January 09 Newsletter

January 30th, 2010 by Suzanne

THE BATON – ASHFORD ATHLETIC CLUB – JANUARY 2010

Happy New Year to all our AAC athletes.

Walking Coach - Ashford AC are very pleased to welcome Chris Hobbs to our very dedicated team of coaches. Chris will be coaching our athletes in race walking and so there will have to some adjustments to use of the track on training nights. It has yet to be agreed with the Stadium but it is likely that coaching for these athletes will take place in Lanes 1 and 2. Please make sure that you read all the notices on the notice board when you attend for training to check the lane rules for each training night.

Kent League Cross Country - Congratulations to the AAC under 15 boys team who finished third overall in the series and the under 17 men who finished 5th overall in their category.

Sportshall - The Club had a very successful day at the Sportshall Competition in Tonbridge in December 2009 and they returned with a huge clutch of medals. Please see the website for a report, photos and results. Congratulations to all the athletes who took part.

Parents and Athletes’ Questionnaires - Thank you to all the parents and athletes who completed the questionnaires. The draw for taking part took place at the end of December and the first prize was awarded to someone who completed the questionnaire in red ink but did not give their name. If you are the author of this questionnaire, can you please see Kate at the desk to claim your prize. First prize was a club vest or a club fleece. Second prize was won by Max Nicholls who wins a pair of sports socks. Third prize was won by Neil Daughters who won some sports shower gel. Congratulations to the winners and again thank you to all those who completed the questionnaire. The results of the questionnaire will help the Executive Committee and the coaches make informed decisions that take into consideration the views of the Club’s athletes.

Open Meeting - AAC will host their first Open Meeting in 2010 – on 28th August. Please put this date in your diary now. In order to ensure the future of further open meetings at the Club, this one needs to be very successful.

Amended opening hours at JRS - JRS have amended their opening hours as follows:
Monday- 08.30- 21.00
Tuesday -14.00- 21.00
Wednesday-08 30-21.00
Thursday- 14.00- 21.00
Friday-.8.30-19.00
Saturday- .08.00-14.00
Sunday 09.00-14.00

Kent Coach and Athlete Development Day - This will take place on 21st February 2010 at Sevenoaks School 9.30- 3.30. All coaches are welcome to attend. See Ashford AC web site calendar for more details.

New Equipment for AAC - Various items of new equipment have been ordered and the Executive Committee plan to apply for a grant so we can buy even more equipment to support our athletes and coaches!

Report of coaches’ meeting 9 December 2009
General Update: An Open meeting has been agreed and a format was circulated at the meeting for discussion and agreement at the next coaches’ meeting; Club results for 2009 were now on the website for viewing; the use of the indoor chute on Sunday mornings had been agreed with the Stadium; the equipment in the pods had been changed over to everyone’s agreement; a second dartfish training had taken place
Website: Suzanne Stuart-Smith gave a presentation on the website and provided handouts to everyone who would like to access the site to update reports etc. Suzanne highlighted the need that coaches and team managers must provide the information for the events they attend, and to include photographs were available. Suzanne would like to have more information on our success stories because she was sure that some were missing. Some discussion took place about the current women’s club records, and it was agreed that these would be removed from the site until they were finalised. It was also requested that the rankings for the adults be placed into 40+, 50+ and 60+ categories in line with competition results. The coaches thanked Suzanne for all the work she has put in on the website. All agreed that the website was a fantastic showcase of the Club.

Leagues and Competitions - Peter Le Rossignol (SML Team Manager) and Derek Laws (SWL Team Manager) had met up following a request from the previous meeting to discuss the issue regarding the amount of competitions U17s girls were expected to compete in, and produce a number of options for the Club and the coaches to consider. A chart was produced showing which Leagues each age group entered and how many competitions they could enter. The U17s girls were under pressure to attend 14 competitions each season, the Leagues being NatYAL, NJL and SWL. Derek and Pete felt that the Club should be showcasing their senior teams as something that the juniors aspire to and they proposed that the Club place the senior Leagues as the priority for the U17s to enter ie. SWL, followed by NJL and then NatYAL. A discussion took place and no conclusion could be reached at this meeting and it will be discussed again at the next coaches‘ meeting following further investigation.

