With thanks to Seamas Mactaggart for this report and photographs
With most of Scotland held in the icy grip by the Arctic blast of the last few weeks, athletes up and down the country have had to improvise, or work that little bit harder to make their training happen and get themselves ready for the upcoming Age Group Champs in Glasgow.
For those clubs without the access to the luxury of indoor facilities, it’s certainly been a case of athletes and coaches working together to find a solution.
And, as they say, ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’. As the sprint and jumps squad at Stornoway Running and Athletics Club on the Isle of Lewis have proven!
‘We were getting so fed up of not getting near the track with the snow that we decided there was only one thing for it – to get at least one lane clear,’ explained Seumas Mactaggart, Sprints and Long Jump coach.
So when the cold snap began a fortnight back, athletes and the coaches got to work, armed with spades, brushes and any likely tool they could find.
Fellow sprints coach Hamish Budge tweeted ‘Snow way we’re not running today’ with the picture of the group stating that the sprint squad ‘brushed up on their track skills’.
U17 Ross Budge in full flow on Lewis
Two weeks on and the clearing of that lone lane has become a bit of a club ritual for the Western Isles club.
But it has done the needful as lead sprints coach Jim Warnock pointed out: ‘We’d done a good Winter’s work, but it was vital to be get the speedwork done, so there was only one thing for it – to roll up the sleeves and make it happen ourselves!
‘The kids did a great job and they’ve shown a brilliant attitude, arriving down at the track early and getting that lone lane clear each session. They’re a great bunch. It’s been a bit of a ‘journey’ but we’ll be ready for the Age Group Champs!’
With some better weather finally being forecast now in the final 10 day run up to the Indoor event at the Emirates Arena on February 14/15, it looks like the SRAC athletes, along with all others around the country, may finally get a bit of a break as they make their final preparations for the big weekend.
There was a fine performance by Steph Twell at the European Clubs XC Champs last weekend in Spain.
Steph was fourth in the Senior Women’s race and picked up a team bronze medal with Aldershot, Farnham and District as their squad delivered one of Britain’s best displays in this event.
Well done to Steph, who spent some time in Australia at the turn of the year and thus missed Great Edinburgh XC. There is more on the AFD club website.
Official recognition: Jim Johnstone
We’ve used the hashtag #peoplemakeathletics on a few occasions over the past year or so and that certainly applies when it comes to our hard-working band of scottishathletics officials.
Long-serving official, Jim Johnstone, is certainly one of those and he is retiring from his role as time-keeper at the end of the indoor season after 30 years of service to the sport.
Jim was presented with a scottishathletics quaich by Vic Hockley at the Senior Indoors last Sunday to mark his fine contribution to the sport.
We are fully aware the current programme of indoor events is asking an awful lot of our dedicated team of officials and want to make sure they know their efforts are much appreciated by athletes, parents, coaches and clubs.
Emirates Arena: Students event this Saturday
The Emirates Arena is playing host to a number of events at the moment and the Scottish Universites and Colleges indoor champs are coming up this Saturday (7 February).
Entries are available on the day and there are more details via our previous story.
Pole Vault: course on February 22
As part of the National Coach Development Programme, scottishathletics are hosting an additional coach development day for Pole Vault at Grangemouth on Sunday 22 February.
Coach Eamon Fitzgerald will lead the day, delivering practical sessions on technique and specific conditioning for Pole Vault. The programme for the day will run from 10am to 4pm.
To reserve your place, please contact Mary Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org
These Coach Development opportunities are free to scottishathletics registered coaches.