Amber Valley & Erewash Athletic Club

Site last updated:  21st August 2016

Latest News

Club Championships

The annual informal end to the track and field season is soon upon us. On Saturday 17th Sept training is cancelled in favour of a fun-filled day of running, jumping and throwing.

There are trophies and medals for the first three in each age group U11, U13, U15 and U17. All club members can enter including our eight year olds and it's a great way to end off the summer season, just before the cross country and Sportshall season kicks off.

Entry details are being given out at training and can also be downloaded HERE.

Please note the situation regarding discus and hammer events. If the replacement netting for our discus / hammer cage has not been installed by the day of Club Champs, hammer and discus will not take place. We will however take any performances in these events at the Derby Athletics Festival on 11th September. If discus or hammer is a strong event for you we strongly suggest entering the Derby Festival to get a distance.

The closing date for this is 25th August and entry forms are available on the DAC website http://derbyathletic.club.

Eleven Medals at Regional Championships

AVEAC athletes had their own ‘Super Saturday’ and ‘Spectacular Sunday’ as they landed an eleven medal haul in the Regional U13, U15 and U17 Championships. It wasn’t quite Rio of course but both the Northern Championships at Middlesborough and the Midlands Championships at Nuneaton on the same weekend resulted in many personal bests.

Contesting the Northern Championships Emily Coope showed improvement across the board as she sprinted to the U17 women’s 100m gold medal on the Saturday and returned on the Sunday to take silver in the 200m. Last year she was the silver medallist in the 100m and fifth finisher in the 200m.

Also taking a gold and a silver was Ella Rush in the U13 age group. Taking a silver in the 200m she then hot footed it over to long jump where she proceeded to set a new Championship Best Performance of 5.05m, giving her the gold in a keenly fought competition, taking her to top of the U13 girls rankings.

Caitlin Emerson continues to improve in discus as she launched another personal best to 39.25m, taking the gold medal in the U17 age group. Tamsin McGraw clearly finds the Middlesborough venue to her liking. Last year in the stadium she clocked a personal best in the U17 women’s 800m for bronze. This year she went one better to take silver with a further personal best in the same event. She also ran her best time ever in the 300m finishing in fourth place.

Lily Naylor also demonstrated big improvements a year down the line as she took silver in the U15 girl’s shot with a best throw of 11.80m, and a bronze in discus (4th in both events in 2015). She threw 41.99m in the hammer to break the existing club record and a fourth place finish, and to complete a fine weekend with a further personal best in javelin for seventh place.

Jack Berwick took his first ever Northern Athletics medal as he ran a personal best for bronze in the U17 men’s 400m hurdles.

At the Midlands Championships brother and sister pair Dexter and Portia Deaville each took bronze medals. Dexter jumped a personal best in the U17 men’s triple jump, whilst Portia threw just short of her personal best in the U15 girl’s discus.

Inspired by the Olympics?

Come and try athletics at one of our club sessions. We operate an open policy of coming and having a go on either a Saturday morning 10am – 12pm or Tuesday evening 7 – 8.30 (7- 8pm for 8 –11 year olds).

Join in as a non-member (paying the non-member session fee) to see if you like what we do. Our group for 8 to 11 year olds has a structured and varied programme of games, relays and of course running, jumping and throwing activities. Those of secondary school age have a little more choice about what they work on.

Each session usually offers the chance to sprint or go for a group run, try high jump or long jump, and there are the throws events too – shot, javelin, discus and hammer. No special equipment is required, clothing should suit the weather, and yes, we train on the track at the Rutland Sports Park, Ilkeston during school holidays, even when it’s raining!

Mini League Champions Again!

Taking the Derbyshire Athletics Track and Field Mini League trophy again for the fifth year in a row AVEAC’s young athletes were unstoppable at the fourth and final match of the series. The yellow vests won by a clear margin from Chesterfield in second place overall, Derby AC third, High Peak fourth, with the smaller county clubs taking the lower positions. Maybe it was the warm and sunny weather at Moorways that also brought about a surge in record breaking performances, seven in total on the day alone involving nine AVEAC athletes.

Lily Naylor cemented her U15 girl’s shot record with a best throw of 11.55m, just short of her lifetime best. Bobby Oldham launched the howler javelin to a mighty 43.56m breaking the existing U11 boy’s record by several metres. Bobby later combined with George Reynolds, Johnny Rush and Nick Skinner to lower the U11 boy’s 4 x 100m relay record by almost half a second, a standard that has stood since 2006.

There was a fine U13 girl’s high jump competition going on between Charlie Yates and Ella Rush. Both girls eclipsed their personal bests when clearing 1.42m and in doing so they broke the existing record that was shared three ways at 1.41m (one of those athletes Niamh Emerson is current IAAF World ranked U18 No. 2 in HJ!). Charlie and Ella then joined clubmates Marni Gordon and Sienna Grant to shave point two of a second off the league 4 x 100m relay record held since 2007.

Breaking club records were Daisy Kaye in the U11 girl’s howler javelin and George Reynolds in the U11 boy’s 150m. So strong were the AVEAC athletes that they also won five out of a possible six age/ gender groups, and took second place in the other.
As a result of their Mini League performances a total of 17 AVEAC athletes have been selected as part of the Derbyshire team to compete at the annual Young Athletes U13 and U15 Inter County match at Nuneaton on 10th September.

Pipped at the Post in YDL

A second place finish at match 4 at Stourport in the YDL was unfortunately not good enough to give AVEAC’s U17’s and U20’s the chance of promotion. Eventual match and league winners Cannock and Staffs fielded athletes in almost every event and, with numbers turning out for AVEAC on the low side, it was a case of quantity winning the day and the eventual promotion slot.

A strong wind kept sprint times down but perhaps the best two performances came from Adam Berwick and Tamsin McGraw. Adam claimed the U17 men’s HJ record as his own, adding one centimetre to the record he jointly held with Richard Szarkowski from 2004. Tamsin, still an U17, took the opportunity to run a 400m in the U20 women’s race where she promptly broke the existing U17 women’s record.

Full results on www.ukydl.org.uk.

European Youth Medal for Niamh

Niamh Emerson once again proved that she is currently world class in her age group as she took bronze at the European Youth (U18) Championships in the women’s heptathlon, stretching her own British U18 record by a further 104 points to 5919 points. AVEAC’s second representative at the games in Tbilisi, Georgia, 400m hurdler Alex Knibbs, also set a new PB as he reached the final in his event.

Niamh got down to business at the start of day 1. Set in the industrial outskirts of the Georgian capital the newly built track is a vision of swimming pool-blue track and seating, mirroring the cloudless blue skies of a hot Georgian summer, with mountain views in one direction and Soviet-era concrete tower blocks in the other.

A PB in the 100m hurdles set the tone for the rest of the day, followed up by 1.85m in high jump, a 12.81m shot and 25.19 200m, the latter both being lifetime bests. Returning for day 2 her best long jump was 5.95m, a little below her best but good enough to keep her in medal contention. The penultimate event, javelin, was really where the pressure built as nothing short of 30m with the 500g implement would cut it with her fellow competitors, many who had 40m plus throws. She launched her first throw over 35m, adding almost five metres to her previous best and that was good enough to know that a medal was highly likely.

(click on the thumbnails for a larger version)

Going in the last heat of the 800m as the sun began to set, Niamh scorched to a win in her fastest ever run in a heptathlon, front running as usual, crossing the line in a flurry of photographers and camera crews tracking every move, national flags adorning the medallists and the relief and pride that comes from finishing with a major championship medal.

Eventual winner Alina Shukh of Ukraine amassed 6186 points for a new world best for U18. Sarah Lagger of Austria was just 11 points behind but remarkably she was back in action just a week later to win the World U20 Championship heptathlon.

Alex’s target in these games was to PB and reach the final, both of which he achieved. He ran three races in three days in temperatures up in the mid-30’s. Getting through to the semi’s was a demonstration of controlled and confident running as he won his heat, easing off considerably after negotiating the last of 10 hurdles.

The semi-final didn’t go quite to plan and he had to dig deep to claim the fastest loser slot. From lane 1 in the final he gave everything to finish 7th in 53.02. Being ranked 10th in Europe going into the championship and to come out with a 7th place finish is highly commendable.

Niamh also had the honour of captaining the women’s GB team being her fourth international call-up whilst Alex experienced team GB for the first time. Having two athletes from AVEAC competing for their country at the same event is unprecedented in the club’s 18 year history and many congratulations to them and their coaches (Jim and Julie Feeney – Alex, David Feeney – Niamh).

Third Place in Heart of England League

AVEAC could not take the overall Division 1 title again this year, ending the 2016 season in a solid third place after the third and final match at Redditch in July. The battle for top spot was between Stratford and Rugby & Northampton in a very close season, with match wins leap-frogging between the two. AVEAC’s age group teams took a brace of second place finishes as the U11 girls, U13 girls, U15 boys and U17 men all took runner-up slots. The U11 boys and U17 women came third, U13 boys fourth, and the U15 girls 5th overall.

