National Young Athletes League - UK Final
Sports City Manchester 5th September, 2010
|1||Enfield & Haringey AC||779.5|
|2||Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow AC||745.5|
|4||Rugby & Northampton AC||691.0|
|6||Swansea Harriers AC||638.0|
|7||Sale H Manchester||606.5|
|8||Gateshead H & AC||604.0|
Last year Rugby and Northampton Athletics Club were not regarded as a threat to the heavy weights of the British Athletics world, but 2010 is a different story. Sportscity, Manchester, was the venue for this year’s Young Athletes League National Final, where the top clubs in the country were battling it out for overall glory. A team of eighty R&N athletes, brimming with anticipation after coming close runners up to Birchfield Harriers in the Regional Finals, were up against tough opposition. Teams from Wales and Scotland travelled many miles to compete; the best clubs in England, such as Enfield and Haringey, who were eventual champions, came from all over the country to fight it out in what was set out to be a thrilling final. But it was all about R&N, who built on their fifth place performance of last year, clinching fourth place this time around and solidifying their claim as one of the best clubs in the UK.
The day started off exceedingly well, with two golds being won in the hammer, putting R&N firmly in second place. Under 13’s athlete Tim Kerr-Chin built on this tremendous result by breaking three club records, running devastatingly quick in the 100 and 200, and winning gold in the long jump. He was joined by Simone Ager, who broke both the 75 meters sprint and 150 meters sprint records, and the U15 boys 4x100 relay team ran hard to grab silver, also becoming record breakers. Kerry Murch and Yasmin Webb both bought home golds in the U17 girls 80 meter hurdles, with Natalie Goddard following suit, winning gold in an exciting 800 meters. In the 70 meter hurdles Regan Traynor also contributed to the ten medal gold rush, and the team also won twenty six silvers, and twenty one bronzes. But the greatest achievement of all is that R&N are now the best team in the region, beating bitter rivals, Birchfield, by seven points. This was a fantastic result which will be built on in years to come.
But what is the secret to their success? It is not money which has made Rugby and Northampton blossom, but pure team spirit, and dedication from their coaches and parents. Many athletes competed in more than two events, some accumulating distances of almost 4000 meters, all doing so with a smile and warm hearts. They may not have had the biggest team at the event, but they were certainly the loudest, often drowning out the commentator; even the vuvuzelas, being used by rival team members, were hard to hear over the R&N support. Unlike other clubs they are down to earth and laid back, their coaches guiding them, but giving them a sense of independence which is key to helping athletes grow. But most of all, above anything, they enjoy it and have fun. It’s not all about winning with R&N, it’s not about silver wear or fancy cups, it’s about going out there and doing it, as one. And if they get fourth place? Well, they can certainly be happy with that.
Power of 10 Results