COVID – 19 Update
Following the briefings given by the Scottish and UK Governments and the advice and guidance about avoiding non essential social contact, we have made the decision to suspend all organised training sessions for Giffnock North AC effective from Tuesday 17th March.
We were reluctant to call a halt to training as we recognise the importance of physical activity for  all our athletes. Coaches will be providing suggestions for home based training options over the next period.
The welfare of all our Athletes, Coaches,  Parents,  Carers and all family members is paramount in the midst of this crisis.
Best wishes to all. Our thoughts go especially to all those staff and workers at the frontline of responding to this epidemic and all those facing threats to their livelihoods as a consequence.

In light of the current Coronovirus situation, it has been decided to cancel the Spring Athletics Camps due to take place in April.

Anyone who has already signed up, will be refunded in due course.

GNAC

Coronovirus: advice on events and club training

MONDAY 16TH MARCH 2020
Club is finalising the details re Training implications and will post this ASAP. It is of course complicated due to venues training groups , disciplines and locations

COVID-19: scottishathletics Update

Monday 16 March 1pm

EVENT ORGANISERS:

Following Scottish Government advice, it has been advised that organisers should cancel or postpone all mass events of 500 people or more – indoors or outdoors – in order to protect the capacity of public services.

This approach should be maintained until such time as further advice is issued.

This will result in an immediate postponement and re-scheduling of the Tru Wealth National Road Relays(due on Saturday 28 March).

The rescheduled date and time will be communicated once we have a better understanding of the landscape over the coming weeks.

We will also update on other national events as further advice becomes available.

SMALLER EVENTS

The Scottish Government advice states: ‘Where an event involves relatively small numbers, but is likely to have a potential impact on emergency services, organisers should consider it on its merits, alongside current health advice.’

As such, we ask smaller events to risk assess but, at this point, there is no need to automatically postpone smaller events (less than 500).

The Tru Wealth Young Athletes Road Races took place on Sunday with around 330 competitors

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ADVICE FOR CLUBS:

Following on from the latest Scottish Government updates, we would advise clubs to consider the following points as part of their decision-making process when considering the continuation of club activities:

*Clubs may continue with club training sessions at their discretion. However, the health and welfare of athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators should be at the forefront of any decision, therefore clubs should consider carefully the guidance provided by the Scottish Government in relation to protecting participants.

*Engage regularly with your facility provider to understand their position regarding continued operations around access and events.

*Ensure the risk of person-to-person transmission is minimised. This will involve considering overall numbers that are likely to be involved within club environments and training sessions, along with any amendments to your approach of delivering training sessions (e.g. splitting into smaller groups etc).

Clubs with training environments with more than 100 athletes/coaches in close proximity (particularly indoor areas) should consider different approaches to those gatherings.

*Consider a sensible approach to athletes/volunteers who no longer wish to take part. This should be accepted as a given and supported.

*Follow and promote the advice that has been provided by the appropriate agencies regarding the best way to minimise the risks of infection. If any athletes, coaches, officials or volunteers are displaying cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms they should follow this advice and refrain from attending club sessions.

*Coach education courses and club development workshops will continue, until such times where the advice is to cancel. All participants will be kept informed.

Clearly, this is an on-going and changing situation and as such any guidance and advice will be subject to further review as the advice and guidance from authorities develops further.

In the meantime, please continue to follow advice and make use of the following online resources for up to date information about Coronavirus:

Further guidance

 Further advice for the public is available through NHS Inform (https://www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus).

The Scottish Government is also putting out the latest information and advice through social media channels, and on the Scottish Government website (https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/).

People can reduce the risk of acquiring and spreading respiratory infections by:

*avoiding direct hand contact with your eyes, nose and mouth

*maintaining good hand hygiene

*washing hands with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitiser, after coughing, sneezing or going to the toilet, and prior to eating and drinking

*avoiding direct contact with people that have a respiratory illness and not using their personal items such as their mobile phone

*covering your nose and mouth with disposable tissues when coughing or sneezing and disposing of the tissues in the nearest waste bin after use.

The Scottish Government has set up a helpline for Scottish businesses and event organisers to provide them with tailored advice on Coronavirus.

The helpline, 0300 303 0660, operates from 8.30am to 5.30pm, and online at https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/ .

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Colin Hutchison

Scottish Athletics Contacts

 If you have any queries on events please contact events@scottishathletics.org.uk

For queries on coach education contact coaching@scottishathletics.org.uk

For further information on club programmes or workshops contact colin.hutchison@scottishathletics.org.uk

Revisions to this advice

This advice remains in force until amended. It will be maintained and revised in light of events.

The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with the UK Government, other devolved administrations, expert advisers and our Resilience partners on this, and all other aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Tags: Coronavirus

Report from Croy Thomson

Photos courtesy of Bobby Gavin & Coaches
Major applause to all who competed – three national team titles, a team silver and six individual medals is a good day’s work at the end of a long, hard winter. One team indivisible – everybody counts.

At a wind blown but mercifully dry Battery Park in Greenock, Giffnock’s U15 Girls flew to the team title with Hannah Ryding outgunning team-mate Valencia Wright for first and second. Isla Scott nailed the b
National road race team gold with a strong effort for tenth over 4.2k.

Under 15 Boys Reuben Macdonald, Cameron Deverill and Cameron Green were pipped for the Scottish team title by one point by an impressive Central AC trio. Reuben conjured up a blistering finish to snatch silver behind Central’s Conor Bell, and was brilliantly backed over the 4.2k by the two Camerons in seventh and twelfth. Great to see Cameron Green getting back to his best after so many injury setbacks.

Third race of the day was U13 Girls’ 2.5k and Katy Donnelly ran strongly for a fine silver, headed only by National XC champion Millie McClelland-Brooks of Glasgow School of Sport. Hazel O’Donoghue and Amber Wade completed the team for fifth place.

Craig Shennan fought hard for the full 2.5k in the U13 Boys’ event but Kilbarchan’s Oliver Patton proved too strong ilon the day. Craig did lead team-mates Alasdair Nugent (4th) and Cameron Harris (8th) to the National team crown ahead of Kilbarchan. Oliver Bryers, Oliver MacDonald and Jack Wallace also finished one the top fifteen.

As the sun came out on the Renfrewshire Riviera, Giffnock’s Under 17 girls outshone the competition with the club’s third team victory. Julia Cash pulled through strongly as the five hard kilometres went by and claimed a well-earned bronze. Zoe Flower delivered and excellent fifth place and Charlie Frew ran home 17th to clinch the medal, ably backed by Miriam Gilbride.

The U17 Boys brought proceedings to a close, on what might be the last official race for some time. Illness saw Giffnock’s team depleted, but Blayne Wright with a notable effort for 11th, Ross O’Brien 16th and Charlie Tomkinson 34th gave the club another top five finish to bring a highly memorable winter’s racing to a close.

Well done everyone who competed, coached, officiated, marshalled, supported, sponsored, cheered, wrangled the tent in a high wind and generally helped make this wonderful sport possible. Especial thanks to the organisers for going ahead in testing times, and giving the young athletes every opportunity to shine.

Thanks Croy for a full report from a somewhat subdued Championships at the Battery Park

Dear Parents, Athletes,  Coaches & Officials

Re Coronavirus COVID-19

The situation remains very fluid but as we are all aware there is increasing concern. We are currently following advice from Scottish Athletics as previously posted on our Social Media,  informed by NHS and Scottish & UK Govt.

We are going ahead with the training session today at Hutchie and the Run Jump Throw Session. We will notify you of any further training changes across the club. Athletes should only attend training if they are fit and well and not been in contact with anyone else who has been unwell.

Athletes and their families should decide themselves whether they want to attend training or not given their own family circumstances. We would reiterate that athletes should not attend if they have a cough or cold like symptoms and instead they should follow the Scottish and UK Governments current advice and NHS advice.

We will update if there are any further changes. Please observe and remind athletes of the guidance re hand hygiene, contact and touching faces.

Please don’t send your child to any training sessions if they are displaying any symptoms or have recently returned from a restricted area.

Daniel Martin

Another weekend of brilliant performances from Giffnock athletes saw a total medal haul of fifteen in total. Five Gold, five Silver and five Bronze.

Our five new National Champions coverer all the age groups competing. Youngest was Zander Summerhill who took gold in the u13B Shot with a throw of 8.24m.   Under 15 Daniel Martin took two titles, 60m hurdles and Long Jump.  In the u20 age category, Reuben Nairne won the Pole Vault Gold in a Championship Best Performance of 4.81m.  Finlay Waugh clocked 21.95 in the 200m to take the title.

Album of photos courtesy of Bobby Gavin, That One Moment
CLICK HERE

A full list of medallists below:

Medal Athlete Event Performance
Gold Zander Summerhill u13B Shot Putt 8.24m
Gold Daniel Martin u15B 60m Hurdles 8.83
Gold Daniel Martin u15B Long Jump 5.64m
Gold Reuben Nairne u20M Pole Vault 4.81m
Gold Finlay Waugh u20M 200m 21.95
Silver Madeline MacKenzie u13G 200m 27.46
Silver Freya Campbell u13G 1500m 5.02.33
Silver Angelica Mayer u15G 60m 7.86
Silver Angelica Mayer u15G Long Jump 5.12m
Silver Euan O’Brien u15B 300m 39.38
Bronze Kate Donnelly u15G 1500m 4.59.75
Bronze Angelica Mayer u15G 200m 25.47
Bronze Freya Cowan u20W 60m 7.89
Bronze Rachal Callan u20W 400m 58.09
Bronze Murray Fotheringham u20M Pole Vault 4.09m

With the British Senior Indoor T&F Championships this year taking place at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow and the England Athletics Indoor Age Group Championships taking place in Sheffield, Giffnock athletes had a busy weekend.

David Smith

At the Spar British Championships at the Emirates it was our high jumpers who again showed the way.   David Smith cleared a seasons best of 2.24m to take the Silver medal.  Nikki Manson, although not on Scottish Record form, jumped 1.84m to take the bronze medal.

Also competing were Fraser Angus, 7.00 in the 60m, Finlay Waugh, 22.05 in the 200m and Erin Campbell, 9.14 in the 60m hurdles.

 

Alyson about to collect her medal

Down in Sheffield u17 Alyson Bell was again in blistering form breaking Linsay McDonalds 40 year old Scottish record in the 60m with a time of 7.57 to take the bronze medal.   Alyson was also 4th in the 200m final, clocking 24.76 a  time which is second in the all time Scottish Indoor rankings.   Also breaking records, this time was u15 Angelica Mayer. Angelica was just out of the medals in 4th place in the final, but ran a 7.79 club record in a heat.  In the 200m, Angelica was again in 4th place in the final, clocking 25.56.

u17 Murray Fotheringham, having pulled out of the high jump with a niggling injury, made up for it in the Long Jump taking the bronze medal with a leap of 7.00m.  Daniel Martin u15, was also cursed by 4th place in the 60m hurdles final. However his consulation was that his time of 8.65 was a club record and puts him 2nd fastest on the all time Scottish list.

