Update for all Parents Carers Athletes & Supporters

Dear all,

We hope everyone is well and that, despite all the difficulties,  athletes have been able to maintain some training during this last lockdown.

Following recent information from Scottish Athletics and a Q&A session with them we are providing the following update

There  is no immediate change to training but we expect sessions for Junior athletes to resume soon. Restrictions still apply to all Senior Athletes

12 – 17 year olds are anticipated to be allowed to train from 15 March onwards but we have no specific details yet of group sizes, physical distancing etc. We are planning for a return initially for groups of 8 with 1 coach. Any further changes will be advised as soon as confirmed . We will be looking at risk assessments & re-issuing Covid Guidance for sessions for athletes and parents.

We understand that travel restrictions will still apply and athletes will be unable to travel outwith their local authority area.  Therefore we will be organising training sessions for Glasgow athletes in Glasgow and E Ren athletes in E Ren.

We are checking track availability for a proposed return w/c 15 March. At this time we are still unsure whether all tracks will be available as some schools may not be fully open by that date.

Giffnock North has decided that the U11s, while able to train at the moment, will not return immediately and will, therefore, also return w/c 15 March at the same time as the older age groups.

There is no proposed return on this date for athletes aged 18 and over and they should not be taking part in formal sessions. They are allowed to train informally adhering to the household guidelines in force just now, two adults from two different households.

You will hear soon, we hope, regarding arrangements. You can direct any further enquiries to your coach/ coaches

Thanks for your understanding

Stay safe everyone

NEIL GOURLEY races for GB&NI this week at the European Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland. His 1500 heat is tomorrow Thursday 4th at 19:20 GMT. All going to plan the Final is Friday 5th at 20:20. Watch on the BBC Red Button and online. Neil then has two days to get in shape for an EXCLUSIVE ZOOM Q&A with Giffnock North: Sunday 18:00 (max 100 guests, first come first in).

Neil’s form is encouraging: a recent indoor PB of 3: 35.79 seconds puts him third fastest on the start list, behind Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski and Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen. It should be quite a race, so tune in and cheer on our man. Other Scots to look out for: Andy Butchart (3k), Guy Learmonth (800), Beth Dobbin and Zoey Clark (both in 4×400 relay squad)

Neil’s PBs include (from Power of 10):

600m 1.19.16
800m 1.46.12
1500m 3.35.79i (Josh Kerr’s Scottish indoor record is 3:35.72)
Mile 3.57.11

Neil’s cv includes: World Championship 1500 finalist (Doha 2019, 11th); European U23 medallist (2015 bronze); British 1500 Champion indoors and out; Scottish 1500 and 800 indoor and outdoor Champion (all 2019).

Neil Gourley

Selected Other Achievements (from Neil’s breakthrough 2018 season, compiled by Ronnie Gourley

US 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)
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
Invitation to compete in the 5th Avenue Mile, NY.

All the very best, Neil, for Torun and beyond, from all at the club. ‘Mon the amber and azure!

Report by Croy Thomson

It’s always great to see more volunteers joining in and adding to the club activity especially at this time of COVID-19

We’d like to warmly welcome on board Kieren Mooney . Kieren is going to help in the first instance to develop the club social media presence.

One  of our Senior Endurance athletes he will be a great asset. Along with his brilliant youthful enthusiasm, he brings a wealth of experience and much needed expertise to the role.

Thanks Kieren ! Great to have you !

Commonwealth Games Gold Coast 2018 – (C) Bobby Gavin

International high jumper David Smith talks here about staying sharp and motivated during a demanding year, and shares candid responses along with insightful hints and tips.

David joined Giffnock North as an U11, where his natural bounciness led one coach to describe him as being “like a rubber ball”. Trust a coach to see potential!  David is currently coached by Paul Harrison (Birchfield Harriers) with coaches Ken Allan and Fuzz Caan guiding David in his earlier years.  Now twice a Commonwealth Games athlete for Scotland, David is also a three-time Scottish National champion and joint holder of the Scottish Native high jump record at 2.25 metres. His PB is 2.26 metres, indoors. As well as proudly competing in Giffnock North’s blue and amber, David jumps for London club Shaftesbury Barnet.

How have you coped with restrictions imposed by Covid?

I am quite good at putting things into perspective. With Covid I quickly realised there was nothing that I can do to change the situation. I have good days and bad days just like anyone else and that’s okay. I just try to take things day by day. Having training to focus on has definitely helped.

How is training going in the midst of Covid?

After the initial outbreak with everything getting cancelled, I decided to keep fit but let my body rest and recover instead of doing an outdoor season. I have been able to train pretty much as normal since October and have had access to an indoor facility in Birmingham. Training has been going well and I’m hoping to do some indoors competitions soon.

It’s so much harder for High Jumpers and other Field event athletes like yourself. Any training tips and challenges you could share with us? 

Yes, technical events can be very frustrating! With athletes lacking facilities at the moment due to the pandemic, it can seem impossible to train for field events. Although you can’t jump at the moment, it is important to be creative and adapt training. You can still do some of your popup drills and you can mark out your run up without needing to have a high jump bed. 

When facilities are available again, the best tip I think I can give is not to overcomplicate things, which is a lot harder than it sounds. I have found when I jump it’s better to focus on one technical point and let your body do the rest. Something as simple as keeping tall when running or making sure my first stride is active allows me to execute a really good jump. 

We have a number of young high jumpers. Any special words for them? 

Firstly, to have fun. The reason I do what I do is because I love high jumping. I would also say focus on becoming a good overall balanced athlete. 

Try to become a good runner – 90% of high jump is running. Do lots of jumping on both legs and throwing exercises. It will pay off when you get older and have a foundation of different work behind you. Our best female high jumpers tend to be multi-eventers and I think there’s something in that. 

Also watch YouTube videos of high jump. Begin to understand the event. Watch the best high jumpers and discuss them with your coach. How do they move? How many strides do they take round the curve? How far away do they take off from the bar? 

It’s important to have an idea of what an elite jump should look like and how does that compare to what you’re currently doing?

You are always pleased, it seems, to wear the Club vest and the Club is very proud of you. Can you say something about that?

