At a Presentation Evening at the Civil Service Club in Central London on 10th October Ivor Northey and Geoff Jerwood, two of Herne Hill Harriers coaches received awards for their long service as volunteers for our sport, in recognition that without such loyal devotees giving up so much of their time club sport in the capital as we know it would struggle to survive.
Ivor Northey is one of the club’s top coaches in sprints and jumps, having started as a volunteer in 1990 when he became an athletics coach. Since then Ivor has coached hundreds of athletes of all ages and standards from newcomers to internationals. Among the athletes Ivor has worked with include former Olympian and GB long jump record holder Jade Johnson – he was her first coach – and also GB Junior/U23 international sprinter Emma Whitter. More recently Ivor has coached highly ranked HHH 400m runners Nicholas Atwell and Peter Phillips to national finals and Southern area gold medals. Ivor has also undertaken a lot of development work within Lambeth, working with local schools and satellite clubs to publicise and take athletics to newcomers.
Geoff Jerwood was still running distance races at club level when starting out as a volunteer, having enjoyed a successful athletics “career” the pinnacle of which was representing GB in an international marathon race in Enschede, Holland in 1989. Already involved in road running team management and race organisation in the early 1990s, Geoff took on the mantle of HHH men’s track and field team manager in 1995 and is still in the role to this day. After several near misses the men’s team were finally promoted into the British Athletics League for the 2004 season and have remained in the upper reaches of BAL since then under Geoff’s management. In 2012 HHH achieved the dream of promotion into the highest division, the Premiership for 2013 and although these dizzy heights were only enjoyed for a single season the magnitude of this achievement for a club of HHH resources should not be under estimated.
Geoff has also team managed a successful men’s cross country team which won the Surrey team championship for 9 years out of 10 between 2001 and 2010. Geoff’s tireless energy and enthusiasm to encourage athletes to compete and gel as a team has in the past 5 years also been a feature of his coaching, having formed a quality middle distance training group based at Tooting and Streatham that has already spawned two or three international athletes. Next project is to put HHH women’s distance running team on the map……