressive victory secures her place in the Great Britain team that will compete in the World Mountain Running Championships to be staged in Slovenia on 5 September. There will be teams from 39 countries taking part in the 8.5km race so it will be a very tough test for Olivia.
Currently based in Macclesfield, Olivia is only a few strides away from the testing hills of the Peak District that are proving to be a superb training ground for her exploits in the world of mountain running.
Young CoNAC-er Sean Watson secured his place in the GB Biathle squad with possibly his best performance to date at the National Biathle Championships in Salford today.
Sean, aged 15, was competing as a first year U17 and hoping to repeat last year’s performance and qualify for the World Championships to be held in Dubai in October. However, a recent back injury meant he approached the Salford event knowing he was not yet back to full fitness.
Sean took his place in the Category B Boys event which was a 1,000m run followed by a 200m open water swim and then another 1,000m run. The first run saw Sean enter transition in 8th place and after a very strong swim he left the second transition for the final run in 5th place, with the first two athletes well ahead.
The bronze medal would go to the next three athletes which was only decided after a sprint finish. Sean finished in 5th place and won automatic qualification for Dubai and next year’s World Series. Sean would like to thank his CoNAC coach David Pring, swim coach Stuart Park from Dereham Otters and Norfolk County Council Sports Aid for all their help and support.
CoNAC-er Olivia Walwyn has taken to the hills like a duck to water. So much so she has gained international recognition following her success in the McCain Mountain Running Challenge held in Keswick at the weekend.
The race incorporated the trials for the European Mountain Running Championships that was staged over an extremely testing 9km course that included an 1800ft climb on each lap. Olivia was leading race favourite Victoria Wilkinson with less than a kilometre to the finish but was overtaken on the run in to the line but had the satisfaction of gaining automatic selection for the Great Britain team that will travel to Sapanera Banya, Bulgaria to compete in the European Championships on July 4th.
Raised in the flatlands of Norfolk, Olivia is proving to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to mountain running and for sure can look forward to further international call-ups in the years ahead.
As announced in a recent e-newsletter, we are launching a bursary scheme to recognise outstanding individual achievements by our members. The structure of the scheme has been discussed at length by the CoNAC Executive Committee and is now confirmed with immediate effect.
The scheme has been designed to reward performance and recognise the training and dedication that is required to achieve excellence in our sport. It will operate on a calendar year basis and we hope that countless bursaries are awarded by the end of each year. Here are the details:
* First selection for GB: £150 (£50 if first national selection already achieved)
* First selection for England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland: £100
* Top three Power of 10 final ranking: 1st = £75, 2nd = £50, 3rd = £25
All winners will also be offered complimentary CoNAC membership for the following membership year.
Terms & conditions - first claim members only; all bursaries to be spent on ongoing athlete development; maximum bursary of £150 per athlete per calendar year; only one Power of 10 payment per athlete per calendar year. Exclusions - masters only events.
Year 10 student Sean Watson from Northgate High School opened his multi-sport season by placing 4th equal at the 2009-10 British Schools Biathlon Championships at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
The biathlon is a combined swim/run event where the athletes compete for points in separate events to produce the highest possible combined points total. Qualification was via one of fifteen regional events with the top forty in each year group making it through to the finals. Sean qualified at Peterborough in December with 2,392 points behind eventual British Champion Lewis Hughes from Aylsham High School & City of Norwich Swimming Club.
Sean started the day at Crystal Palace with a personal best swim in the 100m freestyle, breaking the Dereham Otters long course club record in the process. His time of 1min 01.05secs was rewarded with 1,312 points. In the afternoon the 1,000m run saw Sean seeded in the top heat which gave him the best opportunity of a competitive run. He ran a personal best of 2mins 54.23secs, also recording a personal best at the 800m mark on the way and posting the fifth fasted run time for 1,128 points. Sean’s combined total of 2,440 points was good enough for 4th equal overall and a trophy as well.
Meanwhile, Beeston Hall's Catherine Longe was battling away in the year 6 girls competition having won the Bath qualifier in January with 2,780 points. At Crystal Palace she produced a 50m swim of 34.70secs for 1,192 points and a 500m run of 1min 35.76secs worth 1,660 points to give an encouraging combined total of 2,852 points and 12th place overall.