Yes, I am proud to wear the vest. I have competed for Giffnock North since U11. I have come through the ranks and I am now a senior international athlete. I hope when younger athletes see a Giffnock North vest on the tv, they think, ‘I want to do that’, and believe that they can. 

(C) Bobby Gavin

What kind of support are you receiving generally and what do you think the club should provide in terms of support to elite athletes like yourself?

I’m part of the Scottish Institute of Sport. I get physio provided for me which is a great help. I received some financial help from Giffnock North at the beginning of the pandemic which I am really grateful for. At the moment I get no financial support and work part time while trying to be the best athlete I can be. 

I feel this is a really hard question and one that I honestly don’t know the answer to. In athletics, the only financial funding for athletes comes from British Athletics and only a limited number of athletes are included on this programme. Therefore, athletes either receive full support or get nothing. There is no middle ground. 

I think it would be good if high level senior athletes could receive support from their club to help them to reach the next level – British Athletic funding. It is very difficult to reach this next level when you have to train and work. 

Could all British clubs help their athletes who are just below this level to help them reach lottery funding? Or introduce some sort of bonus scheme if athletes make International teams?  I don’t know the answer, but it would be brilliant if there was more support for athletes trying to reach that next level. Maybe Giffnock North could be the first club to introduce something and challenge how clubs support their best athletes and create a pathway to lottery funding?

Can you say anything about your plans for this year? Can you even make any plans? 

I’m training as if everything will run as planned and I am preparing to the best of my ability. If events go ahead, then I will be ready. If not, I will benefit next year from the training I have put in. 

I plan to do a few indoor competitions. I wont have jumped competitively for almost a year. So, it’s important to get used to competing again. If I make the European Indoor Championships then great, but my main focus is the outdoor season and jumping as high as I possibly can. The British Athletics Olympic Qualification standard is 2.29cm and I feel that is something that I can realistically achieve. 

Any message for all the young athletes for 2021 who, like you, have experienced a frustrating dearth of competition?

All I can really say is to stay strong and things will get back to normal eventually. I know things are really difficult just now in lockdown. Giffnock North is a great club with a strong community and we are all in it together. It would be great to do a high jump session with the jumps group sometime in the future. I am also hopeful that we can have our club awards at the end of the year and be able to celebrate everyones amazing performances!

David Smith: Jumping Through Covid

One of a series, already featuring middle distance runner Erin Wallace and high jumper Nikki Manson. Our thanks to them all for taking time to talk to us, and sharing their responses so openly.


Written originally with junior endurance athletes in mind, and including contributions from fellow coaches and young athletes, the alphabet has something for everyone. Enjoy!

EXCITING NEW FEATURE! Yes, the much-anticipated A to Z of Handy Hints to Help You Get Through This Very Odd Winter.

A is for Adaptability – be prepared to adapt your clothing, footwear  and expectations to the conditions ,the route and the time available to you.
Runners in the snow
B is for Be Safe! – Run where and when it is safe to do so. Consider the weather, underfoot surfaces, bright clothing, is the route well lit, are there people to go with, staying in sight of others. See also H for Headphones and I for ID.
C is for Company – Running solo is all very well, but try to take someone else along, who can at least keep you in sight. Under 13s should definitely keep a tame adult nearby. Always tell someone where you’re going.
D is for Daylight – Think ahead on when you can run in parks, playing fields and golf courses. Try to plan your days (and evenings).
E is for Eat –  Eat the good stuff and plenty of it. Iron-rich foods include green leafy things, meat, nuts, raisins, broccoli, beans, carrots. Eat pasta, rice, potatoes … eat everything put in front of you (not the plate).
F is for Footwear – Wear trainers, trail shoes and spikes that fit properly. You’re all growing. There’s a tendency to wear trainers well past their worn-out date (they’re comfy, yes, but they’re not protecting your feet, ankles, shins, knees …). Wear the best shoes you can for the surface you’ll be running on.
G is for Gloves – Keep your hands and fingers warm and you’ll train/ race better. A spare pair of socks makes a decent pair of gloves if you’re stuck. Mittens keep hands warmer than finger gloves (your fingers can get close together and keep each other warmer, the wee souls.)
G is for gloves
G is also for Golf Courses – Always check they’re allowing people on, to walk or run, but if they are, they’re fabulous places for a run. Be aware of other people. Stay off the putting surfaces!
H is for Headphones –  Please don’t wear headphones while running, it’s dangerous.
End of.
H is also for hydrate –  Even in cold weather, your body will heat up when you exercise, and you’ll lose fluid. Take on water at least after your sessions: dehydration can make you feel dreadful.
I is for ID bands. – The Park Run people issue wristbands that carry personal details in case of accidents. Some form of identification on you or in your clothing is a good idea. Allergies and medical conditions are worth including. Name, address and a contact phone number are basic requirements.
I is also for Ice – Be aware of all surfaces at this time of year. What you think is dark pavement might just be the slidiest slide you’ve ever had the misfortune to slide on. Thanks Matthew Cox for the reminder (based on personal experience, I believe).
J is for Just Run – Forget all the sessions, stopwatches, whistles, races: the main thing is just get out over the doorstep and get a run in, enjoy the fresh air, think about nothing much, relax away from books, lessons, screens, chores … enjoy yourself, you’re one of a tiny minority who run as well as you do. Run for yourself.
K is for Kitbag –  What’s in yours? Everything you need for the session and right after? Water? A snack? Clean dry socks? Change of shoes? Poly bag for wet kit? Toilet roll?! We’d love to compose the perfect list, so let’s hear your suggestions.
L is for Listen – To your coach. To the traffic. To what’s coming up behind you. Most importantly, listen to your body – listen to those wee aches and pains, that sniffy nose, that feeling of tiredness that doesn’t go away, that need for sleep, that glorious feeling when you’re fit, strong and jogging easily with your pals on a Sunday morning warm-down.
M is for Mobile Phone – Carrying your mobile phone when out running helps keep you safe – you can be tracked with it, for one thing. On the other hand, running while looking at the screen is dangerous. See also Headphones.
N is for Never Worry – Please don’t fret over sessions you can’t complete, or not hitting your targets. It happens to every athlete, from elite to beginner, and worrying really is a waste of energy. Look forward to the next one and how good it’s going to be.  Neil Gourley allows himself a maximum of 24 hours to brood over a bad performance ( and the same for feeling chuffed about a good effort )
Neil Gourley
O is for Over-Training – The temptation to do that little bit more can be hard to resist, but don’t give in to it. Do your sessions as well as you can, as consistently as you can, and improvements will come. Signs of over-training include poor sleep, constant tiredness, getting annoyed at unimportant things. Take at least one day off a week. See Zeds.

