Try Athletics Day a success!

The threatened rain did not materialise and it was sunshine all the way as 38 happy, smiling young athletes aged 8 and upwards had a fun-packed morning at the Essex Athletics Network’s Try Athletics Day at the state-of-the-art Eastwood Academy track, Leigh-on-Sea on Saturday.

The enthusiastic youngsters had the opportunity to try five different events – sprinting, long jump, high jump, hurdles and javelin – and spent around 20 minutes on each activity moving round in a carousel system.

Lead coaches in each discipline were Mike Jeffery (Southend – sprints), Phil Sergeant (Chelmsford – Long Jump), Simon Hemmings (Southend – High Jump),  Sylvia Sergeant (Chelmsford – Hurdles) and Sam Harrison (Havering Mayesbrook – javelin) while Karl Cadman (Benfleet) led the warm up and cool down.

The event which was part of England Athletics Are You Ready campaign timed to tie in with the 100 Days to Go landmark was an undoubted success as judged by the beaming smiles on the young athletes’ faces as they waited at the end to collect their Aviva StarTrack “goody bags”!

Happy organiser Hayley Pegg, the Network’s Volunteer Coordinator said afterwards “The event couldn't have gone better and wouldn’t have happened without the coaches, assistant coaches and other volunteers, so thanks once again to all who helped on the day. It was fantastic to see most Essex Athletics Network clubs represented in some form or another and today's event highlighted how strong the network is and the impact we all have on athletes and their parents.”   Jumps coach Phil Sergeant commented “Sylvia and I both thoroughly enjoyed the day and thought that the 38 children and the multitude of parents and relatives were totally engrossed in the whole event. We all love athletics but the response from the young budding athletes was tremendous, and it reminded us why we love the sport. Well done and thanks for laying on excellent weather!”  

Southend’s Mike Jeffery also thought it was a great day with a good mix of children and just about the right number to give some good practical help to, while Simon Hemmings said “It was a great chance for the kids to try out High Jump as some of them had not done it before, particularly the younger ones. I hope it is the first of many much needed events which will continue long after 2012.”

Network Activator Tony Benton concluded  “Hayley did a fantastic job in setting up the event and recruiting all the coaches and volunteer helpers. It was great to see coaches and volunteers from across the Network coming together to make this such a great success and we hope that clubs will be benefitting from new members and some new volunteers as a result.


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