Chairperson’s Chat – March 2019

Hi Everyone,

Today I have only two topics to mention to you –

Easter Festival of Running – selection of teams and volunteers to Marshal
Track Training nights on Thursdays – a change of procedure

We hope to have more information to publish very soon about our Training Structure for Spring/Summer 2019. This should come to you in early April.

A. Easter Festival

Athletes – Could Manx Harriers athletes who wish to be part of a club team and have entered the festival please email me to let me know what events you intend to run over the weekend. Teams are made up of 4 athletes and 3 have to count in each event. This means a team could rest a runner in each event or the same 3 runners could count in all, however, we need to ensure that we have teams that will finish the Festival so we need to know your intentions.

If you could email me your intentions on by Monday 8 April that will be very helpful. The Closing Date for entries is Sunday 7th April. Teams and Captains will then be sent out by Monday 15 April allowing plenty of time before the first race, the 10km in Port Erin on the 19th.

Lastly – do get in touch even if you are only running one race like the 10km or 5km. We could have 7 or 8 teams in that event if we know who wants to be involved.

Volunteers to act as Marshals/officials – If you are able to help Good Friday evening in Port St. Mary/Erin, or Saturday afternoon in Peel or Sunday morning in Douglas do also get in touch on the same email above. I will then forward your details to the Easter Festival committee. We can always do with more help for big races – potentially these races will have 500+ athletes in each so please do offer to help if you can spare an hour or two.

B. Track and Field Training on Thursday evenings Spring/Summer 2019 from Thursday 28 March

It is great to see so many people down at the track on a Thursday. However, our coaches have become concerned at a number of issues which have arisen due to the high numbers. The main one regards health and safety when we have 7, 8, 9 and 10 year olds training on the track and field with large numbers of older athletes doing so as well. In addition, we have other groups and their coaches present who we have no control over so making it difficult to ensure safety. We wish to avoid any accidents taking place.

Also on a Thursday we will be running our Up and Running Track and Field League for under 7s, 9s and 11s on 6 occasions over the Spring/Summer which is a move away from our usual Wednesdays. The reason for this move is the availability of officials for our league to take place.

As such, the club committee have taken the decision to hire the track on a Thursday evening with a Block Booking from 28 March until Late July/Early August 2019. The block booking allows us a competitive rate with the NSC for the track league nights but it also allows us to take charge at training on that evening. Below is a list of the differences this should make for our members and junior athletes in particular –

  • The cost for use of the track on a Thursday for Manx Harriers members will now be £1. This is half of the price for juniors who pay nightly when they use the track now. Athletes should pay this money directly to their coach each Thursday evening as they do with the indoor fee on a Monday night in the Gym.
  • Other club groups will not be able to have their seniors/older athletes training on the track at the same time if their session is purely for their athletes. 6pm to 7.30pm will be for Manx Harriers Juniors and Seniors along with athletes who train with our coaches or in groups containing our seniors and juniors but coached by other coaches, maybe from other clubs. The main point is they contain our athletes.
  • 7.30pm to 9pm we will open up the use of the track to other groups so they are not barred completely from training on a Thursday.
  • Some Manx Harriers members are outdoor members of the NSC and as such have paid for track usage. We will not chase these athletes for £1, however, an honesty box will be out on one of the picnic tables at the entrance to the track. We hope that athletes will be willing to pay £1 in recognition of the support and help they have had from the club over time. Taking a track booking over approx 20 weeks is a major financial commitment for the club.
  • Obviously, Manx Harriers Senior athletes who are not members of the NSC will get a major reduction in costs if they wish to train on a Thursday evening. All we would ask is that we do not get too many training from 6pm, maybe come a little later from 7pm.
  • The Track Etiquette document is vital and must be read by all athletes and parents attending the track. We would hope that parents will underline the points in it with their children. We need to make the track sessions as safe as possible for all.
  • This situation will be a trial for this summer period. If it proves successful then we will continue it over the winter. If it proves to be a mistake then we will learn from it and move on in a different way to ensure safety on the track for all on Thursday evenings

Thanks for taking time to read this document. I hope you agree that the need for safety for our Juniors is vitally important and that you will support this attempt by the committee, and our coaches, to ensure this is the case for all track users on a Thursday night.

All the best,


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