P is for Positivity –  Simply by stepping out the door for a run is a massive positive in your favour. There are positives to be found in every session – even what feels like a disaster can teach you something. At Giffnock North, we don’t never not got no negatives.

P is also for Pals – Keep in touch with your mates, message everyone in your bubble, however briefly. Include everyone, chat, and encourage each other. Sport is about more than sport: it’s also about friendships and some of them will last you a lifetime. We’ve seen it happen and it’s great.

Q is for Quality over Quantity (though Quantity has a Quality all its own) –  A shortened session done well is worth more than a session done half-heartedly or hurriedly. If you have to shorten your session, so be it, that’s okay, but still make it a good one. As Seb Coe’s coach said, “Never stray too far from speed.”

R is for Rest and Recovery –  Rest and sleep are incredibly important parts of your training and life as an athlete. Regular sleeping and rest days help your body recover from hard efforts, and grow stronger. See also Zeds
S is for Stretches –  Give yourself a greater range of movement for no extra effort, plus make yourself more able to avoid injuries and recover from them. Build stretches into your day, whenever you think of them, and soon you won’t even know you’re doing them. It’s improvement in movement, for free!

S is also for Self-Management – Try to arrange your day, get everything done: you’ll be glad. Doing stuff for yourself prepares you for the day when your coach isn’t there to provide you with safety pins. You’ll be more confident, more resilient, more able to seize the day.

T is for Talk to your Coaches –  We have solutions to just about every imaginable question. Never be afraid to ask what you think might be a daft question: the daft bit is to not ask. Daft questions often lead to funny conversations and brilliant solutions. What if Newton hadn’t wondered, “Why do apples fall?”

T is also for Team-Mates –  Your team-mates keep you going, keep you smiling, amuse and bemuse you in equal measure, send you bonkers messages, remind you where sessions are happening, give you the goss, listen to your ideas. Right now you can’t meet up, but you can keep in touch.
T is for Team-Mates
U is for Uphills – Hill sessions are speed work in disguise. Do them in small sets of twenty seconds, twenty-five, thirty and so on, on the one incline, or throw a few into a running route in a park or golf course. Variety is good! Don’t overdo it.
U is for Understanding – Understanding that all your training and resilience in coping with Covid will prepare you well for coping with competitions as well as other challenges you may face in life.
V is for Vitamins –  Vitamin C is good for you in many ways, including helping your body absorb iron, which is important for young men as well as young women. Orange juice, watermelon, carrots, peas, broccoli, sprouts and tatties are all sources of Vitamin C. Caffeine reduces your body’s ability to take in vitamin C.
W is for Weather – Always weigh up the weather before you go out: truly windy, drenching, icy conditions can make a session almost worthless. Same goes for too hot. However, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing, as they say in the Russian Army (Russians know about bad weather).
W is also for Wash Your Hands –  a good rule at the best of times, it’s never been more important than now. It’s a top tap tip.
X is for in-between 8 and 600, or 10 and 400 – Okay, okay, the letter X is always trixxy so forgive me this once. (If you’re doing the 6X800 one, stick a flat-out 200 at the end, it’s great 5k training. Pace and recoveries are up to you: see also Adaptability and Self-Management.)
Y is for You’ll Never Run Alone –  we’re here for each other and that includes you. Everyone
Childrens race at the Festival of Running, Rouken Glen Park
Z is for Zeds – Always get your zeds, eight hours a night. Your body needs good quality sleep to help it recover and grow. Turn your screens off well before you go to bed. You’ll feel better, think better, study better, train better, conquer the world better, okay maybe not the last one.
Z is also for Zatopek – You knew he’d be here, right? The only athlete ever to win the 5,000 metres, 10,000 metres and marathon at the same Olympics. In his life he showed inspirational inventiveness, adaptability and determination in overcoming astonishing obstacles, not all of them sporting. Emil never gave in, so don’t you dare.
Emil Zatopec
Many thanks to Croy Thomson and all who contributed.





























































When The Going Gets Tough: Coping with The Year of Covid

Nikki Manson Scottish Record Holder at High Jump ( Indoor ) takes time to describe her experience these last months under Covid

Every top athlete’s life is full of ups and downs, but seldom like those experienced in 2020. Here, international high jumper Nikki Manson reveals here how she is managing to stay fit and focused in extraordinarily challenging times, giving open, honest, informative and inspirational answers to questions from her home club, Giffnock North AC.

Overall, how have you coped with Covid restrictions?

I’m not going to lie, initially I found it very tough. I specifically remember having a bit of a breakdown in the car park by the playing fields in Muirend, my sister (a doctor) was working on the frontline in Manchester so training all just felt very trivial. I rallied after a short period and managed to try make the most of what I had locally to train: Glasgow is a very hilly city, so that was a weekly goto; I managed to find a set of stairs by the train station and Glasgow City physiotherapy very kindly lent me some weights. 

 After I managed to take the pressure off things, I was able to find a lot of fun in a slightly more “guerrilla” style training. My strength and conditioning coach and boyfriend Sam and I had to be creative and I think we made good progress in areas which perhaps are often sidelined. 

 Within the sport I think field events (specifically the vertical jumps) have been impacted disproportionately by the pandemic and although I’ve managed to stay fit, strong and fast over the summer, nothing can quite replicate the impact on the legs of a true high jump take off.

 All in all, though, I would say I’ve fared as well as most. It’s been a tough year and one I’ll be happy to see the back of.” 

 How is training going in the midst of Covid?

While I’m still far away from what my “normal” training week looks like, I’m very thankful that I’ve been able to gain access to a high jump bed, a decent gym and somewhere dry to run and drill. After such a long time away it’s been a steep learning curve getting back to the technical side of things but I’m starting to find a bit of a groove again.

