How former footballer Jerome is helping Falkirk foster team spirit

Sunday 6th November 2022

Central AC’s Connor Bell is clear of his rivals as he heads for the finishing line to take U17 Men’s gold (photo by Bobby Gavin)


Former footballer Jerome Vareille is helping young athletes at Falkirk Victoria Harriers foster a strong team spirit.

And the approach is paying off for the club with black and yellow vests very much to the fore on the podium at Kirkcaldy.

Falkirk Vics in fact took medals in both the U15 Girls and U17 Women races as well as an individual silver for Luke Culliton in the U15 Boys races.

The team medals also headed for Giffnock North, Edinburgh AC, Corstorphine AAC and Harmeny AC in the capital, Aberdeen and Ross County in the Highlands on an excellent day for our sport.

‘We’ve been working hard with our young athletes over the past 18 months and it is great to feel as if that’s starting to have an effect,’ said Falkirk Vics coach Robert Christie.

It was a very decent day for Falkirk Victoria Harriers at the Lindsays Short Course XC at Kirkcaldy (photo by Bobby Gavin)

‘We started with a group of U13s and U15s at that time and I coach them alongside Jerome, the French former footballer (who played in Scotland for Kilmarnock, Airdrie and Ayr United).

‘With that background, Jerome is always looking towards the team side of thing. We introduced Saturday and Sunday group sessions and the attendance at those has grown.

‘But we are also looking beyond athletics by trying to do something together as a group maybe once a month that’s away from our sport – like go-karting or ten pin bowling. That’s all about having fun and getting to know each other and make friends.

‘We definitely feel it is helpful and we’ve had a wee bit of podium success now with teams – at the East District and now at National events.

‘That’s spurring on the young athletes and, as a coach, if you can get them to push each other on then that’s the ideal scenario.’

Millie McClelland-Brooks wins gold in the U17 Women’s race for Glasgow School of Sport (photo by Bobby Gavin)

Falkirk took golds in the U15 Girls race which opened the programme at Kirkcaldy and was won by Lois Macrae of Inverness Harriers.

Calum Dick’s win in the U15 Boys race helped lead Giffnock North AC to the team golds in that one.

Glasgow School of Sport athlete Millie McClelland-Brooks claimed the U17 title with Ross County, who had taken bronze teams medals in the Boys U15 race, represented again on the podium via silver for Caitlyn Heggie.

It’s good to see North athletes making an impression at National level with the group coached by Ross Cairns now including Caityln.

Giffnock won the U17 Women’s team golds but, similar to the Young Males race at Cumbernauld, it was Aberdeen AAC who landed the top place in the U17 Men’s race with Giffnock second.

Central AC’s Connor Bell won that race with a strong run and finish.

*Medal summary below these two U15 race videos.

U15 Girls

1 Lois Macrae (Inverness Harriers); 2 Scarlett Wilson (Giffnock North) 3 Jessica Taylor (Edinburgh AC)

U15 Girls Teams

1 Falkirk Victoria Harriers; 2 Giffnock North; 3 Edinburgh AC

U15 Boys

1 Calum Dick (Giffnock North); 2 Luke Culliton (Falkirk Victoria Harriers); 3 Angus Wilkinson (East Kilbride AC)

U15 Boys Teams

1 Giffnock North; 2 Harmeny AC; 3 Ross County AC

U17 Women

1 Millie McClelland-Brooks (Glasgow School of Sport); 2 Caitlyn Heggie (Ross County AC); 3 Catriona Kane (Central AC)

U17 Women’s teams

1 Giffnock North; 2 Corstorphine AAC; 3 Falkirk Vics

U17 Men

1 Connor Bell (Central AC); 2 Oliver Patton (Kilbarchan AAC); 3 Reiss Marshall (Fife AC)

U17 Men’s Teams

1 Aberdeen AAC; 2 Giffnock North; 3 Harmeny AC

Lois Macrae and Calum Dick took the U15 titles at Kirkcaldy (photos by Bobby Gavin)


Tags: Falkirk Victoria Harriers, Giffnock North AC, Kirkcaldy, Lindsays Short Couse XC, Ross County

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