Also competing were Rachel Callan u20, 25.79 in the 200m, Caroline MacConnell u17, 42.62 in the 300m, Katie Foss u17, 58.65 in the 400m and Ross Veitch u20, 50.99 (PB) in the 400m Final.

A massive well done to all flying the flag for Giffnock North.

Race report for Senior Women’s team at National XC Champs Falkirk

Report from Allie Chong

Winter in Scotland is notoriously unreliable weather wise, and Saturday 22 Feb proved no exception as snow, hail, wind and wee snatches of sunshine appeared for the National XC at Falkirk. An altered course due to flooding gave the ladies an easier start than in previous years, with the hill from the House omitted. The first lap was run in testing conditions with decent sized hailstones being driven by a fierce wind onto exposed flesh. Many runners made their discomfort known vocally as they ploughed through mid calf level puddles and long stretches of thick mud, churned up by the spikes of the youngsters in the preceding races. Thankfully the sun came out and a break in the weather made the following 2 laps more pleasant to run in.
For Giffnock North Yvonne MacNairn and Jill Smylie continued their close competition, each leading the other in various points of the race. Yvonne finished slightly ahead after the 10k in 20th, with Jill only 2 places behind.
New rules meant that it was 6 to count rather than 4 in previous years, so Allie Chong (66th), Nicola Macbeath ( 92nd), Jacquie Campbell (106) and Kathleen McLachlan (107) made up the team.  Interestingly only Gala harriers lost out to this new rule – they would have finished 5th instead of 7th if only 4 athletes counted. The new rules from SA reflect the increasing numbers of women taking part in XC running. In all 10 senior women crossed the finishing line, hopefully helping to win the Lindsay trophy again for the club!

Thanks to Allie for doing the honours again representing the hardy heroines    at Callendar Park

 D d

NATIONAL XC Champs

Report by Croy Thomson
FOUR SEASONS in one day, and four team crowns to match, plus two team bronzes, three individual titles and an individual bronze, combined to make this another stellar day in Giffnock North’s cross country history books.
The Under 13 girls ploughed through 3.1k to the club’s 14th victory in this category, Freya Campbell at the sharp end throughout, taking individual Bronze & leading Katy Donnelly, Amber Wade and Hazel O’Donoghue to team gold.
The irrepressible Craig Shennan finally nailed the major win he has so often and so narrowly been denied in the past, taking the U13 Boys’ crown over 3.1k. Craig was more than ably backed by Alasdair Nugent, Cameron Harris and Oliver Bryers, to bring home the second team gold of the day.
Over 4k the U15 Girls brought home the club’s eighth consecutive team title in the age group. Hannah Ryding powered to first place, and returned to the top of the podium with team-mates Valencia Wright, Kate Paul and Isla Scott for team gold.
Reuben Macdonald delivered a scintillating finish to win the U15 Boys’ crown, going from fourth on the last hill to lead in the last 100 metres. Cameron Deverill, Hugh Sheils and Alex Robin combined to clinch team gold.
The U17 teams both won bronze, the honours going to Harris Paterson, Blayne Wright, Ross O’Brien, Jacob Luc; Julia Cash led home Zöe Flower and Charlie Frew.
Thunder and lightning, hail, rain, chilling high winds and even sunshine provided a suitably dramatic backdrop to a memorable performance from all our youngsters. Thanks as ever to the parents, pals, coaches, officials and course setters who did an admirable job in challenging conditions.
Thanks Croy for Report on a busy weekend for Giffnock North .
photos from Coaches Parents & Featured image courtesy of Bobby Gavin

No Linn Park Session tomorrow for Endurance squad. as Dudley says ‘We are taking a well earned rest after all the efforts at today’s National XC Championships!’

 


Edward Joyce, Daniel Martin, Felix Chan & Euan O’Brien U15 Boys with one of the well deserved cheques from the day 

National Relay Championships – U13 – U20

Following on from a fantastic performance of winning gold in the U20/Senior Men & Silver in the U20/Senior Women National 4 x 200m Indoor relays on 1 February, we were delighted to hear that the Under 20 women ran a new Scottish record time of 1.42.43.

Not to be outdone, the younger age groups, all competing for places at the final to be held as part of the Muller Grand Prix on 15 February, managed to qualify a team in every age group final, and two teams in both the U13 girls and U13 boys age groups!!

We then witnessed outstanding and dominant relay performances from all the Giffnock teams at the Club Connect Relays finals at the Emirates, prior to the Grand Prix on Saturday 15th February. Every team in a final medalled – we think a first for Giffnock North!!

The final tally was:

U13 Girls​ Gold and Bronze

U13 Boys​ Silver and Bronze

U15 Girls ​Gold

U15 Boys ​Gold

U17 Women ​Bronze

U17 Men ​Bronze

Thanks to the various team managers for the following reports and photos. Taking them in order of competition……

U13 Girls

The two U13 girls teams, which included two very enthusiastic reserves, were bursting with excitement and energy from the moment of arrival. Despite having to wait in a queue for the toilet behind Gabby Logan, they kept their nerve and delivered a performance exactly as they had in practice over and over again. There is no one athlete that can be singled out and the proof is in the depth of the sprints squad.

So ……. to the A team of Emily, Madeleine, Caitlin and Helen who romped home in gold position, leading from the start…we are all so proud of you. And our B team, who absolutely pushed Edinburgh all the way to gain us a bronze medal …….we are thrilled! Leilani, Isla, Sarah and Hannah you were all stars. The fact that we had reserves in Maisie  and Poppy warmed up and ready to step in gave us the confidence to pull out all stops.
The U13 Girls

 

Madeleine,Emily, Caitlin, Helen,

 Hannah, Isla, Sarah, Leilani

U13 Boys

Like the U13 girls, our two teams, plus two reserves, were eager to get out on the track and try to get medals! Martin Rolfe, Bobby Kiltie, Euan Armstrong and Zander Summerhill put up a great battle but were narrowly beaten by VP Glasgow. They finished in a season’s best time of 1.55.37 with the B team of Lewis Davidson, Oliver Bryers, Aaron Reid and Alfie Bradley winning the battle with Musselburghfor third place and the bronze medal. To our two reserves, Aaron Muir and Abraham Al Ani, a huge thank you……..for warming up with us, practicing baton changing and being ready should we have needed you.

The A team with their silver medals Zander, Bobby, Martin and Euan

 

The B team with their bronze medals Lewis, Aaron, Oliver and Alfie

U15 Girls

Even Storm Dennis couldn’t dampen the spirits of the Giffnock North athletes. We gathered outside the Emirates Arena seeking cover under a bike shelter from the driving rain and howling wind, the athletes themselves looking forward tothe day after so much training and preparation going into the event. The team themselves ready to take on the Best of the Rest.

The U15 girls, supported by their parents and the fantastic Sophie Ferguson and her Mum (giving up some time from her birthday celebration to support the team) were outstanding. It started with Angelica Mayer, who within 100m had the team in the lead, Eilidh Hunter then took responsibility to stay ahead which she did superbly, handing over to Emily Watson.Emily stretches the lead with confidence and handed over to Erin Ramsay who elegantly and with style, took the team to a Seasons Best finish and the Gold medal.

Throughout the heats the girls improved on previous times and comfortably brought home the Gold Well Done Girls !!

U15G Gold medallists

Sophie, Emily, Eilidh, Angelica and Erin

 

U15 Boys

A fantastic run from the U15 boys from start to finish. Euan O’Brien, Daniel Martin, Felix Chan and Edward Joyce. Also well done to the two reserves on getting the team to the final. Daniel Whyte and Ryan Davie

U15B Gold medallists

Edward, Daniel, Felix and Euan

 

U17 Girls

It was now the turn of the U17 Women. Alyson Bell got the team off to a great start despite strong opposition from VP/Glasgow & Pitreavie. She handed the baton over to Caroline MacConnell who maintained a slight lead going into the changeover to Brooke Moran, who tore off as a tiring Caroline gave her all to ensure the change occur within the proper change over zone. To the relief of her cheering support,she had succeeded. Brooke ran a strong leg albeit there was no margin for error as the aforementioned teams were in hot pursuit.
The last changeover was really close between all the three leading clubs & Amy Greene gave her all but the chasers from VP/Glasgow & Pitreavie struck going into the second bend before the finishing straight and they just edged it withPitreavie taking gold. Amy secured the race by finishing a clear 3rd with a bronze medal for Giffnock.

U17 Boys

The last relay race of the day was the U17 Men. Giffnock had made it to the podium in every other age group, so no pressure! Daniel Boyle, Jacob Luc, Joy Majumdar and KhaliqKelani each ran a great lap and it took the photo finish to decided the silver and bronze medals between us and VPGlasgow. Alas, VP had thicker vests than us and were awarded silver. We secured bronze, but only 2 hundredths of a second behind VP. Congratulations to Inverclyde who were the runaway gold medallists. Every relay team is bigger than the 4 guys on track. In the qualifying round, Tom Stewart had been part of the team that secured our place in the final, but due to illness, had to withdraw. Joy stepped in to run third leg in the final and as a squad, we knew we still had quality back-up from Aidan Cunning as reserve, should anything have gone wrong on the big day. Well done all of you.

U17 Boys

Khaliq, Daniel, Joy and Jacob

 

Giffnock North was awarded Track and Field Club of the Year 2019 in November at The Scottish Athletics Awards dinner and it looks like 2020 has started out just where we left off.

Here’s to a great outdoors season.

Thanks to Jackie Alexander for collating reports  from Sara Lang, Garry Paterson Gerry Duggan and Billy Glasgow .

Report from Anna Hawthorne

Our first time at super teams has been jam packed and full of lots of fun. Rachel one of our Giffnock  North teen coaches said “ its great that the younger ones are getting experience in an competitive environment “ “ it’s been super , a great experience all the athletes are a joy to work with” says Finlay, dad and coach. These comments are from two Giffnock North coaches and us , writing this having  competed in this competition . We have all had a great time as well as being all in a team. All of our favourite events were there but best is the relay.. These comments and stories are not all from Giffnock North. Here are some stories from Olivia in the team Kilmarnock Harriers.She  says it’s really good and her favourite event has been the 4x200m relay too . Now there is something else from Rachel. When we asked her why she and Caroline  gave up their day to come with us , she says, “ I did Superteams when I was little and there was people there to help me.” Today has been amazing and we don’t want it to end!

Thanks Anna !

The club had 3 Girls Teams and 3 Boys Teams at this event . We could have had double that (if there was space ) except it was the Half Term Holiday and many of those eligible were away. We try to use this competition mainly for our U11 Athletes and those U13s who are not regularly competing as it straddles 2 Age Groups. It’s a fantastic opportunity for young athletes and is a huge event superbly organised by the host of officials and helpers . We would like to take this opportunity to thank Scottish Athletics and all those involved for another great day at the Superteams.

Our Teams consisted of 6Teams of 4 Athletes all doing 60m , Long Jump,Shot Putt and 4x200m Relay

Isabella Annand, Poppy Ballantyne, Leilani Spelman Ikediashi, Maya Johnson ,

Anna Hawthorn ,Amy Gallagher,Luisa Stewart, Nicole Yates

Maya Darabnia, Freya McGeoch, Beatrice Nairne, Chloe Ferguson

Matthew Snowden, Angus Weir ,Joseph Ottolini , Aaron Reid,

Charlie Annand , Alistair MacLachlan, Fergus Pryor, Calum Dick

Matthew O’Reilly, Nicholas Cent, Alex Rutherford, Kian Dick

They were a credit to the club in their behaviour and in the team spirit they displayed.