On the day the stand out performance again came from Ella Rush who leapt to a lifetime best and new club record in the U13 girl’s long jump of 5.04m. She also took an ‘A’ string win at 200m and later combined with Charlie Yates, Sienna Grant and Indiya Gannon to win the 4 x 100m relay in a new club record time.

George Reynolds’s long jump performance propelled him to first place in the overall U11 individual awards. Likewise Bobby Oldham saved his best till last as his howler javelin throw of just shy of 37m won the event on the day, and took him to silver medal position in the overall U11 individual awards.

Interested in Coaching?

An England Athletics Assistant Coach course is taking place on 10th and 11th September at Tupton Hall School, Old Tupton, Chesterfield. This qualification is for those who wish to move towards being a coach and begin to gather experience in the detail of making coaching decisions.

The minimum age for this course is 16 and booking deadline is 29th August. The course fee will be paid by the club in return for a regular coaching commitment at our club sessions. Please ask for more info at a club session.

Funding Opportunity

The application process for ICON, the Derbyshire Talented Athlete Bursary is now open and closes on the 9th September 2016. Full details, eligibility criteria and application form can be found here: http://www.derbyshiresport.co.uk/icon-applications.

Please fully read the eligibility criteria before applying. Athletes who wish to apply and are successful are typically in the U15 age group as a minimum, achieving Grade 1 performances and at English Schools entry standard.

School Holiday Training

Training for all athletes and event groups continues throughout the school summer holidays as normal. Newcomers are very welcome to come along and see what we do. We don’t operate a waiting list so just come down to our registration desk on trackside at a training session (as below) where our desk helpers can point you in the right direction.

Our ‘Open’ training sessions (where we welcome those coming to the club for the first time as well as our regular members) are on Saturdays 10am – 12pm and Tuesdays 7.10 – 8.30pm ( the session for 8 to 11 year olds is 7 – 8pm).

Niamh and Alex in Great Britain Team

Two AVEAC athletes will be pulling on the Great Britain vest as they compete for the GB and NI team at the European Youth Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Championships is the inaugural event of it’s kind in Europe and is specifically for those athletes born in 1999 and 2000, in other words U18. Around 1200 athletes from all over Europe will compete over a full 4-day programme 14th to 17th July.

Alex Knibbs gains his first ever international cap for GB and will compete in the 400m hurdles. Niamh Emerson is selected for the heptathlon and this will be her fourth GB call-up. Both athletes had to impress the team selectors with a series of races and competitions very early on in the season specific to the U18 IAAF throwing implement and hurdle height specifications, and achieve the tough entry standard. What an achievement for our small club!

Jumps Medals at English Schools

AVEAC athletes took two medals at the English Schools Finals in Gateshead on 8th and 9th July. This annual event, now in it’s 86th year, attracts over 2000 of England’s best athletes of school age, competing for their school county team. It is said to be the largest event of it’s kind in the world run entirely by volunteers. For those reasons it is probably why most athletes consider an English Schools medal to be the most sought after of all track and field competitions.

At last years championships Katie Rowe took a bronze medal in the Inter (U17 girls) triple jump. Moving up to the Senior girls age group she went one better by taking silver this year. It was by no means an easy time down on the runway immediately in front of the hundreds of spectators. Katie had a number of fouls and runway adjustments to contend with. Going into her sixth and final jump she threw caution to the wind, got the crowd clapping and leapt to a beautiful jump that the assembled AVEAC parents and coaches knew was a big jump even before she had landed. A personal best of 11.99m moved her up from fourth to clinch the silver medal.

Not long after Katie’s well deserved medal Ed Barbour took to the pits for his first ever outing at these championships. Competing in the Senior boys triple jump Ed was one of only five competitors. Whilst those around him were struggling with their timing and run-ups Ed kept his focus and performed magnificently to jump a personal best of 13.71m for the bronze medal. Completing a highly satisfactory weekend for jumps coach Joe McColgan, Megan Bruce, competing in the Senior girl’s long jump and her last ever championships, finished a fine sixth place with a personal best jump of 5.58m.

Elsewhere, away from the jumps pits, Caitlin Emerson finished just outside the medals in fourth place in the Inter girl’s discus with a best throw of 36.81m. As last years Junior girl’s champion she made a good transition to the older age group and still has a further year to come. Emily Coope made her way through the rounds of the Inter girl’s 100m to finish in fifth place in the final.

A strong head wind kept times down significantly in the final although her semi-final time of 12.17 was just shy of her lifetime best. As a result she has gained selection for the Midlands team at the UK School Games Final in September at Loughborough. Lily Naylor also finished in fifth place, this time in the Junior Girl’s shot with a best through of 11.49m, an improvement on her 15th place finish in 2015. Also taking part were Jethro McGraw, Tamsin McGraw, Lois Amott-Downing, Lydia Naylor and Jessie Brown.

Two medals at British Champs

Rounding into a highly successful summer for the club there were two medals for AVEAC athletes at the British Championships at Birmingham. In front of a near capacity crowd and BBC TV coverage Jess Turner, Niamh Emerson and David Feeney flew the flag for their small Derbyshire club.

Jess Turner took centre stage as she took her first ever British Championships medal. Contesting the women’s 400m hurdles she ran to a silver medal in a time just outside her lifetime best. Whilst all media focus was naturally on Olympian Eilidh Doyle’s (Child) win it was Jess who spearheaded the charge of the much younger women in the field, and keeps her ranking in the UK solidly in third place.

Niamh Emerson contested high jump on the first day where she cleared 1.82m, shared with Bethan Partridge, but had to settle for bronze on count back. On day two she took to the long jump contest and finished in seventh place with a best of 5.77m.

David Feeney, competing in his seventh appearance at these championships, finished third in his heat of the men’s 110mH. He recorded his best ever time whilst at these championships but missed a ‘fastest looser’ slot in the final by just six one hundredths of a second.

Mini League Finale

The fourth and final match in the Derbyshire Mini League series is on Saturday 23rd July at Moorways. AVEAC is almost certain to pick up the league trophy for a further year so come along, compete and celebrate! New to Mini League or competition? No problem. Mini League is simple, informal and easy to take part in.

See the entry form HERE or pick one up from a training session.

English Schools Team Announced

The wait is over for 11 AVEAC athletes who have been selected for the Derbyshire Schools team for the English Schools Finals in July at Gateshead.

All athletics disciplines of running, jumping and throwing are represented, illustrating the range and depth of athlete and coaching talent nurtured by the club. Jethro McGraw is selected for his sixth and final appearance at these championships in the Senior boys (U20) 800m. Joining him in the Senior ranks is Alex Knibbs (400m) subject to European Youth team selection.

The Inter girls (U17) have strength and experience in the shape of Tamsin McGraw (800m) Emily Coope (100m) and Caitlin Emerson (discus), last years Junior Girls discus champion. Selected for the first time are Lydia Naylor (Inter Girls 300mH), and Lois Amott-Downing (Junior Girls 100m).

Lily Naylor (Junior Girls shot) could be a strong medal contender and Jessie Brown (junior Girls javelin) returns for her second championship appearance. Megan Bruce (Senior Girls LJ) and Katie Rowe (Senior Girls TJ) have been selected for the Nottinghamshire Schools team. Good luck to all.

Behind such strong athletes as always are incredibly talented and committed AVEAC club coaches and we acknowledge their significant contribution – Bob Boyd, Jim and Julie Feeney, Scott Knighton, Joe McColgan, Karl Ponty, Anita Walker.

Yorkshire Gold Rush for Ella

Ella Rush came away with three gold medals after a successful outing at the Pontefract Open. She won the U13 girls 100m and 200m and, significantly, the long jump in which she leaped to a new club record of 4.90m. This represents a 34cm improvement on the previous record held since 2010, and boosts Ella to third place in the UK rankings.

The updated club records can be viewed HERE.

All Action in Schools Competition

June is a very busy time of year in secondary schools athletics action, with many club athletes representing their school districts and county, at first the Derbyshire Schools Championships and then closely followed by the Mason Trophy Inter County match. Hot on the heels then comes the eagerly awaited announcement of which individuals have been selected for the English Schools Finals.

Of 19 AVEAC athletes who came either first or second at the Derbyshire Schools Championships, gaining automatic selection to the Mason Trophy, Lily Naylor’s U15G shot performance stands out. She set a New Championship Best performance at County Schools of 11.62m, breaking the record that has stood for the best part of 20 years. A week later at Mason Trophy she threw a little less but still came away with a second place finish.

Jessie Brown was one of five athletes from Scott Knighton’s javelin stable to go through to the Mason Trophy, Jessie finishing second and making it a one-two for Derbyshire as her team mate took top spot. Caitlin Emerson continued her preparations for English Schools Finals with a third place finish in the U17 discus.

England Silver Again for Niamh

Niamh Emerson took another Silver medal at the England Athletics U20 Championships in Bedford. Her best height of 1.83m in the high jump was good for silver, with eventual gold going to World Junior Champion Morgan Lake. This mirrors the performances of both athletes in 2015 when Niamh contested the U20 event as an exceptional U17, clearing 1.78m, and Lake taking the gold again.