 We’re working hard towards some sort of indoor season. There are some areas of my technique which need adjusted and all in all coach Ray (Bobrownicki) has me focusing on a more professionalised approach (getting enough highquality sleep, diet, psychology etc).

 I’m also very lucky to have Stephen Maguire as my performance manager, he’s really teaching me the nitty gritty of what performance truly is.

How did it feel to take the Scottish HJ record and now to be the holder?

I think the best part of breaking the record this year was being able to do it at home, it was so nice to share the record with officials, coaches and team mates I‘ve grown up beside. As they say, “It takes a village” and I’m always aware that behind each and every jump is countless hours of support from the wider community. 

 Hustopece, in the Czech Republic, in February was the scene of an important moment for me personally too, it was my third year competing there and I certainly had some unfinished business to attend to. (Note: Nikki cleared 1.93 metres at the Hustopece Skeskakani meeting, to claim the Scottish record and lead the UK rankings.)

 As proud as I am to be the record holder, in some ways I don’t think about it. It’s a truly great accolade but I still feel like I have potential to fulfil. 

 You are always pleased, it seems, to wear the club vest and the club is very proud of you. Can you say something about that?

I think it’s very important to show where you’ve come from. Regardless of where you are in the world, it’s important to know I’m still the same wee Glaswegian girl doing it for the love of the sport. 

 I also think its important to show that, no matter how good you get, at some point we were all those little kids with the nervous tummy on the start line at an indoor league match.

 Last year I updated my club vest, thanks to Clare and Ronnie, and I was initially a bit superstitious that my ten-year-old yellow and blue’ held some kind of special quality that enhanced my jumping legs, but thankfully the new one works just as well! 

What kind of support are you receiving generally and what do you think the club should provide in terms of support to elite athletes like yourself?

I’m very thankful for my job at the GAA even though its not specific support they’re the ideal employer for an athlete like myself. 

 I’m lucky enough to be on a programme at the Scottish Institute of Sport which helps a lot with access to facilities, and Scottish athletics have helped support travel to some of my competitions over the last few years.

 Scott MacAulay and his team at Glasgow City Physiotherapy have also been a big help in keeping me healthy over the years. 

In terms of club support I think it’s a difficult question and possibly needs to be done on an individual basis; personally, I think transitioning/emerging athletes need to be supported in identifying and accessing the right competitions for their development stage. Often it can be made much easier to access these competitions if you’re not asking the meeting manager to cover your travel expenses. 

 That said, when you’re in the thick of it even just token gestures help a lot; it doesn’t matter how big you get, it still matters to get recognition from your clan!

Can you say anything about your plans for 2021?

The big aim is still the Tokyo Olympics and finally taking that Scottish Outdoor record. 

 Provided things open up enough, I’m just very keen to throw myself into competition, get overseas, compete and experience as much as I can. That said, I’d also like to compete at the Scottish National Outdoor Championships if they can go ahead. It’s one of my favourite competitions of the year and I’ve missed the SAL family a lot.

Any messages for the athletes of 2021, who, like you, have experienced a frustrating dearth of competition? 

Have fun! Don’t worry about the seasons or opportunities missed due to the pandemicthey’re gone. Enjoy this time as a chance to work on your weaknesses, explore your strengths and find your love of the sport. Don’t rush to the finish, enjoy the process and your time will come.

Thanks very much Nikki for another great input. Giffnock North AC appreciates this and all you’ve done to give us training tips during Covid restrictions. All the best from all of us for 2021 and beyond.


2020 ? The season that never was ! Even though the athletics calendar was cut short in March due to the pandemic, 10 Giffnock North athletes still manged to claim 14 National titles.

Congratulations to the following athletes who will receive Certificates for outstading achievement, awarded by the club, which will be distribubted as soon as we are able.


Photographs by Bobby Gavin

u13B Craig Shennan Scottish XC Champion Falkirk
u13B Zander Summerhill Scottish Indoor Shot Put Champion Emirates Arena, Glasgow
u15B Daniel Martin Scottish Indoor Pentathlon Champion Emirates Arena, Glasgow
    Scottish Indoor Long Jump Champion Emirates Arena, Glasgow
    Scottish Indoor 60m Hurdles Champion Emirates Arena, Glasgow
u15B Reuben MacDonald Scottish XC Champion Falkirk
u15G Hannah Ryding Scottish XC Champion Falkirk
    Scottish Junior RR Champion Greenock
u17B Harris Paterson Scottish Indoor 1500m Champion Emirates Arena, Glasgow
    Scottish Indoor 3000m Champion Emirates Arena, Glasgow
u17G Alyson Bell Scottish Indoor 200m Champion Emirates Arena, Glasgow
u20M Finlay Waugh Scottish Indoor 200m Champion Emirates Arena, Glasgow
u20M Reuben Nairne Scottish Indoor Pole Vault Champion Emirates Arena, Glasgow
SenW Nikki Manson Scottish Indoor High Jump Champion Emirates Arena, Glasgow



As many of you will know, in June of 2019, Giffnock North and Great Britain athlete, Luke Traynor, was given a two-year suspension and banned from all competition following a positive test for a recreational drug during a routine out of competition test.

This last week, UK Athletics, following a change in the rules from the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA), have downgraded his original two-year ban to three months.

The reduction in Luke’s ban has come about from WADA’s decision to significantly reduce its sanctions for illegal drugs that do not have a performance-enhancing effect.

After careful consideration the club felt it was important to comment on this matter in the hope that it serves to educate all our members, and in particular our younger athletes, on the dangers and risks of taking illegal drugs.

While we do not wish to minimise the seriousness of Luke’s mistake, it is important to draw the distinction that Luke was not caught cheating through the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). PEDs are a blight on our sport and rob honest athletes of the chance to realise their full potential. PEDs have no place in athletics or any sport.

Luke has been with the club since 2008 and over the years has regularly assisted in coaching many of our young athletes. Despite him going on to represent Great Britain and compete at the highest levels of the sport, he has continued to come back to the club and make time to work with and inspire our next generation of young athletes.