Our Girls A Team took home the Trophy and the Boys A Team were a splendid Second . Along the way some outstanding efforts with many, many PBs and a  club records for Angus Weir in 60m. Some events are not for Pof Ten but no matter,  we acknowledge all 24 of our young athletes who ran, threw and jumped with enthusiasm and smiles over what was a long day . We were very lucky to have Rachel Callan and Caroline MacConnell as Team Managers on the day. They were fantastic too. Thanks also to Catriona, Mum to both Calum and Kian PF who helped as Team Manager and all the parents and supporters there cheering loudly on all the Giffnock athletes.

Photos from coaches and Parents

Full but provisional results at the  link below .Go to the foot of the page. Scottish Athletics (and we share this view) see the Superteams as a development event for young athletes – a role the event fulfils fully.

 

https://scottishathletics.sportserve.net/pages/event/athleticsbookingdetails.aspx?id=10478

Report from Kathleen MacLachlan
Lindsays Masters XC Champs, Johnstone; Saturday 8th Feb 2020

On the rather windy eve of Storm Ciara, 7 ladies and 9 men from Giffnock North travelled to Johnstone to take on the twists, turns, sharp short ups and downs of the Masters XC Championship course.

As the sun disappeared and the rain clouds loomed,first to set off at 1pm were the Ladies and Men+65 to run 6k (3 loops).

The GN ladies continued this seasons successeswith 2nd W50 for Mary McCutcheon, 2nd W40-50 team (Allie Chong, Kathleen McLachlan and Jacquie Campbell) and 3rd W50+ team (Mary McCutcheon, Sheila Lewis and Angela Carson).

Overall the ladies placed as follows: Catriona Gourley 96th (15th W55), Angela Carson 80th (16thW50), Jacquie 33rd (11th W45), Shelia Lewis 31st (6thW50), Kathleen McLachlan 26th (12th W40), Mary McCutcheon 15th (2nd W50) and Allie Chong 9th (4thW45).

As the wind speed seemed to pick-up, the men set off at 1:45pm to run 8k (3 extended loops unlucky guys!).

GN were out in force again with 3rd M40 – 50 team (Andrew Campbell, Chris Greenhalgh, Cris Walsh and Luke Chamberlain) and 6th M50+ team (Ted Gourley, Jez Fellick and Gordon Moir).

Overall the men placed as follows: Gordon Moir 146th (33rd M50), Graeme Paterson 91st (26th M45), Greig Glendinnin 87th (23rd M45), Jez Fellick 86th(18th M50), Ted Gourley 66th (6th M55), Luke Chamberlain 59th (16th M45), Cris Walsh 25th (8thM45), Chris Greenhalgh 20th (5th M45) and Andrew Campbell 19th (4th M45).

Conditions were described as rather windy, where with the turns in the course, the headwind became tailwind and back again several times. At least it wasn’t a repeat of the dreich race conditions experienced recently!

Congratulations to Jacquie on her first XC club race. Thanks for the shouts from all the GN supporters, including the injured Rob Crusher, hope to see you back running soon!

Next on the XC calendar are the Nationals at Falkirk, lets hope that Storm Dennis doesn’t make an appearance...Bring on the mud, but with some sun and less wind, please!

Photos courtesy of Rob Crusher

Daniel Martin

A busy weekend (1st & 2nd Feb) for Giffnock athletes with National Indoor Combined Events, National Indoor Masters and National Indoor Relay Championships all taking place at the Emirates Arena.   Out on the roads the Renfrewshire AAA Road Races took place at a wet and windy Battery Park, Gourock.

National Indoor Combined Events Championships

Star of the show for Giffnock was Daniel Martin who took the under 15 Boys title with a points total of 2784 pts.  In the process throwing a Shot Putt u15 club record of 11.02m.  Matthew Snowden was 11th in the u13 Boys event.

National Indoor Masters Championships

Not to be out done, some of our not so young athletes were also bringing home the medals in the Indoor Masters Track & Field Championships. Ruairidh McLean clocked a very creditable 2.07.78 to take the Silver medal in the M35 800m. Colin Wylie bettered his own 400m club record to win Bronze in the M45 400m and possibly our oldest ever track performer, new member David Edelman, who took a Silver medal in the 60-64 class of the 60m.  Also competing was Colin Black, M35, who clocked 8.29 for the 60m and 27.04 for the 200m. A massive well done guys.

National Indoor Relay Championships

Giffnock teams again showed their strength in depth at the 4x200m Indoor Relay Championships. Our Senior Men’s team of Ross Veitch, Scott Murray, Murray Fotheringham and Findlay Waugh clocked 1.29.31 to bring home Gold and our Senior Women’s team were just edged into Silver medal position by Edinburgh AC. The team was Eve Denholm, Katie Foss, Leah Keisler and Rachal Callan.
The younger age groups were fighting it out for final places.  Finals will be run at the Muller Grand Prix on the 15th February.  Both boys and girls under 13 teams qualified two teams with u15G, u15B u17G and u17 Boys qualifying one each.  That’s some going boys and girls, good luck for the finals.

Renfrewshire AAA Road Race Championships, Battery Park, Gourock

We hoped it would not be the Wild Windy Wet Renfrewshire Road Race Champs and we would get the balmy picturesque sunny Costa Clyde as sometimes happens( occasionally, very occasionally)  but the weather forecast was accurate and the Battery Park was certainly battered with sheets of cold rain driven by an icy wind.

Some of us remember the RR Champs used to be held in the more sheltered grounds of the IBM factory when that  company sponsored the  Spango Valley Club. Or was it more sheltered?

On Sunday 2nd Feb the clubs were Kilbarchan AAC, Bellahouston Road Runners, Bellahouston Harriers, Helensburgh , Giffnock North and the  two local clubs Inverclyde AC and Greenock Glenpark who braved the weather. We couldn’t see the sea!

A clutch of great performances were achieved however, and that made the near hypothermia worthwhile for the Giffnock teams present.

As Allie Chong reported

“Hats off (or maybe just keep them on since the weather was so awful!) to all the junior athletes at Battery Park today. It takes strength of character to pitch up and run in that, so a big pat on the back to one and all. Some fine performances. Now relax by the fire and congratulate yourselves on a day well spent “

And our roll call was:

U11 Girls Gold with a 1/2/3/4 Sarah McNulty, Millie Boothman & Amy Gallagher (Beatrice Nairne in that 4th Place)

U11 Boys Gold, Patrick Fraser 1st, and Team Gold for U11 Boys with Finlay Laskey in (5th place) and CalumDick (in 6th)

U13 Boys Gold for Ist placed Alasdair Nugent and Silver for Calan Chong. Gold Team Medals for U13 Boys  with Oliver MacDonald in 4th.

U13 Girls took the Bronze Team prize with Amy Vincent, Scarlett Scott & Daisy Pryor

U15 Boys Hugh Shiels took 2nd place for Individual Silver and Team Silver with Hugh and  Matthew Cox & Glen Griffiths

U15 Girls Esme Dougall took the Gold in 1st and Eva Chong was 2nd for the Silver Medal  [no Team prizes in that race ]

With our U17s not featuring at the Road Races this year and many of our athletes focussing on Scottish Schools Indoor Champs this week, it was on to the Senior Races buffered and  battered as they made their way along the Esplanade to take part in the 1st event of the Club’s  internal Endurance Champs.

The Women’s Team with Allie Chong (still frozen from her earlier role supporting the Juniors ) Hilary Carswell and Jacqueline Campbell took the Bronze Team medals home while the Mens Team finished in 6th place

Well done to all the gritty Greenock athletes

Grateful thanks to all the Organisers, to Cameron Spence and his Team to Gerry Gaffney and Inverclyde AC who hosted this event ensuring hot soup and home baking in the Yacht Club to cheer the frozen . A special mention to all the officials who endured it all including our own still smiling starter Doleen Galbraith and Jim Galbraith augmented by Sheila Lewis and some additional Giffnock stewards. Job done!

FULL RESULTS HERE


SCOTTISH VET HARRIERS ROAD RELAYS 


The usual cold and dreich weather prevailed for the annual Scottish Veteran Harriers Club Road Relays Championships on Sunday 26 January. Thankfully the rain cleared up a little before the gun went at 11am sending the first leg runners away for a lap of Strathclyde Park Loch.
The course is a fairly flat 3.7 mile circuit of the water, with a sneaky hilly section hidden in the hills on the far side of the Loch to catch newbies unaware!
The men and women set off together, with the female teams consisting of 3 athletes, and the male teams comprising four.

Giffnock North entered two teams in each race. Yvonne MacNairn and Kathleen McLachlan led off for the ladies’ teams, with Yvonne putting in the second fastest female lap time of 22.07 to come in first female, 4s ahead of PH racing’s Kristin Lownie.
Allie Chong and Angie Carson took the virtual batons for the second leg, with GN extending their lead. Jill Smylie took over for the first team with around 3 and a half minutes lead, which was enough to hold off Michelle Sandison from Springburn Harriers, who had cruelly overtaken JIll near the finish after a similar race last year.
Sheila Lewis ran the third fastest v50 leg of the day to bring home the second ladies team in 8th position.

The men’s teams were led off by Ruairidh MacLean and Scott Wilson, with Iain Carroll, Michael Cross and Cris Walsh finishing off for the A team in a fantastic 6th place, and Graeme Paterson, Greig Glendinning and Ted Gourley bringing the B team home in 18th.

Yvonne, Allie and Jill were delighted with their victory, and would have been even more delighted to bring the trophy back to the GHA cabinet, had it not been misplaced by previous winners ( unknown) so they had to be content with a cash prize and the knowledge Giffnock had at last triumphed in this event after several years of coming close.

 

Thanks to Allie Chong for Report after a great win ! Well done all the Vet Athletes !

Giffnock North Annual Awards Night

Report by Keiren Mooney

On Saturday night, Carmichael Hall was once again the venue to celebrate all of our Giffnock North athlete’s successes throughout the year with our annual awards night.

Athletes and coaches of all age groups joined forces to acknowledge all the hard work put in during the season. Bernie Campbell was on hand to reward his seniors with various awards such as the sought after club championship plaque. Michael Cross won that for the senior men for the second year in a row, with Jill Smylie and Yvonne McNairn sharing the spoils with their joint victory.

For the juniors, Team GB athlete, Nikki Manson our Scottish Record Holder High  Jumper was there to present several prizes. This time once again highlighting the national success of many athletes and their coaches at the club.

Fresh from presenting the awards, Nikki was given an award herself for ‘Senior Female Athlete of the Year’.’ Senior Male Athlete of the Year ‘ went to Neil Gourley, his dad Ronnie accepted the award on his behalf.

For the u20 males, this was split three ways between Hamish Armitt, Fraser Angus and Alessandro Schenini.  Erin Wallace taking the u20 female award.

