President’s Reflection’s – April 2021

My apologies for missing April by a few days with my monthly update.  Things have picked up with the Club now that we are fully back into organised training sessions, and it has been wonderful to see some competitions including those organised by Herne Hill Harriers.
It is early season but we already have at least three Club athletes who have produced UK age group lead performances, European Junior qualifying times and some very impressive PBs.  A good number of our younger athletes will be aiming for places at the English Schools Track and Field Championships in Manchester (we have traditionally as a Club provided up to one third of the London team, plus have athletes in Surrey and other teams), via the London Schools Championships and other designated competitions.  This represents the pinnacle for many young athletes and offers an incredible experience and preparation for future top competitions. 
Many of you have already renewed your membership and we have had a strong influx of new members over the last few weeks, especially following the very successful Easter Holiday activities at the track.  I would ask that all who have not yet renewed please do so via the following link: 

We continue to have a number of vacant positions which we need to fill as a matter of urgency.  Our Club relies 100% on the voluntary efforts of our officials and coaches.  Unlike other sports, we do not charge monthly fees to cover the cost of coaching and other critical inputs, but we do rely on members, parents and friends giving up their time to assist with the running of the Club. 

Since I last wrote highlighting some key areas where we need to field posts, our Southern Athletics League Team Manager has stood down, and our Covid Officer.  I wanted to first of all thank Steve Knight, our SAL manager, who has done an excellent job reviving that team and its focus over the last few seasons.  This year we have just three matches all at Battersea Park, and so it would be a gentle introduction for someone wishing to take on this rewarding role.  

We are also seeking to fill the role of Covid Officer which involves keeping on top of any changes from our governing bodies, updating guidance etc, plus we also need to fill roles in support of our WWW activity (HHH website) and kit management. 

If you wish to learn anything more about the above positions, please do contact Steve Bosley or myself. 

Finally, a brief update on Tooting Bec Track.  I had previously circulated a statement to all members on behalf of Wandsworth Council (the owners), Enable (facility managers), England Athletics and the Club Executive.  This statement set out our collective commitment to ensuring the track is resurfaced and that the facility is fully retained as a track and field facility. There was a facility inspection and a further one is planned when the weather is warmer.  As a minimum, we anticipate that this will extend Tooting’s use as a training facility pending it being resurfaced, and may open the way for some summer competition.   

Within the Executive we agreed to establish a sub-group which comprises our patron Jade Johnson, Waldy Pauzers, Glen Keegan, Mandy Brown and myself.  The purpose of the sub-group is to ensure that we keep a clear focus on the track resurface, and develop a soft campaign to heighten awareness of the need for it to be resurfaced.  Via this group we have developed a number of actions, one of which was for three of us, Jade, Kristal Awuah and I, to meet with the local MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, whom we duly met with last week.  I am pleased to say this was a successful meeting and that she is fully behind the commitment to sort the track.  We followed this up with a further meeting with the Council, Enable and England Athletics, where we were able to convey some of the current challenges we are facing but also importantly plot a way forward, linked to the Council’s capital funding round.  I am sorry I cannot give you more concrete outcomes at this point, but rest assured we are doing all we can to resolve the matter of track resurfacing. 

Keep up the training everyone and I look forward to catching up with many of you at upcoming competitions. 
Keith Newton, President, Herne Hill Harriers