At the same event Alex Knibbs was quietly getting on with the business of impressing the GB team selectors as he aims to gain a place in the GB&NI team for the European Youth U18 Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia next month. Competing in specially arranged U18 400m hurdle races (European specification and age group) he ran his final trial race and pb’d yet again, taking him to a ranking of seventh in Europe. Having run inside the tough entry standard on three occasions now he has an anxious wait to hear if he is one of just 26 athletes to make the final GB team.

Rain Stops Play at Coventry

The second Heart of England League match at Coventry was a very wet affair, so much so that during one of the incessant heavy and thundery downpours that had plagued the entire day, the decision was taken to abandon the match completely with the final track races and relays being sacrificed in favour of safety.

A somewhat disappointing overall finish of fourth place means that AVEAC now drop to equal third place with one match remaining.

The boys team overall finished the day in second place despite several injuries and niggles that caused much last minute team reorganisation. There were only two ‘A’ string wins. Nathan Hunt won the U13 boy’s 100m and George Dave had a particularly impressive outing over 400m in the U17 men’s age group. Team mate Joe Dickenson made it a double by taking the ‘B’ string 400m win, and William Pullan took a ‘B’ string win in the U15 boys 100m. Kieran Smith, in only his second outing for the club showed his middle distance potential with a second place in the U15 boys 800m.

The girls team placed fourth overall. Tamsin McGraw gave a lesson in never giving up as she clawed her way back from second place in the U17 women’s 1500m, to out-sprint the race leader in a race to the line. Emily Coope took maximum points in the 100m and a second place in the rain soaked 200m later in the day. Lois Amott-Downing had a comfortable victory in the U15 girls 100m and also showed that she has some hidden ability in long jump as she jumped to a second place. Lily Naylor was as consistent as ever in winning the U15 girls shot, with Amelia Banks and Portia Deaville adding to the U15 girls points total with a ‘B’ string long jump win and ‘A’ string discus second place respectively.

A string of fine second place performances characterised the U13 girls age group. Ella Rush bagged three in ‘A’ string 200m, long jump and 70m hurdles, club newcomer Sienna Grant took a second place in the 100m and a ‘B’ string win in 200m, Charlie Yates jumped well in the monsoon-like conditions for second place in high jump and a win in ‘B’ string 70m hurdles, and Maddie Tatham took second in the 800m as the ‘A’ runner.

In the separate U11s match the AVEAC girls team of Daisy Kaye, Cecilia Smyth, Mia Franco, Grace Robinson and Elizabeth Collings claimed runners-up spot overall with the boys team of George Reynolds, Bobby Oldham, Johnny Rush and Joseph Bennett in third.

Sisters in the Medals at Schools Combined Events

Lydia and Lily Naylor took medals at the Derbyshire Schools Combined Events Championship at Mount St. Mary's track in May. Lydia gave a gold medal winning series of performances across the shortened one-day Inter Girls Heptathlon event. She was never out of the top two and finished almost three hundred points ahead of the athlete in second place. Conditions were not conducive to pb performances for any athlete due to the continuous rain from the first race to the last race and all field events in-between.

Sister Lily, in the Junior Girls age group, went one better than last year, as she finished in bronze medal position in the pentathlon. Both Lydia and Lily will now represent Derbyshire Schools at the Midland Schools Combined Events at Moorways on the last weekend of June.

Joining them will be Jessie Brown who finished just outside the medals in fourth place in the Junior Girls event. Lois Aitken, in her first combined events finished with a team reserve spot in sixth place out of the twenty nine finishers.

Medals for Athletes at Northern and Midland Under 20 Championships

David Feeney took gold in the Senior Men’s 110m hurdles at the Northern Athletics Championships in Manchester. Something of a veteran at this annual championship this became his third senior outdoor hurdles title in the sprint hurdles in his long career. At the same championships Jethro McGraw ran a seasons best in the U20 men’s 800m for silver, to add to his bronze in the 1500m in 2015.

At the Midland Championships in Nuneaton on the same weekend Ed Barbour took gold in the U20 men’s triple jump, bettering the silver he won at this event last year. He also added the silver medal in long jump to his collection. Katie Rowe had to be content with bronze in the U20 women’s triple jump against strong opposition with a consistent series of jumps.

Enter the Regional Championships

Entries are now open for the Northern and Midland U13, U15 and U17 Track and Field Championships.
The Northern Athletics Championships is at the Middlesborough Sports Village over the weekend of 13/ 14th August.

There is a full programme of events for U17, U15 and U13 age groups. Athletes of a good standard (medalists at County Champs / Heart of England League athletes, this is an ideal standard for you) although there are no entry standards so any athlete can enter.

Closing date 25th July and details can be found on www.northernathletics.org.uk.  Athletes with a Derbyshire qualification by birth / residence should enter the Northern Champs.

The Midlands Championships is on the same weekend at Pingles Stadium, Nuneaton. Athletes with a Nottinghamshire qualification by birth / residence should enter the Midland Championships. Details on www.midlandathletics.org.uk.

Please note that athletes cannot enter both the Midlands and the Northern Championships and that if you entered either of the indoor championships earlier in the year you must also compete at the corresponding region’s outdoor event.

Roll Up, Roll Up to Our Summer Party!

Join the circus fun at this years club summer party at Belper Rugby Club on Friday 1st July starting at 6pm. Games will be played before a hot buffet which can be purchased from Belper Rugby Club from 7.30pm. It’s a great evening to have some circus fun for all ages (athletes and parents) and to build on AVEAC’s great team spirit.

Tickets are only £1 each per person (which does not include any food or drinks from the bar) and these are available to buy from our registration desk at training sessions. Please note ticket purchase by 25th June please to aid the caterers.

What Niamh Did Next .... Only a British Record!

Niamh Emerson’s rise and rise in UK and indeed global heptathlon shows no signs of faltering. In her second heptathlon of the season she competed in a low key combined events festival in Tenerife, the goal to cement her selection onto the GB team for the European Youth (U18) Championships in Tbilisi in July.

Having set a points personal best in May in Bedford in the U18 specific category (using U18 weight throwing implements and hurdle heights) of 5540 points she smashed that yet again, achieving 5815 points to break the existing British U18s heptathlon record held by Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

On day 1 she ran a 14.23 hurdles, a 1.83 high jump, a personal best of 12.68 with the 3kg shot. and ran a personal best in the 200m. Usually it is high jump that takes centre stage when Niamh performs yet day 2 started with a personal best in long jump of 5.98m in her first round jump.

With massive points already in the bag she fouled her second attempt. In the third round she delivered an enormous 6.21m leap. A modest 30.80m javelin followed and going into the final event, the 800m, Niamh was in second place to a Portuguese athlete. Front running against the clock yet again she recorded a time of 2.15.23, a personal best within a heptathlon, and secured the overall win.

Three Wins Out of Three at Mini League

AVEAC has a commanding lead in this years Derbyshire Track and Field Mini League, extending their run of unbeaten matches to three at the weekend, with one match remaining (July 23rd). Competing in warm weather at long last, the club won every age / gender group on the day except for the U13 boys who finished second to Chesterfield.

Track athletes had their results recorded by photo finish for the very first time in this league thanks to the electronic timing equipment recently bought by Derbyshire Athletics thanks to successful grant and funding applications and financial investment in technology by Derbyshire Athletics and some of the county’s clubs.

In the U11 girls age group every event was won by an AVEAC athlete. Grace Robinson won both the 80m and 150m sprints, Mia Franco took the 800m and Cecilia Smyth won high jump on count back from Mia. A first outing this year in Mini League showcased Johnny Rush’s potential as he was a clear winner of both the 600m and long jump in the U11 boys age group, and Nick Skinner shared equal first place with a Derby athlete in the 150m.

Ella Rush had her customary win in the U13 girls 200m and added the 70m hurdles to her collection this time round, plus a second place finish in long jump. Also taking second places were Indiya Gannon (100m) and Charlie Yates (70mH). AVEAC girls took all top three places in discus with Katie Potts first, Charlie Yates with a further second, and Grace Bennett third. Event wins were hard to come by in the U13 boys age group against a very good crop of Chesterfield boys, but Nathan Hunt won by a whisker in the 100m from his High Peak AC rival and then had the tables turned as he was run into second place in the 200m.

Throws doubles were the feature of the U15s performances as both the girls and the boys recorded wins in both shot and discus. Lily Naylor and Joel Naylor topped the shot results while Portia Deaville and Danny Skinner took maximum team points in discus. Matt Fraser took two second places in the 100m and 200m and Kieran Smith in his first outing for the club at 800m finished strongly for third place. The improving Lois Amott-Downing had a clear victory in the 100m, Lois Aitken did likewise in high jump.

Full results are on the Derbyshire Athletics website http://derbyshireathletics.org.uk.