Of course, as fitting to Burns night, everyone was able to loosen up and enjoy a ceilidh with music from the fantastic Clamjafrie. After outstanding efforts throughout the year, as well as on the dance-floor, I’d say everyone deserved their helping of fish, chips and pakora on the night!

Grateful thanks to Dawn Armitt for her brilliant organisation of the night , to Dudley Walker , MC who did his usual great job of guiding the proceedings, Graham Dunn for all his input with National Title Certificates and to James Turnbull for the photos of the night.

Also a massive thanks to Nikki Manson for taking the time to come along and present the prizes.

Full list of Awards Winners

The Scottish u17/Senior Indoor Championships saw some stellar performances from Giffnock athletes.  Not least senior high jumper Nikki Manson who smashed her own Scottish Indoor record with a fantastic leap of 1.92m.

Photo by Bobby Gavin

 

There were further senior medals from Erin Wallace, returning from injury, she took the Silver in the 1500m.  Just pipped on the line for the title. Bronze medals were won by Erin Campbell in the 60m hurdles and Jenna Wrisberg in the 60m.

In the under 17 age group Giffnock had a fantastic 1-2-3 in the mens 1500m.  Harris Paterson took the title in a new club record of 4.08.27, with Ross O’Brien in Silver and Reuben MacDonald in bronze.

Alyson Bell added another title to her name taking gold in the 200m in a new club recod time of 25.02 and silver in the 60m, also in a new club recod (7.59)

Isla Fotheringham took silver in the pole vault with a height of 2.69m and bronze medals were claimed by Jacob Luc, 800m and Julia Cash 1500m.

Full results can be found here
Photographs by Bobby Gavin can be found here.

All Giffnock performances:

There are still tickets left for tonight’s (Sat. 25th Jan) Club Awards Night Ceilidh.  Festivities start at 7.30pm in the  Carmichael Hall at the Eastwood Leisure Centre.  So don’t delay click on the link below and buy your tickets, priced £15 (+admin fee).

 


 

 

Many thanks again to Gary Leek of Athletics Digital for photos from Match 3 of the Indoor league.

 

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Jackie Alexander announces Clubs 3rd Trip to Gothenburg  Download for all the  DETAILS. As you will know any trip like this requires enormous organisation, fundraising and commitment to arrange. Thanks again to Jackie for leading these efforts to provide overseas athletics experience for our athletes.

 

The Junior Xmas Handicap took place on Sunday 29th December at Hutchie Sports ground at Auldhouse. It was a great event with healthy numbers of athletes participating and a great opportunity forparents,carers,athletes ,coaches Officials, Junior Committee Members and supporters to socialise afterwards over lovely soup , mince pies and home baking .
This year one of the parents attending  wanted to make a donation to recognise all the efforts made and although it was late in the day and not organised in advance the Amount of £52 was raised.
Catriona Gourley and Ted who provide hospitality after the Senior Xmas Handicap regularly raise money from donations (£200 plus ) and give to the Glasgow City Mission
On 29th Catriona  organised the collection and arranged to take it and the left over goodies to the City Mission.
Below is the lovely email Catriona received thanking the club.
We didn’t match Catriona and Teds efforts this year but have decided that in future years the event will request donations (Completely Voluntary) We hope everyone will agree with that approach. Results of the Handicap attached  for those who didn’t see them properly on the day .
Well done all the athletes and everyone who helped us enjoy the event.
Photos from Graham Dunn already published.

Edit“”Thank you to everyone at Giffnock North Juniors for your generous donation of £52.95 from the Junior Christmas Handicap Event.  Your support will help change lives in Glasgow.In our Christmas appeal we told of Stuart’s story.  He has been volunteering and working with us since leaving rehab. It is a joy for our team to journey with him. Now in his position as a paid intern, Stuart works with our guests to encourage and advise them as they go through similar struggles to those he faced.

Stuart says, “Coming here [to Glasgow City Mission] gave me a purpose, right away. It gave me something to do every day – it gave me a chance to change my life.”

 

Thank you again to Giffnock North Juniors for your support, which is making a difficult time of year better for our guests and enables us to work with more people like Stuart.

 

We send our best wishes for the New Year.”

Cheers

Jack Geddes

Marketing and Fundraising Manager

Glasgow City Mission | 20 Crimea Street | Glasgow |G2 8PW

T 0141 221 2630

www.glasgowcitymission.com

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Scottish charity SC001499

cid:image006.png@01CF84BA.BFE20D40

 


CALLING ALL PARENTS/GUARDIANS OF JUNIOR MEMBERS

LoveAdmin System

As you are aware the JUNIOR MEMBERSHIP section of the club has moved to a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system powered by LoveAdmin to manage Membership, fees, attendance records  and relevant club  information.

Many thanks to those who have completed their online details and transferred over to the new direct debit payment system.
If you have not yet registered or not yet received an activation email could you check your junk mail folders or please email

p.mckay@giffnocknorth.co.uk

Thank you for your cooperation with this and your continuing support as we continue to improve and raise the standards at GNAC .

If you are no longer training with Giffnock North AC, please let us know and we can remove you from the circulation list.

Yours in Athletics.

Pauline Mckay, Junior Membership Enquiries

Giffnock North AC

(read more…)

 

REPORT by Cris Walsh
Photos by Bobby Gavin
Friday 3 January 2020 saw the Scottish National 3000m Indoors Championships at the Emirates Arena. 12 Giffnock North runners made the starts lists with 9 runners toeing the line.The tighter corners and more compact racing conditions of the 200m Emirates track made for an exciting evenings racing with decent sized crowd and great Giffnock supporters close to the action.
And it’s true what they say, the dry air of an indoor track was certainly a shock to the system for many after New Year festivities!
James McMurray of St. Albans AC produced the fastest time of the night crossing the line in 8:00.38 but excruciatingly , he just missed the Prize money available for a Sub 8 Minute performance
Giffnock Medals
Harris Paterson U17 M  won the U17 Gold in 8:59
Crispin Walsh V45 M M – won the MV45 Bronze in 9.42
Harris Paterson with his Gold Medal
OTHER  Club Performances 
Ben Shaw U20 M Giffnock North – 8.40
Nikolai Gajic U23 M Giffnock North – 9.17
Calum Young U20 M Giffnock North Calum – took the win in 8:53
Reuben Macdonald U17 M Giffnock North 9.25
Zoe Flower U17 W Giffnock North – 10.23
Cameron Green U17 M Giffnock North – 9.52
Andy Macdonald V40 Giffnock North 10.19.51
Some great times and PBS achieved at the event . Well done to all our athletes but special congratulation to Cris for his Medal at Vet 45 and Harris for his Gold at U17
More thanks also to Cris for this Report .
Photos courtesy of Bobby Gavin  & Scottish Athletics. Full results now on Power of Ten  http://britishmilersclub.com/content/bmcitemdisplay.aspx?itemid=1633
and GAA [ Glasgow Athletics Association ]website & Scottish Athletics Website

A reminder that the Club Awards Night Ceildh is on Burns Night

Saturday 25th January   7.30-11.00pm.
Carmichael Hall, Eastwood Park, Rouken Glen Rd, Giffnock, Glasgow G46 7JS

In keeping with the Burns theme, we have our usual ceilidh band, Clamjafrie, a bar service offering a special Scottish cocktail, and our popular buffet to include haggis pakora!

Please get your tickets, priced just £15.00 as soon as possible
Please click the link below

 

Still taking entries for Xmas Handicap on Sunday at Auldhouse (Hutchie’s Sports Ground 180 Thornliebank Road G46 7RQ Playing Fields)  at Thornliebank .All welcome . Arrive from 9.15am Races start at 10.00am . Just less than 1 Mile for U11s and two Laps for U13s and above .

Although it’s over XC , the challenge is for all the Sprinters / Field  eventers too. Generous Handicaps awarded by Dudley !
We need any additional names by Midnight . On the day, Soup and Mince Pies for all Athletes Parents Supporters. Can you bring  a wrapped present to the value of £5.00.

Over 13s names to Dudley dwalker_2000@hotmail.com

Under 11s to c.stevenson@giffnocknorth.co.uk

Xmas &New Year Holiday Arrangements
Tuesdays for U11s at Eastwood will Finish on 17th December and start back on 7th January
Wednesdays 6pm &7pm (U13s )at Eastwood will Finish on 18th December and start back on 8th January
Thursdays at Hutchesons will Finish on 19th start back on 9th January
Saturdays will Finish on 14th December and start back on 11th January. There will be products from https://www.forsale.plus/leather-pelle-pelle if you like shopping for this Xmas.
Xmas Handicap a great fun XC event for all athletes and social event for parents/ carers will be held on Sunday the 29th at Hutchesons Playing Fields at Auldhouse .All welcome. More information soon.
U11 Athletes are also welcome to attend the regular XC Sunday sessions especially on the 22nd December at Rouken Glen[ PLEASE NOTE VENUE CHANGE 22nd  DEC ONLY]  Meet at the Pavilion and then as usual from 5th January at Linn Park starting at 9.00am. See the website Training Alerts for and more updates due to Weather etc

We hope everyone has a  great Xmas and New Year

GIFFNOCK NORTH AC/ WEST DISTRICT XC Championships 2019
Report from Croy Thomson & Photos by Bobby Gavin

IT’S RAINING … MEDALS
Giffnock North AC shine amid wet weather at Balloch Castle Country Park in the West District XC Championships.

AND BEHOLD it did rain, and there was darkness on the face of the course at Balloch. Not to mention a hilliness and a muddiness and a slitheriness, as we did gather by Loch Lomond for the West District Championships. Dreich? I’ll give you dreich.

Also, when I say ‘hilliness’, I mean really hilly. After the first pancake-flat 100 metres this course reared up until vertical and quite possibly steeper. Then there was the sequence of hairpin bends on a camber on the way back down … then the zig-zaggy bit by the Lochside before more hairpins on the way back up again, prior to the plummet straight down to the finish. Phew. Bit challenging as they say (in the Royal Marines). Well, if you ran on this course, in this weather, then you can race anywhere. I applaud you bigly.

First into the fray were the U13 Girls and they raced to a hard-earned bronze team medal over 3.2k. Freya Campbell caught the leader with fifty metres to go and hit the front, only for her rival to dredge up a response from the mud and pip our girl with only yards to go. Brilliant individual silver for Freya, ably supported by Hazel O’Donoghue and Caitlin McGeachy, who was one place and one second ahead of team-mate Hannah Sluman.

The U13 Boys have been a joy to watch for ages now and again they did not disappoint. Craig Shennan raced Kilbarchan’s Oliver Patton shoulder to shoulder for almost the whole 3.2k, but had to make do with Giffnock’s second individual silver of the day. The lads proceeded to put another seven athletes into the top 16:
• Alasdair Nugent 3rd
• Cameron Harris 4th
• Calan Chong 5th
• Tristan Robin 8th
• Jack Wallace 10th
• James Mowatt 14th
• Mitchell Scott 16th
At the West it’s only three to count for team prizes though, so this year’s District honour goes to Craig, Alasdair and Cameron, but such an outstanding overall team performance (and that wasn’t the full squad) can be gauged by the fact that had rules allowed, our fourth, fifth and sixth finishers would have taken team silver. But rules is rules is rules.

