Summer success for young athletes

August 02 2016

The youngsters of Yate & District Athletic Club have enjoyed their most successful season for a number of years, Stuart Nunn writes.

Yate & District Athletic Club

The youngsters of Yate & District Athletic Club have enjoyed their most successful season for a number of years, Stuart Nunn writes. All four matches of the Youth Development League have been won by often massive margins, ensuring promotion to the Premier Division next season. Doing this has meant beating local rivals Bristol & West, Team Bath and Blaenau Gwent on their home tracks as well as starting the season with a cracking win at Yate Outdoor Sports Complex.
 This success has largely been down to the club’s efforts in putting out complete teams as far as possible. There will nearly always be gaps in athletics teams because of illness or injury but it is proved beyond any doubt that the most complete teams are always the winners. At the start of the season the club had no pole vaulters, so steps have been taken to get some young athletes interested in this most technical event and in the last match Theo Harper came out a winner.
Each team victory is made up of individual performances and efforts. The outstanding athlete of the season has been Abdi Hasan who has looked unbeatable over 800m and has run the last leg in the 4x300m relay to bring the boys home in a club record time. Also outstanding have been a couple of under-13 girls: Willa Gibb and Poppy Clarke.
Willa hurdles so efficiently and fast that there are few girls her age who can match her. The same is true of new discovery, Poppy Clarke, over 1200m, where she has finished streets ahead of any rivals.
Often it is a coaching group who shine, egging each other on to better performances This has been true this summer of the hammer throwing group coached by Matt Spicer. Four of his athletes competed in the national championships at English Schools, throwing massive personal bests in the process. In league matches they have won throughout and thrown discuses and shots also to good effect. In those events James Viner has stood out, especially in the shot.
Amongst the jumpers, Abi Robson stood out in the high jump and Luke Hall in the long jump.
Next season will be a more challenging story. Young athletes grow and move into older age groups. As it happens this year this is particularly true of the girls. Team manager, Lesley Nunn, has already begun the search for next year’s winning girls.
Meanwhile, the local Avon Track and Field League is just getting under way. The first match at YOSC saw the Yate athletes sweeping into a good lead. It remains to be seen how the other three matches will play out, but Yate & District must be favourites to win most of the trophies on offer.