YDL Win at Grantham

A smaller than usual AVEAC team of U17s and U20s travelled to Grantham for the second match in the Youth Development League. Availabilities were hit across the board due to exam revision necessities and the half term holidays, yet those who made the trip, in particular the sprinters, found very favourable conditions resulting in a clutch of personal bests.

Of particular note were wins at U20 for Jack Allen (100m) and Alex Knibbs (200m), Alex’s time obliterating the existing club record, and a hand timed 100m pb for Emily Coope at U17. U17 female throwers took wins in discus ,hammer (Cara Brown) and javelin (Maisie Knighton) and Caitlin Emerson found her form with discus, competing with the U20’s for a clear win in this age group. Jumpers secured wins from Megan Bruce (U20 long jump), Katie Rowe (triple jump and high jump), Cyrus Clarke (U17 long jump) and Ed Barbour (U20 triple jump).

AVEAC won the match overall from Cannock & Staffs in second place (full result on www.ukydl.org.uk) giving a an overall lead in the league with two fixtures remaining.

AVEAC Stars at Loughborough International

The Loughborough International gathers home nation teams and selected guest athletes for the traditional domestic curtain-raiser for the track and field season. Three of AVEACs most successful athletes, all current or former Great Britain team athletes, competed for home country or university teams.

(photo credit Brian Stephenson)

Jess Turner was in an opening event on the track, the women’s match 400m hurdles. Competing for the Loughborough Students team she had a strong run, closing the lead of a close rival in the final stages of the race to take maximum team points, despite still suffering the after effects of a food poisoning episode from earlier in the week.

(as with all photos on this site, click on the thumbnail to see a larger image)

Niamh Emerson and the women’s high jump competitors entertained the capacity crowd at the pavilion end of the stadium. Niamh, in her first selection for the England senior team was up against close rivals including UK U20 record holder Morgan Lake. Niamh however was is sparkling form, clearing every jump at her first attempt. Her clearance of 1.89m was a lifetime best and propelled her to the top of the world U18 rankings!

Neither Niamh nor Morgan could clear 1.91m, giving Niamh first place on her comprehensive countback form.

David Feeney, something of a veteran at the Loughborough International earned his umpteenth selection for the Scotland team in the men’s 110m hurdles. He finished in fourth place in a quality field and also ran the anchor leg of the men’s 4 x 100m relay for Scotland.

Talented Trio at Loughborough International

Three of AVEACs most successful athletes are set to compete at the Loughborough International on May 21st. The annual track and field curtain raiser gathers home nation teams and selected guest athletes and looks set to include many big names as they seek Olympic qualifying standards.

David Feeney gains his umpteenth senior team selection for Scotland and goes in the men’s 110m hurdles. Niamh Emerson takes her first selection for the England senior team, competing in the women’s high jump. Reigning BUCS champion Jess Turner runs for the Loughborough University Students team in the 400m hurdles.

Lily Heads Club Medal Haul at County Champs

Lily Naylor set a new Derbyshire Championship Best Performance at the joint Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire County Championships, held on a cool but dry weekend of 14th and 15th May at Harvey Hadden Stadium. Her best shot put of 10.99m added over half a metre to the previous best. She also took gold in the U15 discus, hammer and 75m hurdles.

Emily Coope took a brace of golds in every U17 event that she entered. She was dominant in the sprint triple of 100m, 200 and 300m and was also victorious in long jump. Tamsin McGraw had a remarkable win in the U17 800m, running from the front against the clock she ran a lifetime best to dip under 2.16 min. Also in the women’s U17 age group Lydia Naylor took three golds in the 80m hurdles, 300m hurdles and triple jump.

Emulating their older teammates, Ella Rush and Charlie Yates were stand out performers in the U13 age group. Ella strode to golds in the 100m, 200m and long jump, and Charlie took gold in high jump and 70m hurdles.

AVEAC’s boys didn’t quite have the same golden touch as the girls over the weekend but there were long jump victories for Chris Turner (U13) and Stan Dickenson (U15), Joel Naylor in U15 javelin, and gold for Nathan Hunt in the Nottinghamshire U13 boys 200m.

In the Nottinghamshire Quadkids U11’s competition AVEAC athletes topped the sizeable entry list. Bobby Oldham won the boys competition by a huge margin, and his 38m howler javelin throw was particularly impressive. The girls competition was an altogether closer affair, Daisy Kaye doing just enough to win by one point. The Derbyshire event the following day also had an AVEAC boys winner. George Reynolds won comfortably, with Nick Skinner in bronze medal position. Mia Franco finished in third place in the girls competition but her total points score, interestingly enough, would have been enough to win the Nottinghamshire girls competition the day before.

Whilst the athletes are, quite rightly, the focus of the Championships, it is the hours of work behind the scenes and the willingness of officials and volunteers to freely give their time that deserves gratitude. Around one hundred people contributed to the organisation and running of the weekend and AVEAC personnel played their part. Without these people the Championships could not take place.

We acknowledge Trev and Stella Jolly on handling and processing all of the Derbyshire results, to Julie Feeney for coordinating the Quadkids events and medal presentations, to Karl Ponty in the pressure cooker environment of photo finish, and to officials Dave Leam, Dave Allen, Nigel Smith, Tony Trace, Sarah McGraw, John Turner, Damian Banks, Jayne Swift, Jess Pugh, Tony Trace and Ralph and Mel Naylor.

Mini League Match 3

The next Derbyshire Mini League match is on Saturday 4th June at Moorways Stadium, Derby.

Entries should be made before the day by returning the tear-off slip on the event details to training as this greatly assists team managers. First events start at 10am and athletes are asked to register with team managers from 9am.

Please note that there is NO CLUB TRAINING on this day for athletes in the U11, U13 and U15 age groups (other coaching groups by arrangement with the lead coach).

Download the competition details here.

Strong Start in Heart of England League

The combined results of both the girls and the boys teams gave AVEAC an overall equal second place at match 1 in the Heart of England League at Rugby. The host club have a narrow overall lead at this stage with Stratford and AVEAC level for second place. The warm and still conditions assisted many athletes to early season personal bests and with most races and field events having the benefit of full fields, the competition couldn’t have been better. It was a solid start to this league . Although the club didn’t top any of the age groups there were plenty of second places and the lowest any age group finished was fourth out of eight teams.

The U17 women's team finished in second place. Emily Coope was pleased with her hand-timed personal best in the 100m to dead heat with the athlete who currently tops the UK rankings. She followed this up with an ‘A’ string win in the 200m with Lydia Naylor also taking maximum points for a ‘B’ string win. Tamsin McGraw took two ‘A’ string second places in the 800m and 300m. In the throws Caitlin Emerson was just shy of her shot personal best for an ‘A’ string second place, and Cara Brown and Maisie Knighton each took a ‘B’ string win in shot and javelin respectively.

The club’s U17 men also finished in second place overall. Cyrus Clarke had a particularly fine day with personal bests in shot and long jump for ‘A’ string second places in both. Also recording new personal bests was Christian Howett who took an impressive twelve seconds off his previous best in the 800m for a ‘B’ string second place and followed that up three hours later with a further four seconds off his 1500m best for an ‘A’ string second.

William Pullan brought in big points to help the U15 boys team to an overall second place. He recorded two ‘B’ string wins in the 100m and 200m, and an ‘A’ string second place finish in the 300m, ably backed up by team mates Matt Fraser (‘A’ string third places in the 100m and 200m) and Fran Higton (‘B’ string second place 300m). Performances of note in the U15 girls age group came from Jessie Brown and Jasmine Knighton taking maximum points in the ‘A’ and ‘B’ string javelin.

Sienna Grant made her debut in the HoE league in impressive style, winning the U13 girls ‘A’ string 200m and taking a second place in the ‘A’ string 100m. Charlie Yates continued her excellent recent form over the 70m hurdles and high jump taking ‘A’ string wins in both. Ella Rush demonstrated her versatility with an ‘A’ string win in long jump and ‘B’ string wins in 70m hurdles and 800m. Nathan Hunt did the sprint double for ‘A’ string second places in 100m and 200m for the U13 boys.

The U11s have their own scoring match, the girls finishing second and the boys third equal overall so far.

Space on this webpage is never enough to mention everyone. ‘A’ and ‘B’ string performances earn equal points in this league and it tends to be consistency at a high level across all age groups that brings about overall success. We are defending Div 1 champions after all! Match 2 is at Coventry on 12th June.

Jess Wins University Challenge Again

Jess Turner successfully defended her 400m hurdles title at BUCS Championships (British Universities and Colleges). Her time of 57.50 was slightly slower than her lifetime best but it was good enough to smash the Championship Best and 8 year record held by GB international Elidh Child by over half a second in typical windy conditions so common at the Bedford track.

Jess was pushed to a close finish by the Irish athlete Christine McMahon but held on to take the title again. Jess, a long standing member of Amber Valley and Erewash AC but competing for the Loughborough University team, was presented with the gold medal by our very own Paul Smith (Championship meeting manager) which was an added bonus. She went on to win a second gold as the 4th leg runner in the Loughborough team 4x400m relay.

