President’s Reflections – July 2021

I start with two quick reminders.

Tooting track petition closes on 1 August 2021-please ensure you a) have signed it b) have shared with relevant friends’ groups/social media.

My sincere thanks to everyone who has been involved with our campaign, including our Patron Jade Johnson who has been very prominent in getting across the critical importance of Tooting Bec Track, with great support from our local MP Rosena Allin Khan.

Membership-please ensure you have renewed your membership at:

Along with all of our members I am very excited that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have finally arrived. Following a great deal of uncertainty, the Games are going ahead and we wish all those taking part the very best in this pinnacle of athletic achievement.

We are of course delighted to have our very own Katie Snowden competing in the 1500m, a great example of young talent nurtured through the Club who has persevered through good and more challenging times, to achieve the ultimate of becoming an Olympian. This season has been a real breakthrough for Katie, with a big PB and Olympic Qualifying Time but also racing with a tactical nous and maturity that comes with experience.

Let her take inspiration from the local Olympic Champion, Albert Hill,

Club athletes have enjoyed considerable success at recent major championships. Congratulations to Kristal Awuah on her third place at the European U23 Championships, Tallinn, in the 100m. Kristal was extremely unlucky not to have been selected for the Olympics 4 x 100m squad, but will have learnt a lot from her experience in Estonia, and as one of Great Britain’s best young sprinters will, I am sure, enjoy further success over coming seasons.

Also competing in Tallinn, at the U20 European Championships, was Phoebe Anderson making her GB debut. Phoebe has completely re-written her PBs, and placed an excellent 7th in very hot conditions.

For many, the road to these major championships starts at the English Schools Track and Field Championships. Congratulations to all HHH athletes who were selected to compete at this year’s event in Manchester. Club athletes had some outstanding successes, led by Keeran Sriskandarajah who won the Junior Boys 800m title in a superbly controlled race.

Our coaches are so often the hidden heroes, supporting our athletes throughout the year, in the hope that they will produce their very best when it really matters. Anthony Soalla Bell’s throws’ squad really came of age at these championships. Victoria Alicante-King won an excellent silver in the Junior Girls Shot Put, whilst Alexander Abebrese won a bronze in the Junior Boys Shot Put, ahead of Clubmate and fellow ASB squad member, Omari Jackson-Whyte, in fifth. Alexander’s brother, Ignatius, also won a bronze in the Senior Boys Triple Jump, and Je’nae James finished an excellent fourth in the Senior Girls shot put.

Finally, I wanted to reinforce the critical importance of us, as a Club, continuing to develop officials to ensure competitions can take place. This year has seen an acute shortage of qualified officials, which has put real pressure on clubs to host and deliver events. As a Club we would strongly support you in taking officials course, with further details at: On-line courses are currently running and we would anticipate face to face ones coming back in the autumn.

The Club will cover the registration costs associated with these courses, and also covers the cost of those who wish to become, or augment, their coaching qualifications

Please do contact Dan Hallam, Officials Secretary, or Glen Keegan, Coaching Secretary, for further information.

Keith Newton, President, Herne Hill Harriers