Hannah Ryding landed the club’s first individual title of the day, in the U15 4k. Hannah was hotly pursued by past age-group champion Valencia Wright in second and Kate Paul in fourth to secure the U15 Girls team crown for the seventh year in a row. Esme Dougal, Melissa McIntosh (who made the journey from Carlisle to turn out for the club) and Tuscany Wright would have been fourth team, claiming 9th, 15th and 21st places.

Reuben Macdonald is now only the second Giffnock North AC U15 boy ever to win the West individual title, after a race-long 4k battle with Fraser Gilmour of VP Glasgow. Just two seconds separated the lads at the end, and the club-crown duel was continuing behind them: Alex Robin outsprinted VPG’s next finisher for fifth, before Matthew Knak delivered an immense effort to come in one spot behind VPG’s third counter … one place either way by any of our boys and the title would have gone northside of the city … but they prevailed by a single point and we retain our title for another season. The previous GN winner of this category is Hamish Armitt, who happened this year to be away in Portugal, running strongly for GB&NI U20s.

Under 17 girl Zoe Flower put in a powerhouse performance over a gruelling 5.5k, as the weather started to deteriorate (darkness at lunchtime: we demand floodlit cross country), coming home a good fourth, leading Helen Chong (12th), Miriam Gilbride (15th) and Kirsten O’Donnell (19th) to team silver behind Garscube. Extra shout for Miriam who fell in the closing stages but got up and fought on to close out in a medal position. There were many fallers on the day, the wet conditions making the downhill cambers and tight bends even more demanding than usual.

Also over 5.5k, U17 Ethan Carolan matched Zoe’s fourth place finish, backed by Ross O’Brien (16th) and Jacob Luc (21st) for team fourth. Charlie Tomkinson, Craig Cameron, Aidan Flynn and Chris Watson-Sweeney all packed into the top 33.

The Under 20 Women’s race saw Giffnock North athletes in two different teams, with McKenna sisters Lynn (2nd overall) and Charlotte (5th) helping their Glasgow University team to gold after an impressive 6.5k effort. Withdrawals through illness meant Giffnock didn’t have a full team, but Clare Wallace and Rhona Mowatt flew the flag: Rhona was rewarded with a hard-earned individual bronze, while Clare raced into 7th place.

Calum Young led the Under 20s to a fine team bronze over 6.5k. Undeterred by two falls – “I was going fine until I slid full length ten metres sideways straight off the course then had to run back up to join in again” – Calum still finished 8th. Andrew Robertson (17th) and Keiran Mooney (19th) joined him on a very muddy podium (okay there was no podium, it had sunk without trace) the trio edging out Law & District on countback.

An excellent team silver came the way of the Senior/ Masters Women in their 8.5k. Yes, five miles and more, of hills, rain and mud, this is the life. Soaking wet hats off to Yvonne McNairn, Jill Smillie, Allie Chong, Nicola McBeath, Frances Lowrie and Sheila Lewis. Masters category third place team went to Allie (2nd V45), Sheila (2nd V50) and Kathleen McLachlan, who was a fighting 10th in the V40 bracket. [Club Photo ]

The course having been well and truly chewed up by seven races, the Senior/ Masters Men were unleashed onto 8.5k of torture, and our gents responded splendidly with a fine seventh place in highly competitive company. Take a bow, Chris Greenhalgh, Crispin Walsh, Oliver Traynor, Jordan Orr, David Shaw and Luke Chamberlain. Chris, Cris and David comprised the third-place Masters’ team, for another feather in the club’s cap (or sou’wester, more like). Applause also to Andy Macdonald for his 15th place in the V40 category and to Rob Crusher, 11th in the V50s.

It’s rumoured that the West District Home Baking Prize 2019 went to Oliver Traynor, but he hid the cake tin from me, so I can’t really comment.

Well done everyone, you were part of a race that will go down in cross country folklore as one of the steepest, wettest, twistiest and turniest ever. Thanks as always to the officials, supporters, coaches, volunteers and our centenary-celebrating hosts, Dumbarton AAC, whose very small membership put on a truly memorable, welcoming show. This is the hard-working grassroots base that helps put athletes on the way to European, World and Olympic appearances.

Croy Thomson

Thanks Croy for the excellent   report from Balloch. More excellent photos from Bobby Gavin via Scottish Athletics website and Social Media .

 

Giffnock North U11 left Gourock with the inaugural Tri- club Sportshall Challenge cup, Sunday 8th December.

In a fantastic team effort our 4 girls Anna Hawthorne
Beatrice Nairne
Nicole Yates
Ahrra Donaldson
and 4 boys
Angus Weir
Alex Rutherford
Joseph Ottolini
Mathew OReilly brought real strength in depth winning individual events as well as relays.
It was a great fun afternoon that allowed the athletes to try some unusual events e.g. standing triple jump and more novelty events like the obstacle relay. We even had at least one competition debutant.
Thanks to the athletes, to Chris Hawthorne for his officiating and to the parents for braving appalling driving conditions to get our champions there.
Finlay Weir
Thanks Finlay (for the report ) and  for looking after the Teams with Chris .
Grateful thanks to Janice Hendrie from Inverclyde AC who organised this event along with her team of helpers and to our fellow Tri Club Athletes at IAC and Kilbarchan.
The athletes clearly enjoyed the competition!

The Annual Xmas Awards Night snd Disco was held on Friday 6th December at GHA. Certificates for performances representing the Club at Cross Country,Track & Field , Club Championship Medallists , Star Track and Tri Club events as well as U11 Athlete of the Year (Boy & Girl) were all presented by our celebrity athlete Callum Hawkins.

Under 11 Athletes of the Year

Leilani Spelman Ikediashi & Matthew Snowden


Under 11 Club Track & Field Champions
GIRLS BOYS
GOLD Leilani Spelman Ikediashi Matthew Snowden
SILVER Sarah McNulty Zander Summerhill
BRONZE Maya Johnson Angus Weir
Under 11 Club Track & Field Event Medallists
GIRLS GOLD SILVER BRONZE
80m Leilani Spelman Ikediashi Sarah McNulty Hannah Brown
Long Jump Leilani Spelman Ikediashi Isabella Annand Sarah McNulty
Shot Putt Leilani Spelman Ikediashi Maya Johnson Isabella Annand
600m Sarah McNulty Lilani Spelman Ikediashi Ahrra Donaldson
BOYS GOLD SILVER BRONZE
80m Angus Weir Matthew Snowden Zander Summerhill
Long Jump Angus Weir Aaron Reid Zander Summerhill
Shot Putt Zander Summerhill Jacob Stuffins Matthew Snowden
600m Matthew Snowden Patrick Fraser Zander Summerhill
Well done to all our Medallists Champions and in fact all our young athletes who are developing and Improving all the time .  Also a massive thank you to Callum Hawkins for not only presenting the prizes, but also staying afterwards to sign certificates.

Reports from Junior Committee Members
“ What a fantastic night was had by all at the Under  11 /13 disco and Awards night on Friday! The highlight of the evening was the prize-giving which was made even more special by a visit from one of Scotland’s most amazing distance runners, none other than Callum Hawkins himself. Kids and adults alike were in awe to have such a charming superstar in our midst. The queue for autographs and photos seemed endless! Lots  of fun party games, fabulous dancers, delicious pizza and some very acrobatic limbo stars rounded off the night and lots of exhausted but happy kids were packed off home. Job done! “
Ali Watson, Junior Committee
”There was a great buzz about GHA on Friday night as over 50 U11/13  athletes descended on the club for their annual prize giving and disco. There was lots of dancing, party games and even a limbo competition which the kids loved!!! A fantastic time was had by all and the highlight of the night was a visit from Callum Hawkins who kindly gave out all the medals and certificates, signed autographs and posed for photos. The children (and parents) were delighted that he could come and he was such an inspiration to all.
After pizza, juice and sweets were consumed and more dancing it was time to go home, the night was summed up by one of the children who said “ that was awesome”. Delighted to hear that everyone had fun and look forward to next year”
Caroline Hunter, Junior Committee
It remains only to thank Lynda Scott, Ali Watson, Tracey Davie and Caroline Hunter for all the organising, Dudley Walker as the excellent MC Graham Dunn for all the Photos in this report and GHA staff for all their help on the night .

Many thanks to Gary Leek of Athletics Digital for photos from Match 2 of the Scottish Athletics Indoor League.

This event is open to Juniors 2nd year under 13 and above and all Senior members.

 

Next Burns night will see the club host their annual joint junior and senior awards celebration at
Carmichael Hall, Eastwood Park, Rouken Glen Rd, Giffnock, Glasgow G46 7JS

Saturday 25th January   7.30-11.00pm.

In keeping with the Burns theme, we have our usual ceilidh band, Clamjafrie, a bar service offering a special Scottish cocktail, and our popular buffet to include haggis pakora!

Tickets available on Entry Central, priced just £15.  Please click the link below

 

 

 

FPSG Scottish Athletics Awards 2019 (C) Photo by Bobby Gavin
FPSG Scottish Athletics Awards 2019 (C) Photo by Bobby Gavin

It’s Official – Giffnock’s Track and Field Athletes are the best

Giffnock were awarded Track and Field Club of the year at Scottish Athletics’ Annual Awards Dinner at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow on Saturday evening.

Paula Radcliffe was guest of honour at the event where Callum Hawkins was awarded Athlete of Year and Maria Lyle Para Athlete of the Year

Giffnock were nominated in three categories: Track and Field Club of the Year, Off Track club of the Year and Rueben Nairne was a contender for U17 Athlete of the year. Everyone at Giffnock North congratulates Central on winning Off Track and Isla Calvert (Livingston AC) for U17 Athlete of the Year and remain intensely proud of our Off-Track athletes, coaches, officials and helpers and Rueben for their tremendous achievement in being nominated.

And so to our award….

Jake Wightman, Scotland’s recent 1500m record breaker, took to the stage envelope in hand. “The contenders for Track and Field Club of the Year are (drum roll please): Edinburgh AC, Aberdeen AC, Victoria Park Glasgow AC and Giffnock North AC”. To our genuine surprise and delight, Jake announced Giffnock as the winner. This a tremendous achievement made possible by every single Giffnock athlete, across every single age group, who set foot on a track, throwing pit or jump runway and the coaches, officials, volunteers and family who helped them get there. Congratulations to our fellow contenders

Billy Glasgow, Club CHAIRMAN had the honour of receiving the award on behalf of the club.

Track and Field Club Award criteria:This Award recognises a club that has shown development in track and field; meets the needs of all athletes at every age and stage of their development; has performed well across the year and has shown a strong improvement in performances; and demonstrates an innovative approach to competition, supporting its athletes in gaining experience in track and field athletics.

If you would like to see more details, click here for Scottish Athletics report on the club awards and here for athlete Awards.

Thanks to Gerry Duggan for compiling this report of our successful night at the Awards.

Giffnock north girls & guys took to a grey Gourock to grab (nearly) all the prizes! A chilly, windy afternoon saw us tear up Tower hill, round the bends, through the mud and up more hills x4 (or x5- unlucky guys) for some real cross country fun. Thank-you to all the enthusiastic cheerleaders for braving the cold, and to Ollie for some brilliant brownies. Same again in two weeks!