Super-sized AVEAC Team Take First YDL Win

AVEAC fielded the largest ever squad of U17 and U20’s to take the first of four matches in Midlands NE 1B division of the Youth Development League. With eight teams in the division and a reasonable turnout from most of the clubs there was, at last, some life in a YDL match. There were decent sized fields in many (but not all) events and AVEAC athletes mixed and matched across the age groups to get the best event coverage. Their winning margin over Cannock and Stafford AC was 90 points and lead from start to finish.

The relays at the end of the day produced quartets that broke two existing club records in the U20 women’s 4 x 100m relay (Niamh Emerson, Corey Wilson, Megan Bruce, Emily Coope) and the U20 men’s 4 x 400m relay (Ed Barbour, Cameron Higgon, Rob Sims, Alex Knibbs) . Many athletes set personal bests despite the cold and dreary conditions and amongst the stand out performances were Tamsin McGraw winning both the U17 women’s 300m and 1500m, Emily Coope took triple wins in U17 women’s 100m, 200m and LJ, and throwers Caitlin Emerson and Cara Brown successful in shot, discus and hammer.

Katie Rowe persevered in the U20 women’s TJ across six rounds, and was highly delighted to produce her best ever outdoor leap in the final round. Niamh Emerson had two solid wins in the U20 women’s LJ and shot as preparation for her heptathlon activities later in the year. In the men’s events Ed Barbour took a comfortable win in the U20 TJ, Cyrus Clarke cleared enjoyed the conditions at Moorways as he jumped to a personal best in U17 LJ, Alex Gillott launched the javelin out for first place in the U17 men’s event, while Jack Allen and Alex Knibbs sped to wins in the U20 100m and 200m.

The next match is at Grantham on 29th May.

Significant Lead in Mini League

AVEAC athletes made it two match wins out of two at the second Derbyshire Mini League match at Moorways on 30th April. A total of 80 AVEAC athletes of all abilities and experience took the opportunity to compete locally. AVEAC won the match by almost one hundred and fifty points (616) from Chesterfield in second (469). The Allenton venue experienced everything from sunny spells to snow over the course of the competition making conditions very difficult at times and more akin to a cross country match than a summer track and field event. AVEAC won every age / gender group apart from the U13 boys who finished in second place.

Ella Rush and Charlie Yates lead the winning charge in the U13 girls category taking two event wins a piece, Ella the 100m and 200m sprint double, and Charlie the 70mH and high jump recording big pb’s in both. AVEAC had only one event win in the U15 girls courtesy of Lois Amott-Downing in the 100m.

The 300m in this age group is a trial event this year and Holly Newham-Else got her name in the League record books as joint holder of the record, taking equal first place with a Derby AC athlete. Joel Naylor added to the teams points tally with two event wins in the U15 boys shot and javelin, as did Henry Knighton in high jump, doing well to record an equal PB height despite the unseasonal snow and hail shower as the bar progressed. Cecilia Smyth won both the U1 girls 80m and long jump, whilst Elizabeth Collings won the 150m. Nick Skinner and George Reynolds took one win each in the U11 boys 150m and high jump respectively.

Full results can be found on http://derbyshireathletics.org.uk.  The next Mini League match is on 4th June.

Social Events Early Warning

Set the dates in your diaries for two annual club social events coming up later in the year.

Join us for an evening of fun on Friday 1st July at Belper Rugby Club from 6pm. Games will be played throughout the evening for all ages and will include the perennial favourites space hopper and sack races, wellie wanging, family rounders and tug o’ war.

Later in the year our Presentation Evening will be held in the grand setting of the iPro Stadium (Pride Park) on Saturday 12th November. Look out for more details of both of these nearer the time.

Paarlauf Medals at National Sportshall

Ten AVEAC boys were part of the Derbyshire U13 and U15 boys teams taking part in the National Sportshall Finals. This event, spread over two days of competition, is the fitting end to the Sportshall season, culminating in the best county teams and individuals fighting it out for team and individual medals and placings. Once again Manchester's SportCity played host to the Finals.

The U13 boys, competing on the Saturday, finished in seventh place overall out of eleven teams. The team only took one hard-won medal, a gold, coming in the 8 lap paarlauf. AVEACs Fran Higton-Durrant teamed up with Elliott Archibold (High Peak AC) and ran the highly successful 2:4:2 format.

Sprinter Elliott ran 2 laps, Fran used his middle distance background to advantage to run a lung-sapping 4 laps before handing the baton over to Elliott for a further 2 laps, winning on time with a margin to spare. Fran narrowly missed a further medal finishing in fourth place in the 6 lap. William Pullen sprinted to an equal fifth place in the 2 lap. Stan Dickenson, Jonathan Howkins and Christopher Turner played their part in the teams very satisfying performance.

The following day it was the turn of the U15s. William Collings, Adam and Jack Berwick, Joseph Dickenson and late call up Louis Rice took to the Sportshall floor in their All-Rounder competition. Their only medal was won, as is often the case with the Derbyshire teams over the years, in the 8 lap paarlauf again.

This time the pairing of Oliver Dakin (Chesterfield AC) and William produced a bronze medal with Oliver taking on the 2 laps and William the 4 lap sandwich in the middle. Overall the team finished in a highly creditable fifth place out of eleven teams. In the All-Rounder category William was Derbyshire’s highest placed athlete 11th, Jack 26th, Adam 27th, Joseph 40th and Louis 70th.

First Match Win at Mini League

Match 1 of this years track and field Mini League saw AVEAC have a very comfortable overall match win. For early April the weather conditions were quite pleasant at Moorways, chilly but pleasant enough in the spring sunshine. Sixty eight club members took the opportunity to brush off the winter cobwebs and get some early season performances under their belts, some of whom were competing for the very first time.

Starting the season in fine style was Lily Naylor who set a new Mini League record in the U15 girls shot and also won discus. Lois Aitken took two wins in this age group at 200m and high jump and Emily Bush won the 75mH and took two second place finishes in 200m and shot.

AVEAC’s U15 boys took the age group overall win by a narrow margin as the maximum points were shared evenly by the bigger clubs across the board. Joel Naylor was the clubs only event winner, in shot, but the all important second and third places, in particular Matt Fraser’s two second place finishes in 100m and 200m gave the boys the win by just five points from High Peak AC. It was a similar story in the U13 boys age group, just one event winner – Chris Turner in high jump. Yet supporting performances brought in vital points, in particular Nathan Hunts’ two second place finishes in the 100m and 200m, and Charlie Dave’s second place in discus kept the points rolling in.

Ella Rush made sure of a hat trick of wins in the U13 girls age group as she romped home in the 100m and 200m and jumped a personal best in long jump. Charlie Yates and Grace Castle added wins in 70mH and shot respectively to give the girls an emphatic overall age group win.

AVEACs U11 girls took three individual wins out of a possible four – Cecilia Smyth 80m, Elizabeth Collings 150m and Mia Franco in high jump for first place overall in their age group. The U11 boys finished second overall with George Reynolds contributing a win in long jump and a second place in 80m.

Match 2 is on Saturday 30th April at Moorways, 10 am first events.

National Medal for Ed

Ed Barbour finds competition conditions north of the border to his liking as he added another Scottish Athletics medal to his growing collection.

His trip to the Emirates Indoor Arena in Glasgow for Scotland's national indoor championships resulted in a bronze medal in the U20 men's triple jump. His best leap of 13.67m was a personal best and a new club record and he also finished a useful 7th in long jump.

Membership Renewals Due NOW!

Existing members please remember to renew your AVEAC club membership. These are now due with a deadline of April 30th. Remember that your England Athletics registration is part of your membership fee and without renewal you will not be allowed to compete. You can check your own details by logging in to www.englandathletics.org/myprofile.

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire County Track and Field Championships

Entry forms are now available for the joint Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Championships on 14th and 15th May. There is a full programme of events for age groups U13's through to Masters.

All AVEAC athletes are encouraged to enter. Entries must be made by the closing date of 22nd April as no late entries will be accepted (no entry on the day). Qualification for each county is by birth and / or residence. Those athletes born in Derbyshire or have lived in the county for at least 9 months must enter the Derbyshire Championships. Competitors who were born in Nottinghamshire or have lived in the county for at least 9 months must enter the Nottinghamshire event.

Athletes should wear their AVEAC vest regardless of which Championship they enter. Both Championships operate in almost identical ways but individual medals will be awarded to athletes from both counties in each event.

Download a Derbyshire entry form here.

Download a Nottinghamshire entry form here.

Quadkids at the County Championships

In addition, younger athletes have an event especially for themselves. A Quadkids event is again being incorporated within the main Championships and is open to any boy or girl currently in school Year 4 or 5.

Entrants do not have to be a member of an athletics club. County eligibility is by school (not club or place of birth). Those who attend a Nottinghamshire school compete on Saturday 14th May, and those who attend a Derbyshire school compete on the 15th May.

Each athlete does a 75m sprint, a 600m run, long jump and a howler javelin throw. Points are scored according to performance - the faster you run and the further you throw and jump the more points you get. Points for the four events are totaled giving an overall score. Medals for top 3 boy and girl in each county.