It was therefore all the more surprising and disappointing when the club learned of this incident.

Luke realises that this uncharacteristic lapse in judgement was an extremely serious matter and has shown real contrition since this matter was brought to light.

When approached, he was keen to speak to the club in the hope that others can learn from his mistake.

“I am relieved that this episode is now behind me and intend to move forward with the lessons learned. This was a life changing mistake and something that I will always carry.   I want to take this opportunity to make another apology to those that have supported me at any stage of my career. I understand that this apology will only be meaningful with the correct actions and so I intend to honour this. 

Finally, I now wish to make it clear that I intend to return to athletics and try to continue where I left off in a healthy manner.”

Commenting on behalf of the club, Coach, Dudley Walker, said:

“Like everyone in the club, I was obviously bitterly disappointed when I heard the news. I have known and worked with Luke since he was a young boy. Throughout his many years with the club, he has always been a bright, hard-working and dedicated individual, as well as a great teammate and friend to many in the club. Up until this incident Luke was quite simply a model athlete.

“Having spoken to him in the days and weeks that followed the news of his suspension, I have seen first-hand how disappointed and angry he is at himself. He clearly understands how serious and costly a mistake this was, and has had to learn that lesson the hard way.

“I am confident that this was a momentary and uncharacteristic lapse in judgement from an otherwise honest and dedicated athlete. Nonetheless, I hope this situation can serve as a valuable lesson to all our young athletes on the dangers of drug abuse and how  even a single mistake can have extremely serious consequences.

“Luke is a young man who has made a serious mistake, but who has also paid an enormous emotional toll. Under the circumstances I feel he deserves a second chance. Following this week’s announcement, I am keen we as a club continue to support him in his return to top flight athletics.”

All the  very best to Luke in his renewed quest to realise his talent, from Giffnock North.

Giffnock North Festival of Running 2021

It is with great regret, that due to the on-going COVID restrictions, the Board of GNAC has to announce that the Festival Of Running including the Rouken Glen 10k, will not be taking  place again  this year.

While the Festival takes place in early June, the planning begins in December. We delayed the decision to cancel ,but we are unable  to carry out the normal organisation which contributes to the success of this very popular and much valued local event in our club calendar

We hope to be able to have it back in place for next season.  Keep training and keep safe.

To all coaches, athletes and parents
Following this afternoon’s announcement by the First Minister, the instruction from midnight tonight is ‘stay at home’ and only travel for essential purposes eg work, food shopping, care giving etc. This is being made a legal requirement and will be enforceable in law.
While the full information has still to be issued and then disseminated by our governing body, we would advise that Giffnock North has decided that ALL training sessions are cancelled with effect from today, Monday 4 January. This decision has been taken to comply with the new government directives and will be in force until further notice or at a time when restrictions are amended.
This instruction is applicable to ALL Giffnock North athletes regardless of age or ability.
The decision has been taken to protect all athletes, coaches and volunteers given the current transmission rate of the new strain of the virus.
We will keep you informed of any further changes but in the meantime, please do all you can to stay at home and stay safe.
Covid Co-ordinators and the Board of Trustees of Giffnock North AC

The Board of Giffnock North AC would like to take this opportunity to wish all our athletes, coaches, parents, supporters and all our Committee members best wishes for Christmas and for 2021. This year has been the most difficult year for everyone, but we recognise it’s been especially difficult for many amongst us. From those who have lost loved ones, those having to shield ,to those whose livelihoods have been threatened, all those working in the NHS and all the carers and other essential workers , those who face a doubtful future, those who have had the virus , those who have had to isolate and all the myriad of other problems and  issues which the pandemic has wreaked on us all.

We are grateful that as a club we have been able, since August to return to organised training. Nevertheless, we realise that the situation is necessarily fluid and will continue to be so. However, we will continue to follow the advice from the Scottish Government  and Scottish Athletics via Sports Scotland. We would also like to put on record our thanks to Jackie Alexander and Sara Lang ,our Club COVID Coordinators who have guided us all the way through this process assisted by our Administrative expert Pauline McKay. Grateful thanks also to all our coaches, stepping up to cover additional sessions, reorganising sessions with the last minute changes needed due to numerous changes in the rules and regulations and being there for the athletes throughout all this time.

Last, and certainly not least, we would like to pay tribute to our athletes. They have responded so well to the difficult circumstances they have encountered. Following training programs remotely and abiding by the rules when organised training resumed, joining in competition opportunities when, and as they could, and coping when these have had to be cancelled. The club recognises that this has been extraordinarily challenging.

We also realise how many hopes and dreams have been dashed due to the lack of competition and the aspirations of, what could have been, for teams and individuals. However, we now look forward, with hope that the rollout of vaccines will lead to a significant improvement in all areas of all our lives.

Thanks to everyone for trying to keep us all safe at training and thanks for all the efforts made by so many to try and maintain our fitness, our physical health and our wellbeing during Covid-19.

See you all in 2021 in the meantime take care and stay safe!

Photos from Junior Sunday Park Training Session 20th December 

Virtual Challenge 2

Giffnock North roundup

“Faster, higher, stronger,” goes the Olympic motto. To that maybe let’s add, “Smarter” – technology is helping athletes to compete against each other over the same distance on different days in different places, record and monitor their performances, and rapidly compile, compare and share the results, on a significant scale. 

It’s taken a load of ingenuity, patience, communication, trust and effort by volunteers, coaches and officials, and there are flaws in the process, but it can’t be denied that the Lindsays Virtual Challenges have added interest and entertainment to some pretty bleak months. There’s a definite edge, as you go into the last couple of laps of a 3k, say, when you know your age-group rivals will also be posting fast times … never mind that they’re two hundred miles away: every second counts!

The latest edition of the Lindsays Virtual Challenge, held 4th to 7th December, attracted participation from over 70 clubs across Scotland. Giffnock North AC was well to the fore, in quality as well as quantity.

The Total Distance category saw us second behind neighbours Bellahouston Road Runners (435k to 221.5). We took the same place in the Combined Age/Gender Challenge, this time behind Central AC, our best efforts across the various distances adding up to one hour 17 minutes and 49 seconds, thanks to Oliver Bryers, Cameron Deverill, Reuben Macdonald, Cris Walsh and James Leaf.

