Chairman’s Update: January  2021

Greetings to one and all.

I hope you, your family and friends are safe and well. With four weeks into this current lockdown and possibly 4-6 weeks to follow this is challenging times.  During the recent weeks when there has been the opportunity to share a few words, a smile or a wave we have heard of club members fully committed to caring roles, managing illness or loss. Our heartfelt best wishes with whatever is happening currently.

The Prime Minister’s speculation this past week has hinted at schools returning no earlier than the 8th March. If England moves into another period of tiered restrictions then covid-secure track and field training at the SK Stadium could recommence.  This would be conditional on the volunteers being available, as a number of folks are shielding as a result of caring roles; we will have to check what we can offer.  At the latest we would hope to have some sessions for early April.

At this point I must express my gratitude to everyone who steps up and helps in administration,  networking and on training nights.  It is wonderful. Thank you.

Whenever we re-open I hope athletes are keeping some level of fitness and conditioning. I know I am missing this winter’s circuit training and throws sessions during the week.  Here at home there are a few items – kettlebells, dumbbells, bands and weight bags scattered around the house (image supplied) for those odd 10 minutes of exercise in between Zoom/Teams meetings and classes. Three runs a week is helping the weight loss (much needed).  Through social media and event-specific groups it has been enjoyable to watch videos of fellow veteran athletes attempting drills on patios, driveways, even corners of public car parks on cold frosty mornings.  Occasionally plant pots have been destroyed in the name of sport…..

During this winter can I encourage you to have a look at England Athletics’ website for Athletics@Home and coaching webinars. Please utilise the resources available to affiliated clubs and members. Also, have a look at Inspire +, Active Lincolnshire and BBC’s short HIIT videos for fitness sessions.  I love the throwing socks in a waste basket! Must take them out afterwards…

On the coaching front our congratulations goes to Steph Hobday for completing his Levels 1 and 2 endurance coaching qualification from the Lydiard Foundation. I look forward to watching more high kicks, lunges and skipping before and after those many laps of the track by the endurance crew.

Looking ahead, the club is affiliated to two athletics leagues: the Youth Development League for younger athletes and the Northern League, a senior league for junior, senior (and veteran) athletes. Both leagues have rolled over the respective memberships into this new year and are trying build a structure around a number of dates:

Youth Development League
Northern League
24 April – YDL Lower
15 May – YDL Lower
22 May – Doncaster
5 June – YDL Lower
19 June – Derby
17 July – YDL Lower
11 July – Spinkhill
1 August – Lincoln


The club shares the YDL Lower league as a merged team with Bourne, Sleaford and Newark.  We are looking for a club team manager for this summer to work the other clubs.

The Northern League has undergone a restructure in order to keep competitions and travel local.  This year Grantham AC is in the new East 1S division with Boston, Chesterfield, Derby, Doncaster and Lincoln & Wellington. A one up promotion and one down relegation structure is being introduced. The Northern League is for U17s (max 4 event, inc relays with limited comps – no hurdles, steeplechase, heavy throws), U20s (max 5 events) and seniors (max 7events) – them were the days…

Please put the respective dates into your diary.  This is something to look forward to. Remember Cleckheaton 2019 – we won it! (Cleckheation 2018 my Jeep’s brake pads caught fire when arriving  the car park).

I do look forward to getting back into athletics, I hope you do as well.

If I don’t see you jogging around Wyndham Park or queuing for a breakfast takeaway from the café, my very best wishes. Keep safe and active.

Philip Garner, Chairman Grantham AC


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