Closing date for entries 22nd April and there is a maximum limit of entries so early entry is recommended.

Download a Quadkids entry form here.

Mini League Match 1

Match 1 in this years track and field Derbyshire Mini League is on Saturday 9th April at Moorways Stadium, Derby.

All club athletes in U11 (must be 9 years old on the day), U13 and U15 age groups should take part as the league is equally suitable for those of all abilities and experience. U17s can guest in some events. There is no training for these age groups (U15 and below) on this day although some event specific training groups for senior athletes may still be on at the Ilkeston track. Please see your coach for details.

An information letter can be downloaded here. Entries should be made via this form (which is also being given out at training). Remember we need to know if you are competing as this saves us lots of time on the day.


40 of our young Under 11 & Under 13 athletes had an action packed day at the AAA Tom Pink Relays at the EIS in Sheffield on 12th March, competing against teams from Crew & Nantwich AC, Chesterfield & District, City of Sheffield AC, Derby AC, Halton & Frodsham AC, Kingston upon Hull AC, Spenborough AC, Doncaster AC, Halifax Harriers & Southport Waterloo.

Team AVEAC had an extremely successful day overall, in what has been reported by the organisers as being an exceptionally high standard of competition for this event, with our athletes achieving 23 podium positions in Field Events (8 Gold, 8 Silver, 7 Bronze) and 20 individuals figuring in the medals gained from their contribution in Track Relays.

Awards in Field Events and Relay Races:


U11 - Anya Swift & George Reynolds (Highland Steps).
U13 - Charlie Yate (Highland Steps), Lois Aitkin (Weight for Height = TP RECORD), William Pullen X 2 (Standing Long Jump & Standing Triple Jump), Joel Naylor X 2 (Weight for Height = TP RECORD & Weight for Distance).


U11 - Mia Franco (Highland Steps), Isaac Caddy X 2 (Javelin & Weight for Distance), Elliot Lawrence (Standing Long Jump)
U13 - Lois Aitkin (Standing Triple Jump), Gabby Wilson & Nathan Hunt (Highland Steps), Chris Turner (Standing Triple Jump).
Girls 1500m Continuous Relay = Lois Aitkin, Charlie Yates, Gabby Wilson, Scarlett Wilson, Libby Shaw.
Boys 1500 Continuous Relay = Joel Naylor. William Pullen, Joel McGraw, Nathan Hunt, Jonathan Howkins


U11 - Cecelia Smyth (Highland Steps).
Girls 1000m Continuous Relay = Katie Potts, Anya Swift, Mia Franco, Maddie Tatham, Elizabeth Collings.
Girls Over and Under Relay = Katie Potts, Anya Swift, Mia Franco, Cecelia Smyth
U13 - Grace Bennett (Standing Long Jump), Libby Shaw (Shot). Scarlett Wilson (Weight for Distance), Anny Riley & Jonathan Howkins (Highland Steps), Chris Turner (Standing Long Jump).

Also Qualifying for the 1000m Continuous Relay final were the U11 Boys John Wellar, Ben Smyth, Robbie Boam, George Reynolds & Morgan Cockell.

A total of 15 U13Boys and 15 U13Girls teams competed in the 3 X 500m Time Trials.

Three AV boys teams participated in these relays: 4th fastest time, 4.32.7min was clocked by Jonathan Howkins, Joel Naylor & William Pullen. Nathan Hunt, Joel McGraw & Tom Seargant came 5th in 4.40.9min. Myron Cockell, Elliott Lawrence & Daniel Collings coming 12th. Our two U13 Girls teams gained respectable 5th and 6th fastest times: Lois Aitkin, Charlie Yates & Emily Reynolds (4.53.8min) and Grace Bennett, Phoebe Wilson & Maddie Tatham (5.00.8). Well done to all!

Two Tom Pink Record Breaking Performances came from Joel Naylor and Lois Aitkin in the U13’s ‘Weight for Height’ throwing event. This proved to be an exciting event for spectators, and their supporters thoroughly enjoyed the show, as the bar was raised & the ball weight increased, Joel and Lois were ‘the last men standing’ in both of their fields.

After seeing off all other 14 competitors the bar was then raised to the record heights for the Amber Valley athletes . Lois’s final throw comfortably cleared and equaled the girls Tom Pink Record. In Joel’s final throw he once again demonstrated his power and ability for this event, just as he had done throughout the previous rounds, with his final clearance by far exceeding the record 6.6m with a 5K ball. Due to the limitations on how far the bar can be raised, to the top of pole vault apparatus, preventing any higher throws being possible to record. Also Isaac Caddy (U11B) broke and held the new ‘Weight for Distance’ record for one round with a throw of 13.75, which was subsequently exceeded by 0.5m thrown by another competitor.

AVEAC dominated 'Highland Steps‘ - an event similar to Speed Bounce but with additional diagonal and backwards jumping within four quadrants. Our athletes set high standards across all age categories in this event: Two trio's took Gold, Silver & Bronze: U11 Girls - Anya Swift (79 steps), Mia Franco (76), Cecilya Smyth (74) AND U13 Girls Charlie Yates (83 steps), Gabby Wilson (77), Anny Riley (68). U13 Boys -Silver to Nathan Hunt (75) & Bronze to Jonathan Howkins (74). U11B Gold to George Reynolds (71). Well done to the Highland Steps teams!

There were many others who just missed out on medals. Well done to all the other members of the team: Grace Robinson, Kyla Morley, Martha Seargant, Daisy Kaye, Tate & Archie Griffiths, Joe Bennett, Tilly Alsop and Alex Cullingworth who performed brilliantly.


Niamh Makes Club History at British Champs

Sixteen year old Niamh Emerson continued her sparkling indoor season by becoming the first ever athlete from AVEAC to win a medal at a British Championships.

The premier domestic competition for the country’s top senior athletes, this year at the EIS, Sheffield, also doubles as trials for the Great Britain team for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, USA in March. Whilst AVEAC athletes have taken several England and Scotland age group medals over the years there has never been a medal winner at the British Athletics Championships until Niamh.

Competing in high jump Niamh cleared her opening heights and as the bar progressed to 1.83m there were only five athletes remaining. Niamh cleared this on her third and final attempt, as did Northern U20 Indoor Champion Abby Ward. Neither were able to clear 1.87m and, being exactly equal on countback, shared the bronze medal position. The competition was won by Morgan Lake with 1.90m, beating UK record holder Isobel Pooley into silver.

Also competing was David Feeney in the men’s 60m hurdles. He finished in fourth place in his heat with a time just outside his lifetime best but that was not fast enough to make the high quality final.

New edition of Trackline available now

AVEAC's own newsletter has now been released and you can download a copy of it here.

It gives news of changes to training times, upcoming competitions, membership renewals and more.

Membership Renewals

All current members are reminded that annual membership renewals are now due. The membership renewal form can be downloaded here.

Forms should be completed and signed where marked and returned, along with payment, to a training session in March and April.

Renewals must be made by April 30th after which time memberships will be considered lapsed. Session training fees will revert to the non-member charge and athletes will not be entitled to compete in club events.

Please note that it may not be possible to send personal reminders via email, social media or post and it is up to members / parents to get renewals in on time.

Important Changes to Training

Winter training in its present format will continue up to and including 26th March 2016. The start of summer training will see some of the annual changes to training days and times.

The main change is that there will be no training for any groups on Wednesdays (except those in event specific groups, coach-invited athletes only) . Instead, ALL athletes will train on the track on Tuesdays. This means that those athletes in the Recreation Group and Foundation Group who usually train on Wednesdays will now train on Tuesdays.

Those athletes in the sprints and middle distance Event Groups who train on Tuesdays will not be affected as these groups will carry on as normal. Athletes in the hurdles Event Group who normally train on Tuesdays will now move to the clubs track session on Thursdays.

All other training days and sessions are unchanged. Athletes in invited-only event specific groups should check with their lead coach on any further changes for these groups.

Further details of exact days and times are being given in the latest edition of the club Newsletter.

This arrangement will be in operation through to the end of September 2016.

Gold For Niamh in Spain

Just twelve months ago Niamh Emerson experienced her first ever Great Britain selection for the annual three-way combined events indoor international in Paris where she finished in third place.

One year on her progress shows no sign of slowing as she repeated the international, this time in Spain to win the U20 women’s pentathlon. Not only that she racked up three personal bests and an overall points total personal best that takes her to third on the GB all-time lists for the event. What’s more, as the youngest in the U20 event, and still aged just 16 she would have finished second in the U23 women's event to team mate and World Junior heptathlon champion Morgan Lake, herself still an U20.

The beautiful and historic city of Salamanca was the setting for the competition between France, Great Britain and hosts Spain. By contrast, the sports complex venue on the outskirts of the city was brand spanking new, complete with an impressive indoor athletics centre.

Niamh’s club coaches David and Jim Feeney and Loughborough-based high jump coach Jayne Nisbet were there to offer their technical expertise along with several family and friends who had made the trip in support.