The age group breakdowns threw up some remarkable stats and performances.

In the 10k Open, Cris Walsh, Andy Macdonald and Jill Smyllie brought us home in fourth overall, with Cris’s effort earning him third in the M45s, and Jill topping the Women’s Masters ladder. 

The 5k Open saw Reuben Macdonald, Cameron Green and Iain Carroll in fifth. Iain’s run put him top of the M40 category, and cheers to Rob Crusher, third in the M55s, and Allie Chong second in the W45s. Not many Under 17s ran the 5k, so hats off to Reuben for his 15:54 and Cameron for the 16:01. Big shout out too to U17 Girl Charlie Frew for her fine 18:25.

In the 3k, Cameron Deverill, Craig Shennan and Alex Robin gave us another team second behind Central AC. Cameron was third individual out of 151 entrants (and top Under 17 male) over this distance and we had four in the top 13, including an outstanding nine minutes 31 second clocking from Alasdair Nugent. 

Anji Carson’s 13 minutes 24 seconds posting gave her sixth in the 3k Women’s Masters. The 3k provided a happy hunting ground for our U17 Girls: we placed six in the top nine in the age group:

1, 2, 3 were Hannah Ryding, Valencia Wright and Kate Paul, all under 11 minutes, then fifth, seventh and ninth were Zoe Flower, Isla Scott and Kirsten O’Donoghue, all under 12 minutes.

The U15 Girls ran nine girls into the top 25, with Katy Donnelly, Millie MacFarlane, Ella Youngs, Ruth Walsh and Hazel O’Donoghue all under 12 minutes.

The 1500m Challenge saw Freya Campbell top the U13 Girls listings with her five minutes seven seconds effort, backed by Lauren McPherson third and Sarah McNulty fourth. The U13 boys over the same distance packed six into the top nine places, with Oliver Bryers third overall (four minutes 48 seconds), followed closely by Thomas Reay, Calum Dick, Lewis Davidson, Tristan Robin, Patrick Fraser, Charlie McAllister and Matt Shaw.

Never ones to be left out, the Under 11s also contributed to the excitement. Logan McNulty clocked a splendid five minutes 18 second 1500 metres time to claim second on the listings, with Finlay Laskey only five ticks behind. Holly Simpson and Nicole Yates were top class sixth and seventh U11 Girls in five minutes 48 seconds and five minutes 49 respectively.

Apologies to those unmentioned, the internet isn’t big enough to include you all. Huge applause and respect to all who turned out and participated so enthusiastically in making the Challenges possible. We are more than a club, and athletics is more than a sport.

Final thoughts

It’s never going to replace the real thing, and the results are indicative rather than comprehensive, but the Lindsays Virtual Challenges are surely to be praised and supported for their enterprising approach, their scope and the focus they have provided. The markers put down in times will be used for selections in upcoming races – fingers crossed we salvage some races in the Spring – so we still have a structure in place that provides incentives and encouragement. 

PS Only in the writing of this did I discover that the word ‘smart’ used in the technological sense derives from ‘Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology’. And here was me thinking it was Several Miles of Agonised Road and Track. Every day a school day.

Full results: https://salicence.sportserve.net/useruploads/eventinfo/11600-RoadChalII%20Full%20Results.pdf

Thanks to Croy Thomson for this report !

The next virtual challenge for Endurance is scheduled for early January . More information will be made available by coaches as initial arrangements will have to be changed as a result of our return to Tier 4 Regulations after Boxing Day 

Introduction by Dudley Walker

When she toed the starting line in the Kelvin Hall on the 13th of December 2009 who’d have thought Erin would be where she is today. Her club debut was at an indoor league match in a 600m race in a time of 2:12.18, in third place behind Holly Little from COGVP.

From that day Erin’s progress has been remarkable as she divided her time between triathlon and athletics. Coming through the age groups at the club saw her be part of an exceptionally talented group of young female athletes who shared numerous team title wins. Athletes including Danielle Kelly, Nikki Miller, Rebecca Metcalfe, Sarah Eunson and Holly Still all joined forces with Erin to sweep the boards in competition in Scotland and beyond.

Erin’s individual improvement has been relentless, seeing her take so many titles and break numerous age group records. Have a look at the Power of 10 link below to get an idea of her achievements. Having stepped away from triathlon to focus on athletics, Erin joined Jemma Reekie and Laura Muir in Andy Young’s elite training group in 2019 but remains very much a Giffnock North athlete, and continues to wear the amber and gold colours with pride.

Clare Stevenson recently spoke to Erin and completed the following Q& A with her. Thanks to Erin, who despite her busy schedule has taken time out to give us a flavour of what she’s been up to and her plans for the future.


Q&A with Erin Wallace

Q: How is the pandemic impacting on your life as an athlete and student?
“At the beginning of the pandemic, I took lockdown and competition cancellation as a positive thing. Since switching to full-time athletics I have struggled with injuries in the past year or so, so with no competitions or pressure to get back into heavy training, I took time to build up my sessions and mileage before competition resumes again.

Recently, especially with return to university and the winter months, it has been more of a struggle, and with restrictions going on and off everything has been a bit uncertain, but it is nice to see light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine.”

Q: What does the Olympic Academy means to you?
“It is really nice to be recognised and invited onto such an important pathway and it gives me more confidence going into the future.”

Q: How is training going in the midst of COVID?
“It hasn’t been too bad- despite access to track, gyms and pools etc being a bit all over the place. I think athletics is a good sport to be in, especially long distance running because a lot of training can be done in parks and streets. My training group is lucky that we have managed to get a few weeks at altitude in South Africa before Christmas. I am lucky to still be able to access some sports facilities despite the lockdown through the Institute of Sport and I have been training hard the whole time- so hopefully it pays off next season.”

Q: How are you dealing with academic demands as well as training?
“This year uni has been online so it hasn’t been too bad as I can fit my lectures in around training. Other years, I have just worked out what training I need to do and how much studying/academic work I have to do in order to feel ready for exams. It is easier to plan ahead if you know what coursework/training you will have to do.”