Rhona Mowat – Silver Senior Women and GOLD u20
Yvonne McNairn – Bronze Senior Women
Allie Chong – GOLD V40
Hilary Carswell – Bronze V40

Women’s  team GOLD (the championees-Rhona Mowat, Yvonne McNairn, Allie Chong)

Ted Gourley Silver V50

Mens team BRONZE (Chris Greenhalgh, Jordan Orr, Chris Walsh, Iain Carroll, Ollie Traynor & John O’Donnell)

Ps. You’re all winners ⭐

Report from Frances Lowrie ! Thanks Frances and Thanks to Greenock Glenpark IAC Stevie McLoone &Cameron Spence snd all the organisers and stewards !

Amended Results :

 

SOUTH OF THE BORDER, BEST OF THE DAY. The annual raid to the Liverpool Cross Challenge saw Giffnock North enjoy another rewarding day. Numerous highlights include Hamish Armitt claim a fine fourth place and an automatic GB vest for the upcoming Euro Cross in Lisbon.

In the U13s Craig Shennan nailed an excellent third place, with club mates Alasdair Nugent and Calan Chong storming home seventh and eighth. Katy Donnelly ran strongly for tenth. For the U15s Reuben Macdonald and Valencia Wright also both delivered 10th place finishes, while Julia Cash in the U17s produced a great fifth place result.

Further fuller results will follow. Well done to all who travelled, and major thanks to coaches, parents and supporters.

Thanks Croy !

Five of Giffnock North’s seniors headed down to Southport last weekend for the British and Irish Masters XC championships. This annual event has been running since 1988 and sees the best XC runners from Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland compete over 6 or 8k, depending on age.
The other home nations allow vets from age 35 so Jill Smylie picked up her first Scotland vest to compete this year. Their W35 team contained the winner of this race, Michelle Sandison from Springburn Harriers, who led a strong Scottish contingent to team silver.
Allie Chong was next up in the W45 category. She ran as well as could be expected following a knee injury, and their team took home the silver behind England and Ireland.
Mary McCutcheon and Shona Donnelly ran in the W50 category. Mary, as always, had a very fast run, coming in 6th in the age group and second Scot behind Ana Richardson who just missed out on an individual bronze. Shona put in a solid performance to help the team to bronze medals.
Ted Gourley had a fantastic run in the M55 race over a gruelling 8k. He finished second Scot and again took home a team bronze medal.
All but one Scottish age group team won team medals in a particularly successful meet for the SVHC team. England again won the overall prizes, but were far less dominant than previous years, especially in the younger age groups.
The races finished with the open event, open to any member of SVHC and Russell Whittington committed himself well over the flat fast course. His support for the earlier races was also much appreciated!
Any Giffnock North members who fancy competing next year should join the SVHC and take part in the trials which take place every September. It’s a chance to race against the very best in a pure age group setting, and to enjoy a real national team atmosphere amongst some top athletes.

 

Congratulations to all our Super Vets  ! And many thanks to Allie for the Report

The Junior Awards Night & Christmas Disco is open to all under 11 & first year under 13 members.

 


FRIDAY 6 DECEMBER

7.00pm – 9.45pm

GHA Rugby Club, Braidholm Road, Giffnock, G46 6EB


Come along and join the fun!

Award presentations including Star Track Certificates, Cross Country Certificates, Club Championship medals and under 11 Athlete of the Year.

Pizza and juice included in the £7 ticket price.  (+ admin. fee)

Click the link below to buy tickets

 

Note all other age groups (2nd year u13 and above)  are invited to the joint Junior/Senior Awards Night  which is on 25th January 2020 and will be advertised soon.

 

IMPORTANT – JUNIOR MEMBERSHIP ONLY

The club is in the process of moving to a new online membership scheme (LoveAdmin). So far we have uploaded our Junior Membership to the database.

Please would all parents/guardians of Junior members check their emails to confirm they have received notice of the new electronic administration system and log into their account to update any information that requires updating, in particular email addresses.

For the system to work efficiently it is vital that all members login to their account, setting up a password.

IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED AN EMAIL,  please first check your spam/junk folders in case it hase ended up there, otherwise email Pauline McKay

LoveAdmin Login

DOUBLE GOLD AT SHORT COURSE CHAMPS
Report from Croy Thomson
KIRKCALDY was the home of linoleum, and Giffnock North have a flair for running … so it’s only right that we amassed a pile of medals at the National Short Course Championships today.
Under 15 lads Reuben Macdonald, Cameron Deverill and Cameron Green claimed team gold over the undulating, soggy 2k course, with Reuben landing individual silver in a hard-fought finish. The U15 girls Isla Scott, Esme Dougall and Ella McGregor put in a big shift, again over 2k but had to settle for 10th in a race notable for a helter-skelter no mercy start.
Over 3k, the Under 17 girls were led home by Julia Cash in second overall, with Zoe Flower and Kate Richardson joining her atop the podium for gold. U17 boys were 7th, Harris Paterson heading Jacob Luc and Charlie Tompkinson. Harris’s individual bronze is the first medal the club has ever won in this category, team or individual.
Giffnock’s senior ladies were a good fourth over 4k. Erin Wallace, Katy Brown, Yvonne McNairn and Jill Smyllie did the damage.  Senior men’s results were unavailable as your ‘umble scribe dashed for the charabanc home.
So, here’s to a day very fine-o in the home of lino. Thanks to all who raced, supported, tented, untented, coached, and generally helped create another memorable day in the sun.

REMINDER re AGM

Please note that the Club AGM will take place on Wednesday 27th November at Williamwood High School Library at 7.30 pm

All welcome

 

Report from Croy Thomson
The gentle rolling flower meadows of Cumbernauld … no, hold on, the scenic flatlands … no, the merciless vertical barricades … that’s more like it … yes we were back at Cumbernauld House Park,to unleash more than sixty of our fine young athletes across the tilting, twisting, turning, slithery hills of the National Cross Country Relay Championships. In near perfect autumn conditions, our junior generation did not flinch and did not disappoint.

Top honours must surely go to the Boys A Team, who made it three titles in a row by leading from gun to tape. Craig Shennan came home first on the U13 leg, narrowly ahead of B Team racer Alasdair Nugent. Reuben Macdonald maintained the lead as Central AC edged into second. U17 anchorman Harris Paterson delivered the coup de grace with a fine eight minutes 31 seconds effort over the 2.5k course. Fife AC emerged from deep to claim second, while our B Team of Nugent, Cameron Deverill and Ross O’Brien fought hard but couldn’t quite hold off Central, who snatched the bronze.
If you’re a fan of strength in depth, then consider this: the boys’ teams also finished fifth and seventh, to confirm the dominant form shown at the West Districts, where the club monopolised the junior boys medals.
Our girls put up a spellbinding (note that word for later) show in their race, with their usual initial fine disregard for team selections. Freya Campbell of Team C blitzed home first on the first leg, to send Kate Paul out in the lead. At this point the race commentator rather cheekily asked if Giffnock make team selections by pulling names out of a hat: I honestly did try to find the man, and if I had I’d have said, “Yes, for Team Selections we use a Harry Potter Sorting Hat, because all our kids are magic.” I couldn’t find the commentator, but anyway I was too enthralled watching Katy Donnelly (A) and Amber Wade (B) sending out their team-mates in pursuit of glory.
The A’s U15 leg runner Hannah Ryding conjured up a stellar lap of nine minutes 22 seconds to send U17 Julia Cash off in first place, but hard as she tried, Julia couldn’t hold off the outstanding Fife athlete that is Anna Hedley. We claimed a terrific second place, with C Team Campbell, Kate Paul and Zoe Flower in eighth, a few strides ahead of B Team Wade, Valencia Wright and Kate Richardson.
Three girls teams in the top nine has to be applauded. It should be noted that not long ago our B team beat the A’s for silver – we do urge our athletes to just run their best and never mind anyone else … and that’s the thanks you get! Well done and thanks to all who raced on one of the hardest courses anywhere; the officials and course setters; parents, pals and puppies; coaches; the people crewing the chip van; bemused onlookers
Great to see Holly Still back in action on this course as a senior alongside her contemporary and companion on many a podium, Erin Wallace. Excellent ribbon deployment as ever by Caroline Wright of the Flying Colours Squad.  Full marks also to Eilidh MacShannon and Ollie Traynor for the cakes, and to David Chong for forcing me to eat the scone and jam he bought for me at the Garscube Harriers charity stall. Have I already used the word, “Magic”?

See you all at the races.

Thanks Croy for the report !
Some excellent photos available from Bobby Gavin , Video Highlights from Vinco shared by  Scottish Athletics as well as photos on related social media from Club photographers .

“Success for Senior Women at National XC Relays (read more…)

Many thanks to Gary Leek of Athletics Digital for this album of photos taken at Sunday’s first match in the Scottish Athletics Indoor League.

 

Before our sizeable contingent of club athletes head to Cumbernauld for Saturday’s National Age Group and Senior/ Vets XC Relays it is best that we report on last weekend’s Relays at Nether Pollok
Brilliant Success for the Senior Women on a very sunny Sunday, as they took the Gold Medals with Yvonne McNairne , Jill Smylie and Rhonda Mowat . To cap a great win , Rhona and Yvonne recorded the 2nd and 3rd fastest times of the day. They were well backed up by a squad of other senior and vet club athletes, some savouring their first cross country race.
Our Men’s squad most in the photo above  took 4th and 5th places.

The U11s Took Gold in the Girls race with Freya Scobie , Lula Neilson & Sarah McNulty and Bronze as well with Emily Jackson, Edie Campbell & Rose Costello.
U11Boys took Silver with Matthew Snowden, Joseph Ottolini and Patrick Fraser
We fielded 20 x U11 Boys and 9 X U11 Girls and many were also taking to cross country for the first time. The experience was definitely enhanced by the sublime Autumn weather.

Following some great results from the U11 squad the rest of the junior endurance athletes showed good form at the Renfrewshire Cross Country Relays.

U13 boys gave us the closest race of the day with a sprint to the line! Craig Shennan, Mitchell Scott and Calan Chong took gold with Oliver Bryers, Cameron Harris and Oliver MacDonald in silver position.
U13 girls Freya Campbell, Amy Vincent and Hazel O’Donahue also won silver.
U15 boys were in good form with Michael Nolan, Matthew Murphy and Matthew Knak in gold position and Hugh Shiels, Matthew Cox and Adam Chamberlain joining them on the podium for bronze medals.
U15 girls kept the medals coming with silver for Kirsty Wylie, Tuscany Wright and Emma McClennan and bronze for Nuala O’Donnell, Ruby White and Kiara Meiklejohn.
To finish off a good day in those sunny conditions our U17 girls win silver medals. Well done to Jill and Helen and special thanks to Eva for stepping up an age group to complete the team.
Many thanks to all coaches, parents, supporters for cheering on the squad throughout the day.

So a good day all round. And now for Cumbernauld !