Coaches’ responsibility and insurance - SB circulated a proposed Code of Conduct for comment by coaches. SB also circulated details of the coaches’ insurance cover. The use of the grandstand steps as a training exercise was discussed and it was agreed that SB will make a risk assessment and report back at the next coaches’ meeting.

League meetings - dates are coming in. Transport will be booked once all the dates are in. A fixtures list will be printed onto a small card to be handed out to athletes – suggested format is Club details, training nights and web address on the front, fixtures inside and Team Manager details on the back.

Club HQ – DH explained that the Council had agreed that we could build a Club HQ on the Stadium site but needed to ensure that this is what the Club wanted. Unanimous that the coaches would like a Club HQ built at the Stadium.

Presentation Evening - it was felt that this should be shorter next year. DH explained that the athletes’ questionnaire results showed that athletes did not want to hold this on a separate evening to a training night.

Coach development activities - SB circulated details of courses and conferences for 2010
Date of next meeting 10th February at JRS 7.00 pm

Kent Athletic Network (KAN) – KAN is a partnership of 11 athletics clubs in Kent who have put together a successful bid for funding of £35,000 a year for 3 years from England Athletics. The aim of the network is to develop athletics in Kent. So far our athletes have benefited from KAN through the Kent Coach and Athlete Development Days. In addition to this there will be a coach development and mentoring programme, a resource centre to develop a countywide register of all officials, coaches and marshals and specialist equipment, a Kent Track and Field Grand Prix Competition, a Kent Athletics website, Club development projects at schools, and an Athletics handbook and promotional leaflet produced. In order for all these schemes to go ahead, AAC is being asked to make a financial contribution of £800 and at the last Executive Committee meeting, it was agreed to join the Network for 2010. It is hoped that each Club that contributes to KAN will encourage more people to be involved in all aspects of athletics; improved communications and opportunities for learning and development; more people to help run our club; and sharing resources between clubs to enable an improvement in both the quality and quantity of athletics provision.

Julie Rose Statue – Some of you will have noticed a new concrete plinth being constructed on the grassed area in front of the Pod+ shop. The Council have raised funds to erect a new Julie Rose statue on this site which will be opened in April this year. AAC athletes will be invited to the launch and once we have a confirmed date, this will be circulated to everyone via e-mail and notices on the board on training nights.

Grandstand steps – the use of the Grandstand steps as a training tool is suspended until agreement to use them in this way has been reached with the Stadium. A risk assessment has recently been undertaken and this will now be raised with the Stadium manager at the next meeting this month.

Club Championships – A format for these to take place in 2010 has been agreed over 4 weeks in August and September. Details will follow in due course.

Signs – AAC has purchased some new 3m x 1m signs which will be installed in the next few weeks alongside the track on the Stadium’s fence. New banners for Team Managers to use at home and away meetings have also been ordered.

Special Notice: Inhalers Any athlete that needs to use an inhaler for health purposes needs to complete a form and send it back to UK Athletics. Only when UKA have your form, would you be exempt from the rules which ban the use of a range of drugs, including those used in certain inhalers. This form can be downloaded from AAC’s website under About Us/Welfare.

AGM – The Club’s AGM will take place on Monday 12th April at the Julie Rose Stadium. The evening will begin at 7pm with a presentation to athletes and parents on preparing for the summer competitions to include nutrition information, understanding the Leagues, the points system, kit necessities and warming up etc.

Cross Country vouchers – At the recent secondary school cross country event held at Godington House in Ashford, vouchers were handed out to the top three finishers which offered three free training sessions at AAC. A number of these athletes attended the induction meeting this month, so please make them welcome for their training sessions.