Q: Can you say anything about your plans for next year?
“European U23 Championships will hopefully go ahead in July 2021 and that is my main goal for the year. They’re to be hosted in Bergen, Norway, which is apparently the rainiest city in western Europe – should suit a Glasgow girl perfectly.”

Q: Any message for all the athletes for 2021 who, like you, have experienced a frustrating dearth of competition?
“I think it is important to remember that competition will return at some point and although it seems unlikely to be soon, when it does it’ll come around quite fast. Try to be ready.”

All the best, Erin, from all at the club, and here’s to a fit, fast and healthy 2021.

Check out Erin’s Power of 10 profile here: Athlete Profile (thepowerof10.info)

Pictures show Erin with her training squad in South Africa. You may recognise one or two of the other athletes. It has been impossible to verify if Erin’s training includes outrunning hungry cheetahs. No cheetahs were prepared to answer the question.

NOTICE of the Club AGM


This year the Club AGM will be held on Wednesday 25th November at 7.30pm and given the current circumstances regarding Covid-19, It will be conducted via Zoom. Only members of the club including parent members will be allowed to join the call. All relevant documentation and papers for the AGM will be sent to the members for reading & printing off in the next week.

Those who wish to attend the meeting or submit any motions should indicate their desire to do so by emailing the secretary Yvonne McNairn –  gnaacsecretary@yahoo.com by 13th November at the latest .


Yvonne McNairn
GNAC Club secretary

Bill Rees

It is with great sadness that we mark the death of long term senior endurance member Bill Rees who passed away earlier this month from a brain tumour.

Bill had a lifelong interest in sports but came to running relatively late.  He originally joined the club in the late 1990s while working at Glasgow University and returned to the club in 2009 after a number of years working overseas.

In his early sixties, Bill decided to try his hand at triathlon.  There was soon no stopping him and he progressed to competing in the European and World Triathlon championships, representing Ireland in the “vintage” age group.

Bill was running with the club as recently as 18 months ago until his diagnosis and remained a regular parkrunner until February this year, completing 224 parkruns in total. While his later runs took him over twice as long as his earlier runs they were all the more impressive for that.

Bill had a varied career as an academic, latterly as Professor of Financial Analysis at Edinburgh University, and loved travel which provided him with a fund of good stories. He was always interesting and entertaining company, encouraging of his fellow athletes but also determined, where possible, to outrun them!

He will be much missed by his friends at the club.

Our thoughts are with Bill’s wife and fellow senior endurance member Sue.  We hope to welcome Sue back into the fold once it is possible for us to run as a group once again.


It is with great sadness we report the death of Michelle Kelly, after a bravely-borne episode with cancer. Below we have a message from the club, followed by a most moving tribute from Michelle’s daughter Danielle, who has competed and excelled for Giffnock North AC, through the age groups, from Under 11 onwards.

From Giffnock North AC:

Often, it was the voice you noticed first, loud and clear across the cross-country courses and the stadiums: “COME ON, DANIELLE!” Michelle would be right there, rain or shine, in support of her children, Danielle and Dylan, spurring them on, not accepting less than 100%, but always supportive with a smile, a laugh and a hug at the finish line, no matter what.

Michelle had the heart, warmth, optimism and generosity to forever spread the support and encouragement around, to other young athletes who needed a positive word, or a lift (in morale as well as the car). She contributed further by coaching for a while, and is fondly thought of by the youngsters in her group, for the steps up she helped them take. She was a pleasure to be with, easy for other coaches to chat to, always willing to help whenever she could.

With Michelle on the team, you were never beaten, you were just on the road to more fun, more adventures, more achievements.

Our deepest condolences go to her husband Marcus, Danielle and Dylan.

From Danielle Kelly, with her permission:

“My beautiful mum slipped painlessly away early this afternoon. She was unsurprisingly strong and incredibly brave throughout, and I hope it brings some comfort to know how at peace and unafraid she was. My mum is my best friend, my athletics binging buddy and the person who believed I could achieve things I never thought I could. I was her shadow. The loss of such an extraordinary person leaves behind a hole which is indescribable, but this pain helps remind us of the unconditional love felt for my mum and the love she gave in return. My brother and I feel so lucky to have had such a loving bond with our mum, we were so close knit it was a struggle to be apart. The love between my mum and dad was like that seen within cheesy rom com movies, they were constantly laughing and winding each other up, undeniable icky soulmates. My mum has had such a large impact on so many lives, through the work that she loved and through athletics. Her cheerful personality could brighten even the darkest of days, and her loud motivation could be heard in the biggest fields. Although our time together was cut so unfairly short the memories created, lessons learned and hugs squeezed in show that not one minute was wasted. As sad as we are, I hope to live by her beautiful words and “Always find time to squeeze in a smile”, and I hope others can too. Until we can laugh together again, we love you mum and thank you.”

An amazing tribute from Danielle Kelly.  It painted the picture of  the Michelle that we at Giffnock North all recognise and loved Thank you Danielle.

And Croy Thomson

The Virtual London Marathon in Glasgow

Report from Russell Whittington

At 9.30 on Sunday 4th October Crispin Walsh, Shona Donnelly and I set off from Clarkston Toll, supported by Gordon Goldie from Bellahouston Roadrunners on his bike, to run the VirtualLondon Marathon around Glasgow.  Without the routine of Giffnock North training my fitness levels have dropped off significantly so I was looking for something to focus on to get training back on track (or road or cross country).  On top of that I had originally signed up to run the London Marathon in April and  raise funds for a Fetal Scanner Appeal that my employers Barclays were promoting.  When the London Marathon was cancelled and replaced by the Virtual London Marathon it gave me the opportunity to cover both of these goals.

After a very rainy Saturday the weather was much improved so we were all set for a run in decent weather conditions.   The route had been planned in advance by Gordon and he was at each checkpoint to take photos and remind us where we were going next.

The first checkpoint was Migo Sports and from there we headed down to Hampden Stadium.  After our photo stop we ran anti clockwise around the outside of the stadium and up our first uphill section.  From there we headed back towards the city centre, over the Clyde and into Glasgow Green and then out to the Emirates Arena and Celtic Park.