‘NORTH TACKLE WEST WITH ZEST. Kilmarnock Field of Dreams, Saturday 12th October

Report from Croy Thomson

THE SUN shone, the rain stayed away and our squads stormed to medals across masters, senior and junior categories at the always hotly contested West District Cross Country Relays in Kilmarnock.
First out of the traps were the Junior Girls and the lightning-fast start by Hazel O’Donoghue set the tone for the rest of the day. Hazel’s team-mates Kirsty Wylie (U15) and Miriam Gilbride (U17) eventually came home sixth, backing up the gritty A team performance of Katy Donnelly, Kate Paul and Zoe Flower, who earned silver behind an impressive Glasgow School of Sport trio.
Suitably inspired, our boys set about the flat(tish), twisting 2.5k grassland challenge – not forgetting the plunge-pool under the railway bridge, the swamp at the cowpatty field gate and the gravel stretch beside the river – and delivered what has to be one of the club’s most memorable results. Craig Shennan, Reuben Macdonald and Harris Paterson raced in for gold faster than the commentator could keep pace with; Alasdair Nugent, Cameron Deverill and Ethan Carolan claimed second in fine style; Oliver Bryers, Alex Robin and Ross O’Brien ran down a strong, local outfit from Kilmarnock Harriers by two seconds to ensure the clean sweep and nine Giffnock North vests on the podium. For good measure our boys’ squads took fifth and seventh places.
In the Senior Damsels’ Dash over 4k (there was a cheeky wee hill on this course, up-down-up-down-again, just to add to the scenic splendour) Rhona Mowat, JIll Smylie and Charlotte McKenna won silver behind a powerhouse Shettleston Harriers trio.

Katy Brown, Holly Still and Lynn McKenna fought their way into third, but ultimately had to settle for fourth a few seconds behind a very good VP Glasgow team.
Our Masters Ladies claimed seventh, with Shona Donnelly leading out Angela Carson and Stephanie Lillie;
Their  male counterparts nailed an excellent bronze with sterling efforts from Graeme Paterson, John O’Donnell, Chris Greenhalgh and Cris Walsh.

A young Senior Mens quartet of Nikolai Gajic, Jack Bell, Calum Young and Andrew Robertson landed a commendable tenth, up against some of the toughest teams in Scotland.


All in all, a tremendous turn out from the club – including over sixty youngsters – with results to match. Let’s also applaud bigly for Oliver Traynor, and his magnificent, gold-medal Empire Biscuits and Chocolate Brownies, what do you mean you didn’t get any, oh that’s a shame I only had three Empires, honest.
Thanks to the organisers and officials, host club Kilmarnock Harriers, the course setters, playlist choosers, the commentator who did a splendid job keeping any sort of track of what was going on, the coaches, parents, fans and the bus driver who provided a door-to-door service for two grateful athletes. Onwards.
Thanks Croy !
Most of these Photos courtesy of Bobby Gavin & Scottish Athletics

I  

GNAC

AGM

WEDNESDAY 27th November 2019

TIME : 7.30pm

WILLIAMWOOD HIGH SCHOOL  LIBRARY 

All Welcome

Parents & Guardians can attend and will have voting rights if they become Parent Members of the club. More information  will be issued soon.

 

The George Cummings Relay (Incorporating the Renfrewshire Road Relays) took place today in Houston, Renfrewshire around 2.7 miles of country road. The ladies team of Yvonne McNairn, Francis Lowrie and Jill Smylie took Silver in the Renfrewshire Road Relays and Bronze in the George Cummings Relay. The Men’s Vet team took team Gold with Graeme Paterson, Iain Carroll, Chris Greenhalgh and Crispin Walsh . Well done to all Giffnock North Athletes today!

Full results at this link

http://kilbarchanaac.org.uk/2019/10/05/george-cummings-road-relays-results/Thanks to Yvonne McNairn for Report

Cross Country

A merry band of U11 and U13 athletes made their way to Livingston today to take part in the 1st race of their XC series . This was the 1st Cross Country race for some and they all enjoyed it . The conditions were good but they all said it was a real xc race

Patrick Fraser took the Bronze in the U11s and Cameron Mitchell was 4th.

U13’s at Livingston XC. Charlie McAllister 4th. Great runs too from Martin Rolfe, Ella McWilliams, Isla Munro & Lexi Martin..Well done all the athletes ! Much more to come from all these keen XC runners

Thanks to Coach Andy Munro , for Photos & supporting all the Athletes !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awards made last night by East Renfrewshire Culture &Leisure Trust to Anne Stewart, Dudley Walker and Rachel Callan.

Many congratulations to all 3 for well deserved rewards in their category.

Anne received the Lifetime Coaching Award , Dudley the Development Coach of the Year Award  and the Young Volunteer of the Year Award went to Rachel.

Happening on the very  same night as Neil Gourley made the 1500m Final at the World Athletics Championships, the club has a lot to celebrate just now and it’s appropriate that those who contribute to the success of our athletes,  week in week out are recognised.

We made other nominations too so maybe next year for them.

Neil travelled to Dubai to the GB Training Camp and before his Walk and Talk with Athletics Weekly,  he responded to a request from the Club to take part in a Q&A. This was held at Eastwood High School​​​ on the evening of 5th September 2019 after the Middle Distance Squad had trained .

Question & Answer with Neil Gourley, Giffnock North AC, Scotland and GB&NI 1500m runner

A thoroughly informative and entertaining Q&A was held at Eastwood High School, Newton Mearns, chaired by Dudley Walker and well attended by athletes and coaches. In a full classroom, Neil gave us the benefit of his middle-distance learning to date; insights into his experiences in training and racing in the UK and USA; tips on dealing with pre and post-race emotions; balancing studies and sports; and much more besides.

Q: What was the start line?
NG: “Age nine at a school fun run I was spotted by one of the teachers who suggested I go along to Giffnock North. At Under 11 I was coached by Clare Stevenson, so really it’s all her fault.”

Q: Did you take part in other sporting activities?
NG: “Yes – football, rugby, table tennis, golf and tennis. A bit of everything, I was naturally competitive … but I wasn’t great at any of them.”

Q: What made you stay in the club?
NG: “Great club culture. Good bunch of competitive guys, coached by Gordon Lockie. I loved cross country, and trying to help the team. And the thing was, the more I worked at it, the better I got. Work was always or nearly always rewarded. I put in the effort and it paid off.”

Q: What was the attraction in cross country?
NG: “When everyone’s on the start line, hundreds of you, at a cross country race, everyone has the same right to be there, trying to win.”

Q: Were you always good?
NG: “I was never the most talented boy. I always had someone to chase and I like that.” (Note – Neil’s training group included Grant Muir, who holds the current Scottish U17 3000m outdoor record of eight minutes 34.06 seconds set in September 2010. Grant, Neil and Jack Walker together hold the Scottish U20 3×800 record of five minutes 47.21 seconds, set in June 2012.)

Q: What’s the most important part of your training?
NG: “The most important contribution to your sport isn’t the training. It’s the time away from the track that counts, for example get eight to ten hours sleep. Have a good snack after sessions – I prefer chocolate milk, for the sugar kick plus protein.”

Q: How did you prioritise among your different sports?
NG: “I saw a potential in myself in running. And I realised I had to eventually drop other sports. It was difficult – my dad is a big rugby fan, so giving that up was difficult. There were big conversations and I was upset at giving up football and rugby. But it had to be done.”

Q: Did you make quick progress in running?
NG: “It was a steady progression. Let’s just say that as an Under 11 I ran a three minute 17 seconds 800m time trial and was mortified at being beaten by the girl from next door. She was ten seconds ahead of me.” (Note: Neil’s results in the National Cross Country Champs are: 2007 26th; 2010 16th; 2011 3rd; 2012 U17 Champion.)

Q: How did you deal with stress?
NG: “Badly! One time I missed selection for a West District team and I cried. It’s a big deal when you’re young, but it’s important to feel nervous, it means you care. Before a race I think about my brother, my parents, & all the people who want you to do well. During the race ,it’s you. You’re  the one who matters .

“If you dwell 24/7 on your sport it’s not helpful. It’s good to have distractions. If you have trained hard and done a lot of work, then that’s all you can do. Don’t dwell on it. Just work out what to do better next time.”

“I have a 24-hour Rule – well, sometimes it’s a 48-hour Rule. The Rule is, after a good race, then I can be as happy as I like for 24/48 hours, then get back to work, that race is over. The same Rule applies when you’ve had a bad race – for a day I can be unhappy, go in a sulk, get upset, but after 24 hours, that’s enough, that’s okay, you care, but ultimately, it’s a waste of time, get back to work. Look forward.”

Q: Who was your inspiration to go to the USA? (Neil took a sports and engineering scholarship at Virginia Tech, for whom he competed over country and track, and indoors. He is now signed with Oregon Track Club.)
NG: “Chris O’Hare. He did it, with no support.” (Note: Chris O’Hare was a stand-out Scottish junior and remains a world-class athlete, based in the US.)

“I sent twenty, fifty, letters to universities in the States. Some didn’t reply, so they were scratched off the list. I looked at the coaches and facilities. Virginia Tech is good for engineering, which I wanted to study. And they were improving as a track and field outfit. NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association) experience varies across the US, I sought advice and did a lot of research.

“I was seeking a balance between academics and sport, and the Professors in the US are more understanding than here when it comes to achieving that balance.

“Travel around the States is ridiculously well supported and the US College track and field set-up is phenomenal … funded by American football and basketball.”

“It’s difficult to do the trans-Atlantic competitions. My coach was and is very understanding about letting me adapt preparation for big GB Trials and so on.

Q: Doesn’t the US system demand a lot from its athletes?
NG: “Yes. You’re not just there to train but to compete and earn points for the college team. I was lucky to be given the right kind of support and wasn’t pushed to compete all the time. I was given scope to recover. The NCAA is great for learning how to race tactically in intense situations.”

Q: You were young when you went to the States. How was that experience?
NG: “I was 18 when I went to the US. I had a rocky first year –I had glandular fever and I ran rubbish in cross country – I didn’t know I had glandular fever. But training was going okay and in second year I started to break through.”

Q: How did you cope with studies, plus training and competing?
NG: “I admit it was hell at first, but good to learn the disciplines of time management and working out strategies. Time management is key in balancing studies, training, racing and life. An average sort of day would be:
• Train a.m. before studies
• 4 or 5 classes
• Train p.m.
• Dinner
• Study in the evening
• Sleep – very important, sleep.

Q: 800 or 1500?
NG: “I enjoy the 800 though it hurts more … but my 1500s give better results.”

Q: You still hold the club U15 3k record … oh, hold on … (Note: at this point Reuben Macdonald pointed out that he now holds the Giffnock North AC U15 Boys record, which he took from Ethan Carolan. How times fly.)
NG (laughing): “I was never one of the top guys in the club – be patient, this sport often doesn’t come to you quickly.”

Q: Were you academic as well as sporty?
NG: “I studied quite hard for results. Mostly I was a good boy, quite boring.”

Q: Did you always focus on middle distance and country?
NG: “At under 17 I thought 3k or steeplechase were my events, though I tried a bit of everything. I’d say test your limits on everything. It wasn’t until I was 18 or 19 that I settled on 15s – my ‘chase was a disaster!”