Niamh’s day started with the 60m hurdles where she ran a personal best of 9.15. High jump followed and Niamh made her way through her opening heights with ease. A clearance at 1.81m took her into PB territory at the next height at 1.84m. She cleared this on her third attempt but it was the totally unexpected first time clearance at 1.87m that raised the roof, all appreciating the fine display of jumping from Niamh and Lake, the only ones who remained in the competition.

Niamh had three good attempts at 1.90m, her second attempt being the closest as she sailed high above only to clip the bar with the merest touch of her heel. Three rounds of shot produced a satisfactory best of 9.93m to end the morning session.

Come early evening the long jump was played out in front of an altogether larger crowd swelled by the local townsfolk keen to see the first international event held at the complex. Niamh’s jumps got better and better and the third and final leap came up on the score board of 5.77m, another new personal best.

Going into the fifth and final event of the competition there were less than ten points separating the top three. Confident in her 800m ability Niamh strode off purposefully knowing exactly what she had to do to win.

Yet again in a combined events 800m she was running against the clock yet she pushed to a time of 2.17.41, a best within a pentathlon, and gave her the overall points total of 4110, a clear win from the Spaniard in second who herself broke the Spanish Junior record.

National Medals for Niamh and Lily

Niamh Emerson was oh so close to taking another national title, this time at the England Athletics U15/ U17 and U20 Indoor Championships at the EIS Sheffield. Contesting the U20 women's high jump she equaled her best ever jump of 1.82m in a close competition with Northern Indoor Champion Abby Ward. Both athletes cleared 1.82m on their second attempts and failed to clear 1.85m. Ward squeezed the gold medal on count-back after Niamh had had two previous failures at earlier heights. However the result shows that Niamh is in good shape and looks to her next competition full of confidence when she competes for Great Britain in the annual combined events indoor international in Spain.

Lily Naylor was the surprise bronze medalist in the U15 girls shot, her first national medal. Consistent throwing of around the 11m mark was the order of the day for Lily but she raised her game on her last attempt where she pushed out a personal best of 11.33m taking her to sixth in the national rankings.

Alex Knibbs demonstrated that he is a championship performer as he had yet another gutsy race over the 400m distance. Progressing through the heats and semi’s he edged into the final in the last of the ‘fastest loser’ slots. Whilst the three eventual medalists where having their own battle for places, Alex kept his cool at the rear of the field and attacked with 50m to go to overhaul two athletes and finish in a very creditable fourth place. His time of 48.90 was yet another personal best and takes him to fourth in the national U20 rankings.

Emily Coope was probably AVEAC’s busiest athlete as she contested the U17 women's 60m on day 1 and returned for the 200m on day 2. She achieved her indoor season’s goal of reaching a national final as she won her 60m heat in another personal best time of 7.76, and progressed through the semi’s to the final where she finished eighth. She made the semi’s of the 200m with an indoor personal best.

Jethro McGraw, fresh from his England debut the weekend before, ran a pleasing U20 men’s 1500m final. His lack of track training due to a recent foot injury maybe showed as the race wound to conclusion and was just unable to keep with the leading group of three but can take confidence from his fourth place finish and indoor PB as he prepares for the outdoor season.

Mini League Finale Weekend

With both the cross country and the Sportshall Mini Leagues coming to a close on the same weekend it was a busy couple of days for the club’s youngest athletes.

(click on the thumbnail for a larger image)

In the Sportshall league the overall win was never in doubt this year having achieved a clean sweep of wins over the course of the six matches. Chesterfield DAC finished in second place, Derby AC third, and High Peak AC fourth. In the age groups a total of five out of a possible six winners trophies came AVEACs way. U11 Girls, U13 girls, U13 boys and U15 boys had clear wins. It was a little closer in the U15 girls age group with both AVEAC and Chesterfield girls sharing top spot on league points though AVEACs girls nudged the overall win with a superior match points total. AVEACs U11 boys finished in fourth.

To the match itself athletes experienced the format of seasons to come at the new sports centre. The full length of the Sportshall for track races was employed for the first time replicating the longer lap lengths encountered at the regional and national competitions. This will initiate a brand new set of league track records for athletes to aim for in coming years. Lily Naylor capped a highly successful Mini League season as she bettered her own U15 girls shot record yet again with 12.12m.

For the first time in many years the Mini League Cross Country league trophy will not be returning to AVEACs bursting trophy cabinet. A strong Chesterfield team took the honours this season at the final match at Moorways.

However the U11 and U15 girls teams took age group wins and AVEAC had six individual medalists. Taya Joslin was the club’s only gold medalist as a win on the day and two previous second place finishes clinched the overall win in the U15 girls with Lydia Naylor picking up silver. There were also silver medals from Maddie Tatham in the U11 girls and Fran Higton in the U13 boys after some consistent running across the three fixtures. Bronze medals went to Amber Hendley U13 girls and Harry Joslin U11 boys.

Three Bronzes and PB’s a Plenty at U15 Indoor Champs

U13 and U15 athletes got their chance to shine at the Northern Athletics Indoor Championships at the EIS Sheffield. Bronze medals were won by Chris Turner in the U13 boys long jump and 200m, and Lily Naylor also took bronze in the U15 girls shot. Many young AVEAC athletes experienced these championships for the first time, gaining valuable experience of the more formal proceedings of a major regional competition and setting encouraging personal bests along the way.

Ella Rush was one of the busiest athletes as she notched up three fifth place finishes in U13 girls long jump, shot and 200m. Lois Aitken finished in fifth place in the U15 girls high jump, sharing the same best height as the girls in bronze medal and fourth place but had to settle for fifth on count back. William Pullen made the semi-finals of both the U15 boys 60m and 200m sprint events, whilst Taya Joslin and Fran Higton made the semi-final and final of the U15 girls and boys 800m respectively.

England Call-Up For Jethro

Jethro McGraw has been called up for the England Athletics team, his first international selection. He is to race the indoor 1 mile at the Cardiff Indoor Arena on Sunday 7th Feb as part of the Wales v. England U20 International.

Mini League Sportshall and Cross Country Coming to a Close

The final matches in the winter Mini League series sees the leagues draw to a close soon. One match remains in the Sportshall League on 14th Feb and the final cross country match is the day before on 13th Feb. AVEAC are doing superbly well in both leagues and are likely to come away with the main silverware barring any disasters.

All club members in U11, U13 and U15 age groups can take part and you don’t have to have competed in previous rounds. All abilities catered for.

The Sportshall match is at the new Queens Park Leisure Centre, Chesterfield, athletes registering with team managers in the cafe at 1pm. Cross country is on a parkland course around Moorways Stadium, Derby. First races start at 11am (be there 10am to warm up and view the course, working through the age groups starting with the U11s).

Both matches just require a £3 entry on the day, club T-shirt or vest, turn up and take part. Presentations in both leagues will be made as soon after the last race of the day as possible.

Annual General Meeting

Notice is given of the forthcoming club AGM on Monday 29th Feb at the Marquis of Ormonde Pub (function room), Codnor Denby Lane, Codnor DE5 9SP at 7.30pm.

All parents, coaches, officials and athletes over 16 are most welcome. Come along and hear how the club has been doing, it's plans for the future and a Q & A session. There will be a free hot food buffet (chilli, curry etc) and time to have a chat over drinks from the bar.

The purpose of the meeting is to receive the Annual Reports and Accounts for the past year, to elect Officers and adopt and make amendments to the club Constitution. Any changes to the Constitution, nominations for Office and any other appropriate business must be received by the Secretary (Julie Feeney) in writing by 15th Feb.

A General Committee Member post is currently vacant and nominations are welcome. Existing post holders who would like to pass on their responsibilities should a suitable offer of interest be made are for Officials Secretary, Social Events Officer, Treasurer and Recreation Group Coordinator.

Enter the Spring Spruce

The annual local curtain raiser to the track and field season, the Nott's AC Spring Spruce Open, is on Saturday 2nd April at Harvey Hadden Stadium, Nottingham.

In order for all members and coaches to attend the club has cancelled training on this day. Always a popular event there is a full range of events for all age groups and abilities including U11s (minimum 9 years of age on the day). Brush off those winter cobwebs, try a new event, see how your winter training has gone and impress team selectors with a view to league match selections.

Entry forms are being given out at training or can be downloaded from the Nott's AC website www.nottsac.co.uk (timetable available there too). Entries can be made on the day but they incur a higher fee and pre-entry is advised as some events have limited places.

Download the entry form HERE.

Boys Win Through to National Finals

Derbyshire's U13 and U15 boys teams at the East Midlands Sportshall Finals won their way through to the National Finals. With the U11 girls team also winning their age group, the U15 and U13 girls coming second and the U11 boys third it was a successful trip yet again to the popular event at Grantham. Twenty five AVEAC athletes featured in the county teams drawn from those athletes who had competed at the winter Mini League Sportshall series.