Volunteers needed – In order to ensure the smooth running of each home meeting, AAC are looking for a volunteer Meetings Manager. They would need to have keen admin skills and be prepared to attend each home meeting to coordinate all the various agencies – officials, athletes, results, St John’s Ambulance etc. If you are interested in helping out with this role, could you please speak to Mary Davison.
In addition to a Meetings Manager, AAC are very keen to encourage people to become time keepers for both home and away matches. Our current time keepers have limited time for attending this year and it is a requirement for each Club to have a certain amount of time keepers for each meeting, otherwise points are lost to the Club. If you are interested in learning this skill, could you please speak to Mary Davison. Courses and mentoring are available.

Fixtures – As is usual at this time of year, fixture dates are important to know. A list of provisional dates have been put together, but venues and home meetings are not yet finalised. Once these have been confirmed by the League, the dates will be notified on the website and also via a fixtures card which will be produced and distributed to all athletes.

Mission Statement – The Executive Committee agreed to adopt the following Mission Statement for the Club:
Ashford Athletic Club (AAC) seeks to ensure that the athletic careers of the club’s members will be given the support and encouragement they need to reach their potential, at their chosen events and to take pride in their achievements.
AAC recognises that participation in athletics can be enjoyed at many different levels of skill. The Club will aim to enable all who wish to participate in athletics to do so. Success will be measured not just by results and honours, but also by the enjoyment of taking part.
AAC will strive to achieve this by providing the highest level of qualified coaching, team management, guidance and resources available. In addition, AAC will support this aim by offering appropriate competition at all levels where needed.
The overall vision of AAC is based on developing and promoting the highest standards of leadership, equality, respect, honesty and teamwork.
This same vision will be afforded to all visiting athletes and clubs, by all officers and members of Ashford Athletic Club.

Coaches’ clothing – Coaches’ jackets have now been distributed and polo shirts for all summer team managers and coaches will be ordered in due course.

Need for Speed Challenge – Don’t forget this challenge which is set up once a month. In December, 49 athletes and coaches took part and in January over 40 athletes took part despite the difficulties of sharing the chute with the whole club due to the icy conditions on the track. Results of the Challenge can be found on the website. The next Need for Speed Challenge will take place in the chute on 2nd February and a final event will take place on 2nd March. Prizes for the winners in each category.

Ashford AC Code of Conduct – A new Code of Conduct has been adopted by the Club and this can be viewed on AAC’s website.

Projects List – You will remember that Mike Mein gave a presentation in July 2009 of the projects for 2009. The Executive Committee are currently reviewing the list for 2010 and a revised 3/5 year plan will be produced so that a follow-up presentation can take place at the end of the summer season. If anyone has any ideas for the development of the Club, then could they please speak to one of the Executive Committee members.

Fundraising Committee – AAC would like to put together a new Committee to help raise funds for the Club. Initially the Committee would be asked to look at hosting 2 events in 2010 which would make use of the offer from the Stadium to hire the Colin Jackson suite, café, and the chute for free. To get a complete representation from all age groups, AAC are looking for one person from the following age groups to join a team of 10: U13s boys, U13s girls, U15s boys, U15s girls, U17s boys, U17s girls, Senior Men, Senior Women and Veterans. If you would like to help the Club to raise funds for coaching, equipment and social trips, please can you let Kate at the desk know.

Executive Committee – We would like to welcome and thank Matt Hogben for volunteering to become an Executive Committee member. Matt has been running with the Club since he was in primary school and as you know he is a successful long distance runner for the Club. He will be representative of the athletes at the Club, so if you have any issues you wish to raise, please let Matt know.

Induction Evening – The next induction evening for new athletes will take place on Tuesday 2nd February 2010 at 6pm at the Julie Rose Stadium. All new athletes and their parents are welcome.

Running Tunes – Give your running a boost by downloading the runners world play list from itunes. For further information see their website www.runnersworld.co.uk.

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