President’s Reflections-March 2021

It has been a long haul for everyone, but we now enter a new phase of lighter evenings, renewed group sessions and competitions, together with other freedoms which I am sure we will cherish through spring into summer. Most of you should already be aware of planned training sessions for your groups, which will again operate on a bookable basis at track and field facilities and other locations, with associated precautionary measures.   

The prevalence of COVID has diminished over the last few weeks, but please do ensure you adhere to the relevant measures if you, or people you have been in contact with, are showing symptoms or tested positive.  In these circumstances you should advise your coach, and stay away from group sessions for the requisite period.   

In terms of competition, I am delighted that we are the first off the block with the 5000m Comeback Meeting, Wednesday 31st March, organised jointly between our own Club and Belgrave Harriers.  Entries for this event were snapped up within a couple of hours, probably not surprising as these will be the first competitive 5000m track races for over one year.  

Having watched the European Indoor Track and Field Championships on television, I was also then excited to see the Olympic Marathon and Walk trials at Kew Gardens last Friday.  How amazing for those who have secured their place for the Olympics later in the year.  These developments coupled with an emerging fixture list for the summer months, fills me with great emotion and confidence that we will have a summer of competition that gets us closer to normality than has been possible. 

I should though acknowledge the 2020 Club Award winners who, following confirmation at the Executive, have now been advised of their successes.  We agreed, as an Executive, that it was important to recognise the achievements of our athletes, and we were extremely impressed by the standard of performances over what was obviously a very disrupted year.    

We will be communicating shortly about our position on membership renewals with a link to the portal.  We are keen for all existing members to renew, and for new members to join, but we have agreed at this juncture to suspend Club membership fees.  We will keep this under review as the season progresses, but believe this is the right thing to do at this point.  Please note though, the England Athletics registration fee will still need to be paid by all athletes who are competing, and further information on this will be included in the membership renewals note. 

I am looking forward to seeing many of you at Tooting and elsewhere.  Keep well, dust off those competition shoes and make the most of the 2021 summer track and field season. 

Keith Newton, President, Herne Hill Harriers