Q: Tell us who you’re running for now – apart from Giffnock North of course.
NG: “I run for Oregon Track Club, based in Eugene, Oregon, USA. Eugene is sometimes called ‘Tracktown’, so that tells you something about the importance of athletics there. I ran a good 1500 and was approached by my now coach Mark Rowland (Olympic bronze steeplechase 1988, still GB men’s record holder in the ‘chase) and by coincidence my college coach at Virginia Tech was moving to OTC. So when the college coach moved, so did I! Eugene is an incredible place to train and the World Championships will be held there in 2021. It’s at sea level, not altitude – and it’s the hay fever capital of the world!”

Q: How do you deal with disappointment?
NG: “The lows make the highs higher. At Glasgow not so long ago, on the morning of the European Indoor Championships 1500 Final, I woke up sick and dizzy … I couldn’t race the final of my favourite event in my home town, in front of a home crowd. Terrible moment, terrible feeling. But the disappointment fuels determination to succeed.

“Never take success for granted, seize your opportunities, you don’t get many.”

Q: You achieved your 1500 metre goal at the recent GB Trials for the Word Championships.
NG: “The GB Trials were also the GB outdoor track championships, so there was a title and medals up for grabs, and a lot of good athletes competing. After the disappointment of the Euros in Glasgow, I worked really hard. Only two automatic selection places were available at the Trials, and I’ve missed out previously, very narrowly, so I worked really hard in training. I was not missing out again if I could help it. And in the GB Final, with 600 metres to go, I knew Josh Kerr would take it out and he’d move well for the last lap. I knew what he’d do and I thought something would open up in the last 100. And it did.” (Neil won the GB 1500 title in three minutes 44.76 seconds, ahead of two other Scots, Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman.)

“You’ve got to have a Plan A, B and C. Stay awake and if possible stay in lane one as much as you can.”
Q: Who will you be rooming with in Doha?
NG: “Ah, well, good question, that’s interesting, because I don’t actually know. The system is you hand in a list of three people you’d like to room with, in order of preference, and the team officials do their best to match you up with them if they can. The thing is, none of those three people may not put you on their lists!

Oh, here’s a tip on an athlete who’ll be in Doha and could do well – Hannah Greene, in the 800. Watch out for her.”

Q: Why is Scottish middle-distance running doing so well at the moment?
NG: “Laura Muir proved it can be done. People here have realised it can be done. With so many good Scots, you know you have to work hard every day.”

Q: How do big races in the US compare against the GB World Trials?
NG: “The relays in the States were a shared experience. Probably those are my favourites, the team ones are more memorable. The GB Trials by contrast are for yourself and your family and friends.”

Q What’s next, after Doha?
NG: “Tokyo 2020 is what I’m gearing up for. The Olympics hold more meaning than even the Worlds.”

Dudley Walker: “Thank you Neil, for taking the time to chat to us. I know everyone at the club will be cheering you on in your efforts in Doha … and beyond!”
NG: “Thank you, everybody, it’s always nice to be able to give something back to the club that got me started and has always given me so much encouragement. One last thing – one of the big secrets in this athletics game is what my coach often tells me: ‘Just keep turning up’.”

In thanking Neil for taking time out from a busy schedule before returning to Oregon, the club and Michael from Migo Sports gave him that most treasured of athletic items: a brand new Giffnock North hoody, presented by U17 distance athlete Zoe Flower.

Many thanks  to Croy Thomson for recording and reporting on this important occasion .

Neil Gourley PBs: 1500m 3:35.95 and 800m 1:46.12. Neil is scheduled to go in the World Championship 1500 heats in Doha, Qatar, 8:00 pm UK time Thursday 3rd October.

For more Background information on Neil see our previous post on his breakthrough Season in 2018 which continued in 2019 to the present date and World Athletics Champs in Doha !

 

 

Neil Gourley’s Road to Doha

The Life and Fast Times of a Giffnock North athlete

 

Season 2018 – Breakthrough

The Times

New 600m PB 1.19.16 (Giffnock North AC club record)

New 800m PB 1.47.04 (3rd in 2018 Scottish rankings; 12th in all time Scottish rankings; 4th in all time Scottish indoor 800m rankings; Giffnock North AC club record)

New 1500m PB 3.35.98 (4th in 2018 Scottish rankings; 7th in Scottish all time rankings; Giffnock North AC club record)

New mile PB 3.57.11 (3rd in 2018 Scottish rankings; 12th in Scottish all time rankings; Giffnock North AC club record)

Performances

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) 800m champion.

Member of the Virginia Tech National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Distance Medley Relay championship winning team. (First national track title for VT.)

British Athletics Championships (including European trials) 3rd place

Athletics World Cup (first senior vest for GB) 3rd place

IAAF Diamond League Anniversary Games 8th place (Diamond League debut)

Scottish Athletics 1500m National Champion (1st senior national championship)

IAAF Diamond League (Emsley Carr Mile) 8th place

Long Island Mile 3rd Place

5th Avenue Mile 3rd place

As can be seen from the above, 2018 was a breakthrough year for Neil. He completed his college running career where he competed for five years for Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) by anchoring his DMR team to victory in the NCAA championships. The DMR is a unique event in which the four team members run legs of 1200m, 400m. 800m and one mile. It’s very highly regarded and this was not only the first time that Virginia Tech had won it but was also the first national track title ever secured by the University.

With his outdoor eligibility finished Neil was able to concentrate on achieving the times and places he needed to gain a place in the British team for the European Championships – his biggest target for the season. To do so he had to bring his 1500m PB down from 3.39.92 to under the qualifying standard of 3.37.5 and, to guarantee selection, finish first or second in the trials. Having not managed to achieve the qualifying time in the lead up to the trials he first had to concentrate on placing there.

Scots again dominated the final, taking all the medals, with Neil missing out on the second-place spot and automatic qualifying position by .01 of a second to Jake Wightman, who subsequently went on to win the bronze medal in the Euro Champs. Neil finishing third left the decision up to the selectors even if he managed to secure the qualifying time which he duly did in the exotically named Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, running 3.36.54 on 11 July. The selectors, however decided to pick the athlete who had finished fourth in the trials for the Euro Championships.

Racing back from disappointment

Missing out on Berlin, although a huge disappointment, gave Neil the opportunity to compete in the Scottish Championships where he won his first national title, just holding off a strong challenge from one of the next generation of Scottish middle-distance runners, Sol Sweeney.

Neil was selected to represent GB&NI in the first ever staging of the Athletics World Cup, held in London’s magnificent Olympic Stadium. Neil finished a very creditable third, earning a bronze medal and helping the GB team to an overall third place in the competition.

Neil’s performance also saw him selected to compete in his first Diamond League event which was held just a week later in the same venue. In a world class field, Neil finished eighth, improving his PB to 3.35.98.

Having graduated in Mechanical Engineering, Neil moved to Eugene, Oregon or ‘Tracktown USA’ as it’s known, to join the Oregon Track Club Elite where he is teammates with the likes of Nijel Amos, Hassan Mead and Francine Nyonsaba.

2019: To Glasgow – and Beyond!

At the start of 2019, his first big target for was to qualify for the British Team to compete in the 2019 European Championships being held in Glasgow. With the same selection rules in place the stakes were high, at the British Championships in Birmingham in early February with a top two finish again required to guarantee a place on the team. Neil timed his run perfectly in the final to overtake Elliot Giles to become British 1500m Champion and book his place on the team. The article below from the Oregon Track Club Elite’s website gives some further detail on his season to date.

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite’s Neil Gourley couldn’t have asked for a better start to his professional career.

In just five indoor races, the 24-year-old native of Scotland has lowered his indoor personal best in the 1,500 meters by more than six seconds, claimed his first British Indoor national title in that event, and secured a berth in the European Athletics Indoor Championships, March 1-3, in his hometown of Glasgow.

He couldn’t wait to compete on the global stage in front of his most ardent supporters.

“It’s difficult to put into words how special it will be to compete in these Championships in Glasgow,” Gourley said. “It will be my first time competing in a senior international championship, and I have the privilege of doing so on a track I have trained at countless times. I’ll also be running in front of many of my friends and family, so I’m determined to defend the house against Europe’s best milers.”

The former standout at Virginia Tech tuned up for the European Championships by posting an indoor 1,500m PR of 3 minutes, 38.32 seconds at the Muller Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix last Saturday (Feb. 16). He set his previous best of 3:44.76 in winning the 1,500m title at the British Indoor Championships.

Still, Gourley was far from satisfied with his eighth-place performance in an epic indoor race that featured a world record of 3:31.04 by Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera; the third-fastest time in history by Ethiopian runner-up Yomif Kejelcha at 3:31.58; an Australian national record; and 10 personal bests among the 14 finishers.

“I’m sure at some point I’ll look back on this race and be glad that I was a part of such a historic occasion,” Gourley said.

“But to be completely honest, my initial reaction was that I couldn’t believe that I’d just lost by seven seconds. It’s been a long time since I’ve been that far behind over 1,500m! Time trial style races have never been a strength of mine but I am determined to improve on this and being involved in this level of competition will allow me to do so.”

In March 2019 Neil was just savouring this chance to compete in the Emirates before a home crowd in the GB Euro Team. He qualified for the final with an absolutely commanding performance. He looked, to all those watching, to be in line for a medal before the cruellest of blows as he was struck down with a virus which meant he was unable to take his place in that final. If Neil’s family, friends and supporters from all over were hugely disappointed we could only begin to imagine how Neil felt then and continued to feel subsequently.

It’s the measure of Neil that he returned to his US Training base and track club and settled down to training hard again and set himself the task of qualifying for selection for the GB Team in the 1500m for the World Athletics Champs in September 2019 in Doha.

Having achieved the qualifying time in Seattle in June, he then needed to take 1st or second place at the British Trials in Birmingham on 25th August. This he duly did in a thrilling, sensational win taking the title, gold medal and earning that spot in the company of what must be the most talented band of Scottish 1500m athletes ever. A just reward for years of dedication, commitment, hard work on the track and a huge amount of talent which he modestly seeks to downplay in interviews constantly extolling the virtues and talents of his competitors and their contribution to his success.

The entire body at Giffnock North Athletes, Coaches, Officials Parents and Board salute Neil’s enormous achievements and wish him the very best in Doha. Go Neil!

Important addition

At the British Championships in Birmingham, Neil was presented with a congratulations card from a former British Champion, Bill Nankeville now age 94.

He was the British Champion in the years 1948, 1949,1950 and 1952 right up to Roger Bannister’s historic breaking of the 4 minute mile. It had been intended that Bill would have presented the card in person but he had suffered a fall and was unable to be present. The card was therefore presented on his behalf by Mike Fleet.

Thanks to Bill Nankeville and to Mike Fleet for this historic addition to the recognition of Neil’s success and achievement.

This report is compiled from various sources, but mostly with the input of Neil’s very proud dad Ronnie Gourley. We recognise fully ,as does Neil frequently  in his comments, the input and support required from his parents, his brother Rob, previous coaches at Giffnock North ,especially Gordon Lockie and other supporters over the years which has assisted Neil along with his new back up Team on this journey.

 

 

 

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