ATHLETICS REPORT by Alex Mackay
Shettleston Harriers competed at Maryhill on Saturday 24 March and at Grangemouth the next day. The Nigel Barge 10 K on Saturday saw Thomas Fay winning in 31.55mins from club mate Lachlan Oates by 30 secs. Matthew Turner finished 4th with brother Gary in 25th position. Peter Ward was 49th with Sarah Ward finishing 80th.
On Sunday at the 46th ‘Round the House’ road race at Grangemouth Shettleston’s Tewoldeberham Mengisteab finished 2nd behind Ross Houston of Central Ac. Mike Deason was 4th with Paul Sorrie 7th. Kevin Brydon finished in 24th position.
Meanwhile, on Thursday 23 March, Emma Arbuckle, running at the Renfrewshire Schools Cross Country, came away with the gold medal to add to her recent bronze. At Balloch Park Natasha Mackay, running in the Dunbartonshire Schools Cross Country, finished 4th just getting run out for the bronze medal a couple of metres from the line.
by Lynsay Keough photos Stuart Maxwell
As the Commonwealth Games flag was passed over this week to Glasgow’s Lord Provost Bob Winter, in Delhi – making Glasgow the official host city for the Games in 2014 – it sparked wild celebrations in Glasgow.
The countdown to the opening ceremony at Celtic Park in July 2014 has begun! The closing ceremony in Delhi heralded the end of the 2010 games and Glasgow came to life as it looked towards 2014.
In a display of dance in George Square, the pupils of Blackfriars and Oakgrove Primary Schools were among those who gave a stunning performance at lunchtime to kick off the festivities.
The closing ceremony in India was beamed live to the Fruitmarket, where Councillor Archie Graham, deputy leader of Glasgow City Council, summed up the excited anticipation in front of 700 local people. ‘It hardly seems like three years since we were awarded the Games. This is an invitation for the world to visit us, our world class facilities will be showcased to a global audience. We look forward to our time in the spotlight.’
In Glasgow, Robbie Rennick was on hand with his 200m freestyle swimming gold medal at the lighting of a ceremonial lamp – a Hindu symbol for a new beginning.
Scottish Clan Wallace drummers with Kay Affleck gave a vibrant performance as the fusion of Scottish and Indian music heralded the dawn of the run-up to the Glasgow Games.
Gold medal-winning Olympian David Hemery visited Glasgow recently to give a masterclass to some of Glasgow’s aspiring sprinters, 400 metre hurdlers and coaches at Scotstoun Stadium.
David, 64, is one of Great Britain’s greatest hurdlers and a vocal supporter of athletics. Aged 24, he won a gold medal in the 400 metre hurdles event at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, shattering a world record.
He also holds gold medals from the 1966 and 1970 Commonwealth Games and enjoyed bronze and silver successes in the Munich Olympics of 1972.
David’s visit followed a seminar at Pitreavie Athletics Centre in Fife last year, when Glasgow athletes heard him speak on ‘how you recommend coaches work now and how you engage the enhanced self-awareness and self responsibility of the athletes’.
David said: ‘You’ll get far more from athletes when they learn from their own experience as well as from the coach. It’s a partnership.
‘It’s important they’re not utterly coach dependent because when they get into the heat of competition they have to be independent. So, if you can help them generate that level of self-awareness you’re helping to grow them and they engage their minds and focus and grow as people.’
David has a warning for parents, teacher and young people after years of observing athletics.
‘Sport is sliding off young people’s agenda,’ he said. ‘That, I think, is a great shame. Now I hear that physical education is sliding off the primary school agenda. I think there needs to be a balance, especially with young people.
‘Athletics is a basic run-jump-throw environment and I’d like to see that, and perhaps the ability to swim, in every school so the youngster can choose different activities.
‘It doesn’t have to be traditional sport, it can be mountain biking, dance, it doesn’t matter what it is but as long as it’s something they have a passion for and can work on to achieve their fitness level.
‘The cost to the country is going to be huge if children never get fit.’
He has a simple philosophy in spotting hurdling talent. ‘Some people enjoy jumping over things. It’s more fun than running in a straight line- but again, it’s important people try things.’
David added: ‘I was lucky that I had two coaches who really cared about me. If we could encourage coaches in this era to be on the children’s agenda as much as they are on their own agenda, that is something I would love to see.
‘We have to ask children what they enjoy doing more of and give them a spectrum of things to try.’