Our Annual General Meeting took place at the Sportspark last night. Chairman Clive Poyner reported on a very successful year for the club and Treasurer Hugh McGill presented the club's financial statements for 2009.
Clive thanked all those who had given of their time during the year to ensure that the club continued to develop and move forward; and made special mention of the contributions of Harry Knowles (cross country), Ian McDonald (Sportshall) and Karen Wilson (young athletes' welfare) who had all decided to retire from office at this meeting. The club's gratitude to all three was endorsed by everyone present.
The meeting voted to peg the rates for the 2010-11 membership year at their current levels - senior £25, junior £20, friend £10.
Finally, it was agreed that the club's constitution needs to be revised to better reflect how our club now operates and the Committee was authorised to complete this task by the end of May 2010.
Beeston Hall's Catherine Longe produced a winning performance in the final qualifying round of the 2009-10 British Schools Biathlon Championship at Bath University.
The year 6 student earned her victory with a 50m swim in 35.36secs and a 500m run of 1min 39.74secs to secure first place by almost four seconds and earn an invitation to the British Championships at Crystal Plalace on 21 March. Please click here to view all this season's rankings and results.
With the festive season approaching I thought it would be worth having a brief review of the year.
Cross Country - We finished the year as we started with successes for our athletes "on the country". Recent GB vests for Mitch Goose, Ashley Harrell and Hollie Rowland and an England vest for Dani Nimmock have been the highlights along with the National U20 team trophy won at the start of the year by Mitch, Ashley, Luke Allen & and Tommy Carroll. We now look forward to the County Cross Country Championships on 10 January at the UEA - good luck to all our athletes who will be competing. We are organizing the event and will need marshals to man the course. If you can help in any way please contact Richard Polley on email@example.com
Sportshall - In the spring we supplied the majority of the athletes for the four County teams that went to the National Finals. At the close of the year we again put on a very successful Norwich Championships and dominated the County League winning all age group categories. Looking forward again the County Championships are on 9 January at the UEA - again good luck to our athletes.
Road Running - We have had another exceptional year on the roads in both performance and organization. Best ever placings in the National Road Relays and category wins in the Round Norfolk Relay have been the highlights in performance. Have a look at the Runners World website report on the Half Marathon to see what a fantastic job was done by the organizing team led by Hugh McGill, Richard Polley and Granville Courtnell. In total over 4,000 runners have been processed through the four races organized by the road running team, not to mention the support given to the Race for Life races - all in all a great achievement.
Track and Field - What a year 2009 turned out to be. Four gold and four silver medals at the English Schools, numerous top ten rankings, second in the National Young Athletes Auxiliary Final, retained our place in the Southern U20 Premier League, Senior Men promoted and three age group wins in the East Anglian League. The 2010 fixture list is now available on our website - please print off a copy and pencil in those key home fixtures of 25 July and 1 August - can we improve on 2009? New for 2010 will be a senior ladies team, hopefully a local U13/U11 league and on 26 September we will be hosting the Eastern Vets Championships at the Sportspark.
Awards - We've picked up a string of awards that recognise the achievements of our athletes and volunteers: England Athletics National Finalist for services to coaching - Tim and Pauline Ash; England Athletics National Finalist and winners of the East Region Junior Club of the Year - City of Norwich AC; EDP Active Norfolk Coach of the Year - Tim Newenham; EDP Active Norfolk Young Sportsperson of the Year - Oliver Bradfield.
Others - Throughout the year we have been building on the already established school links and will continue this activity into 2010. The go ahead for the formation of an England Athletics authorized and funded Network in this area has been received. Initial meetings have been held to outline the structure with an anticipated full launch happening around April 2010, more details will follow as they are made available.