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The U15 boys had a convincing win over Nottinghamshire in second and Leics and Rutland in third. William Collings finished second in the all-rounder category, an improvement on his sixth place finish in 2015. He took an individual win in 4 lap and a second place in speed bounce. Adam Berwick took a win in the standing triple jump and combined well with William to demonstrate an excellent 8 lap paarlauf in the 2-4-2 formation. Joseph Dickenson and Jack Berwick will join William and Adam in the National Sportshall Finals at SportCity, Manchester.

The U13 boys team won by a clear margin thanks to consistently high scoring. The five AVEAC lads all played their part. Stan Dickenson notched up two individual wins in 4 lap and speed bounce, Fran Higton was unstoppable in his execution of the grueling 6 lap and William Pullen took maximum points in standing long jump and a third place in the 2 lap. Chris Turner made a successful transition from last years U11 team to win the standing triple again, this time as an U13, and Jonathan Howkins kept up the high scoring with a equal third in speed bounce.

The U15 and U13 girls teams of Leics and Rutland proved too strong for the Derbyshire girls although their winning margins were just 20 and 15 points respectively. In the U13 girls Lois Aitken was the only individual event winner and made her performance in the 4 lap look so effortless. Jasmine Knighton can always be relied upon to bring in points in speed bounce, a second place finish this time, and there were third place finishes for Scarlett Wilson in vertical high jump and Poppy Brown in standing long jump. Gabriella Wilson and Charlie Yates also played their part in a strong team. Lily Naylor took an expected win in the U15 girls shot whilst sister Lydia claimed a second place in the 4 lap and an equal second place in standing long jump. Amelia Banks finished in fourth place in the vertical high jump.

The U11s progress no further than the regional rounds. The Derbyshire girls team won in a very tight finish with just seven points separating them and the Nottinghamshire team. The boys team found the going a little harder and had to be content with a third place finish overall. Playing their part in entertaining team action were AVEAC athletes Cecilia Smyth, Anya Swift, Katie Potts, Mia Franco, Maddie Tatham, Elizabeth Collings and Louis Fookes.

Results can be found on www.sportshall.org. Many excellent photos can be viewed and purchased from www.fotoccompli.com.

Medal Haul at Northern Indoor Champs

AVEAC athletes won six medals over an exciting and entertaining weekend of action at the Northern Athletics Indoor Senior/ U20 / U17 Championships at the EIS, Sheffield.

The first medal of the weekend, a gold, came from David Feeney in the Senior Men's 60m Hurdles. Completely dominant in this race he significantly notched up his fourth successive win at this event. Staying with hurdles George Dave had an excellent race to take a bronze medal in the U17 men's event.

The most talked about race, certainly from an AVEAC perspective, was the way in which Alex Knibbs took a stunning gold in the U20 men's 400m. With 100m still to go in this two lap race Alex looked to be in certain bronze medal position. However he had other plans and a killer sprint off the final bend saw him forced wide into lane 3 to overtake both race leaders, timing his finishing push to perfection, raising his arms aloft in celebration.

To cap a ‘Super Saturday’ Emily Coope took silver in the U17 women's 60m final. Her rapid start gave her the edge over the other competitors yet she was chased down to such a tight finish that the photo finish judges took a while to decide the outcome. Emily missed the gold medal by just one hundredth of a second so close was it between first and third.

Day 2 saw two further medals for AVEAC athletes. Adam Berwick, in his first high jump competition as an U17 took his opening heights with ease. As the bar was raised to 1.80m he sailed over for a first time clearance at a new personal best height. He had three good attempts at 1.83m but failed to clear as did the Sale Harriers athlete, resulting in a tie for silver medal place. Alex Turner picked up another bronze medal for her efforts in the Senior Women's 800m, the same finishing position as last years event, in a highly competitive race bringing a very successful weekend to a close.

Full results can be found on the Power of 10 and Northern Athletics websites. Video of all the track events can be viewed on www.runjumpthrow.com

AVEAC Unbeatable at New Sportshall
It was all change at the Sportshall Mini League as the brand new sports centre heralded a new era in our leagues venue. The day wasn’t without it’s teething troubles of course – the centre had only had it’s grand opening the day before and staff, whilst extremely helpful, were hard pressed to deliver all the extras that these competitions require. A new Sportshall brings new layouts of spectator seating and different positioning of all the key officials and events. Foremost, was the temporarily shortened track which initially presented problems, but in the end all races and field events went smooth enough.
AVEAC took the match win once again and are certain to retain the overall league trophy come the final match on February 14th. Certain athletes proved outstanding once again. Katie Potts (U11 girls), Lois Aitken (U13 girls), William Pullan (U13 boys) and Adam Berwick (U15 boys) recorded three individual event wins each.
Twenty four AVEAC athletes have been selected as part of the Derbyshire team to compete in the annual Regional Sportshall Final at Grantham on January 31st.

Top 10 All-Time for Niamh

Niamh Emerson took her second ever England Athletics national title as she won the U20 women's indoor pentathlon at the EIS Sheffield. Not only that, she amassed an overall points personal best total of 3891 which puts her 10th on the All-Time list for the this event, and at just 16 years of age still has a further two years in the age group.

The first event of the day, the 60m Hurdles, Niamh was just shy of her best ever time, although this was only good enough to place her 12th out of the 25 starters. Niamh’s high jump can always be relied upon to bring in big points and so it was that she cleared 1.78m, a height she shared with World and European U20 high jump Champion Morgan Lake.

Going into the third event of a busy day Niamh threw a big personal best with the 4k shot of 10.25m. At this stage she was in bronze medal position. As expected Lake held the overall lead although this was about to change as she fouled her first long jump attempt and then withdrew completely from the competition. Niamh had three consistent jumps, the best of which 5.68m was just one centimetre shy of her personal best, and this propelled her to the top of the leader board. Given her 800m strength the overall win was never in doubt going into the final event of the day.

Running from the front she was never challenged or indeed pushed and crossed the line to the England Athletics title and guaranteed selection for the Great Britain team for the annual indoor combined events international, this year in Spain in February.

Tough Conditions at County Cross Country

The Shipley Park venue for this years Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Cross Country Championships would never be described as an ‘easy’ course, even on a good day, with it’s varied terrain and long climbs. Add to that the recent and prolonged wet spell, the predicted mud bath was inevitable, making the going best described by one athlete as ‘a bit of a slog’.

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Only fitting then that the U11s go first when the course it at it’s least arduous. Harry Joslin came home to take the silver medal in the boys race whilst Morgan Cockell and Tate Griffiths in 9th and 10th place was enough to secure a team silver too. Maddie Tatham just missed a medal in 4th place in the girls race.

The top 8 finishers in each race (not U11s) gain automatic selection for the Derbyshire team competing at the annual Inter Counties, this year at Birmingham on the 12th March. Tamsin McGraw made sure of her team place as silver medal winner in the U17W race and will be joined by Emily Deeming who finished 6th.

Fran Higton took a 4th place in the U13 boys race. Cy Toplis and Lydia Naylor both crossed the finish line in 7th place in the U17 men's and U15 girl’s races respectively. Team success came from the U17 men taking gold (Cy Toplis, Christian Howett and Chris Goodall), and bronze for the U13 boys (Fran Higton, Stan Dickenson and Jonathan Howkins).

New Sportshall Venue For Mini League

Match 5 in the Derbyshire Athletics Sportshall Mini League on Sunday 10th January will be at the brand new Chesterfield Leisure Centre, having just opened it’s doors a few days ago. The new facility is located directly next to the old leisure centre with it’s own car park.

All AVEAC members aged 9 to 15 years (school year 10) can take part regardless of experience or ability. Report to club team managers at 1pm, sorry – not sure where inside, the facility is that new! First events start at 1.30pm.

Northern Indoor U13 & U15 Championships

Club athletes in the U13 and U15 age groups are encouraged to enter the Northern Athletics U13 and U15 Indoor Track and Field Championships, at the EIS Sheffield on 7th February.

Those athletes who have done well in the County Championships, won medals at U11 Quadkids and have been in the clubs Heart of England League teams would be of a suitable standard to gain experience of indoor track and field in the inspiring and stunning sports surrounding at the EIS.

Age groups tally with those for summer 2016 i.e. present school years 6 and 7 are U13s, present school years 8 and 9 are U15.

Entries must be made by the closing date of 22nd Jan and entry details can be found on http://www.northernathletics.org.uk/events/northern-athletics-u15u13-indoor-tf-champs/.

Emily and Caitlin Join DIS Programme

Emily Coope and Caitlin Emerson have each been given a place on the Derbyshire Institute of Sport programme. Sprinter Emily and discus thrower Caitlin, both nationally ranked in their age and event group, join the set-up which is unique to the county.

Its goal is 'to provide high quality support to Derbyshire's emerging talented sports performers, enabling them to achieve greater national and international success and in so doing, to enhance the reputation of Derby and Derbyshire.'

Whilst their athletics training will still done at their regular bases with their regular coaches, the DIS offers additional extensive support through bespoke strength and conditioning programmes, physiotherapy and nutritional advice.