Volunteers - Without our volunteers the club could not exist. If you have helped the club in any way this year as a committee member, coach, team manager, official, marshal, goody bag stuffer, tuck shop admin, pit racker, etc etc etc - then the club is indebted to you, thank you for your contribution. The club's AGM will be in early February - if you would like to volunteer for a position on the committee then please make yourself known to the club secretary Rob Kinge on firstname.lastname@example.org alternatively, if you would like to volunteer in another capacity (coaches and officials are always in short supply) please advise Clive Poyner on email@example.com
Into 2010 - It looks like being another exciting and rewarding year with lots of opportunities to develop our sport. I am particular looking forward firstly, (assuming we get there) to the National Young Athletes Regional Final on 1 August when the top eight Southern clubs go head to head in one match - on paper this should be an even better match than the Auxiliary Final this year, and secondly, seeing 3,000+ runners race in our Half Marathon on 28 November.
That just leaves me to say - well done to all our athletes and thank you to all our volunteers. Have a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Chairman, City of Norwich AC
CoNAC-er Sean Watson (aged 14) competed in the 11th World Biathle Championships which took place on and around Larvotto Beach in the glamorous principality of Monaco. In total over 330 athletes from 15 different countries took part in the competition.
Sean competed in the Youth C category in Monaco after securing qualification at the National Championships in Salford early last month. His challenge in Monaco was a 500m run followed by a 100m sea swim and then another 500m run to the finish. Battling hard throughout, Sean improved from 10th position after the first run to a hugely creditable 6th place at the finish in a time of 5mins 00secs.
This was Sean's debut GB selection and his world ranking now qualifies him to compete in next year's European Championships and European race series. Well done Sean!
At the conclusion of our Annual General Meeting this evening, Myra Hawtree retired as general secretary after filling the role for 13 years. Myra has been CoNAC's only general secretaty since the club was formed in 1996 and before that she was secretary at Norfolk Olympiads AC. Club chairman Clive Poyner paid tribute to Myra's untiring efforts over the years both as general secretary and as organiser of our officials at track & field meetings. He presented Myra with an engraved glass bowl to mark her retirement.
Earlier, the meeting received the annual financial report from club treasurer Hugh McGill and membership fees for the coming year were pegged at the existing rates (senior £25, junior £20, friend £10). Graham Warrin stepped down as coaching coordinator, to be replaced by John Painter; and Rob Kinge took over from Myra as general secretary. All other officers were re-elected unopposed.
CoNAC’s 4 x 100m U13 girls relay team was hailed as Team of the Year when they collected The Peter Softley Trophy at the annual Norwich Sports Awards last night. The quartet of Clieo & Ella Stephenson, Laura McDonald & Vicky Mitchell was unbeaten for two years while in the U13 age group and during that time set a new County record of 53.6secs at Bedford on 20 May 2007 as well as being ranked no 1 in the country for 2007.
At the same ceremony, CoNAC stalwart John Maskell was recognised as Volunteer of the Year for his unerring support & commitment to athletics.
Pictured above after receiving their awards with CoNAC chairman Clive Poyner are (L to R) Laura McDonald, Clieo Stephenson, Vicky Mitchell, John Maskell and (front) Ella Stephenson.
Neil Deans from England Athletics presented us with our Clubmark certificate at the Sportspark this evening. CoNAC is the first athletic or running club in Norfolk to achieve this prestigious award, which recognises that we are properly organised, active, accessible and accredited.
Clubmark covers four key areas: club management, duty of care & welfare, sports equity & ethics and coaching & competition. By adopting the Clubmark ethos we seek to continually improve the arrangements for all club members and adopt best practice in everything we do.
Several new officers were appointed at the 2008 AGM. Clive Poyner replaced John Maskell as Chairman; Hugh McGill succeeded Bob Quint as Treasurer; David Lubbock took over from Brian Warden as Membership Officer and Cherry Collins stepped down as Young Athletes' Welfare Officer. Ian McDonald joined the Committee as Sportshall Coordinator, all other officers agreed to continue in their current positions.
Membership rates were agreed for 2008-09 and will remain at last year’s levels: senior £25, junior £20, friend £10. Renewal notices will be sent to all existing members shortly.
Five of CoNAC’s brightest prospects have been recognised in the latest Sportspark Star Awards. Rachel Stringer, Claire Pring, Michael Painter, Dani Nimmock & Laura McDonaldeach received a cheque for £100 and free unlimited use of the Sportspark’s track, gym, pool & testing facilities for one year.