From there we headed back down London Road into the city centre to my favourite gig venue The Barrowlands.  We then worked our way through the Sunday morning shoppers to get to George Square to have a photograph in front of the City Chambers before hitting the West End.  At the University Café Crispin and I couldn’t resist taking a seat for a quick rest before heading through the Clyde Tunnel to get us back in the South Side.

The south side section of the run took us through Govan, past Ibrox Stadium, round Bellahouston Park.  At the monument in Bellahouston Park we were cheered on by another Giffnock North runner Graeme Patterson with his wife Chi and son Joseph with some colourful signs saying Go Cris and Rocket Russ.  I have been assured that the rocket was referring to speed rather than the other Scottish meaning of the word rocket.

Our final section of the run took us back over the Clyde via the Science Centre, the SECC, The Hydro and the Finnieston Crane and then along the river for a finish back at West Brewery in Glasgow Green where we met up with our families and had some lunch and a beer.

I am looking forward to getting back into full training and doing the real London Marathon, but planning and running a Virtual London Marathon in my home city with good friends has been a fun and rewarding experience.

I am also pleased to say that we have raised £1282 towards the Scanner Appeal which will be matched by Barclays.  If anyone else would like to add to that the link is attached below:-https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Russell-Whittington

Thanks Russell for this report and well done to all the virtual marathoners and runners on Sunday !


Great news today that we have now been shortlisted with 4 Nominations for the Club for the Scottish Athletics Awards with Alyson Bell nominated in the category for U17 Athlete Performance of the Year

Off Track Club of The Year

U17 Performance Athlete of the Year  :  Alyson Bell

Development coach of the Year : Billy Glasgow

Official of the Year :  Doleen Galbraith

As we know, in this challenging year of 2020, the Awards Night will be a virtual event which is a great pity for all those nominated as we would all have preferred to have seen them attending the normal celebrations. However, we will need to find some way of maximising our participation and involvement to mark the successes which come with being shortlisted in all these categories. Congratulations  to all our nominees. Watch this space. We can all join on You Tube on Saturday evening with Bryan Burnett hosting


Scottish National Hill Running Championship

On a glorious sunny September weekend, the mountain goats of the land set off for Comrie in search of ascent. And that they found. Beginning at Comrie Croft; runners ascended 786m to the top of Carn Chois where the finish line waited above a cloud inversion and stunning views of Comrie for miles around. 12k and 2,500ft of ascent made for a glorious day in the hills for the Giffnock North Trio, Rhona Mowat, Yvonne McNairn and Allie Chong.
To top it off, the girls came home with a Bronze medal (after a quick recalculation of the results by our very own Allie Chong) behind two young whippet teams from Edinburgh Uni Hares and Hounds. Placing 14, 16 and 17, the girls finished ahead of Carnethy Hill Runners to claim the third place.

Allie Chong also bagged the Silver V40 prize! Well done Allie!

Well done all!

A great report from a rare 2020 competition !!!Thanks Yvonne !

Billy Glasgow

Club has been shortlisted in two categories for the 2020  Scottish Athletics Annual Awards.This will be held virtually [in this weird and very challenging year for the whole planet]

Dudley Walker, Coach was delighted to see Giffnock North shortlisted again for Off Track Club of the Year  “.The growing strengths in our Senior Women ranks and the  beginning signs of an improved retention rate of young Junior Athletes U20s both Male and Female has  made a significant contribution to this as well as the strength and depth within the Junior Ranks.”

The Club  were also delighted to see Billy Glasgow, Sprints Coach, shortlisted  in the  Development Coach of the Year Category. Billy over the years has concentrated on the Sprints Development Squads in the club He has not often been able to support the individual success of talented young athletes as we have witnessed this year with his coach input to Alyson Bell. He would be very quick to point out that it is Alyson’s own talent, dedication, committment and attitude to training which earned her a place at the Senior British Champs this year in Manchester. This is in addition to her collection of Scottish Age groups records. We concur with that perspective but would also highlight the crucial support of Billy as her coach, Alyson’s family’s input and her training group who have also contributed to her success.


Congratulations to all the  club members who have contributed to these shortlistings . Look out for more announcements of the results.

Advance notice of Seminar on Female Athletes & Menstruation. Will be held via Zoom .

Date for the Diary Wed 23rd September at 7.00pm

This event is for Junior Female Athletes from U13 to U23s

” Lynne MacDougall will be hosting this event along with Allie Chong and our own Erin Wallace. This is a very welcome opportunity to discuss Periods , Implications for Athletes & the impact on Training & Competition. We will have a great input from Erin as to how she has managed this as an elite athlete.
Emails with details as to how to sign up for the event will be coming soon. So this is advance notice so that you can make time available .  This is a crucial subject for all Junior female athletes.

Wednesday 23 September at 7pm

THREE COUNTRIES, TWO WEEKS, ONE PB. Giffnock North’s very own Erin Wallace put in another battling performance last night in wet, blustery and thoroughly unhelpful conditions, racing to a hard-earned second place at the BMC Gold Standard 1500m event in Stretford, Manchester. Poised in third at the bell, Erin moved up a gear and a place down the back straight, but couldn’t catch Aldershot’s Amy Griffiths, who stopped the clock at 4:13.48. Erin’s 4:16.94 marks her third strong effort over the metric mile in 14 days, complementing a new PB of 4:12.57 (Bydgoszcz, Poland, 19th August) and 4:16.74 (Turku, Finland, 11th August).

Well done, Erin, it’s good to see the amber and royal blue vest at big meets … but where are the blue shorts?!

Report by Croy Thomson

In Finland this week , the land of the midnight sun, Giffnock North’s Erin Wallace produced a bright and welcome return to racing after a long lay-off with injury, posting four minutes 16.75 seconds for sixth in a high-class 1500 race. The event in the city of Turku was part of the meet dedicated to Finnish distance legend Paavo Nurmi, who revolutionised the sport in the early 20th century. Great footsteps to follow in, Erin, well done and brilliant to see you back on track and racing strongly again.

Thanks to Croy Thomson

Congratulations to under 17 sprinter Alyson Bell who has been invited to compete in the Müller Senior British Athletics Championships.

Following on from Alyson’s very successful season as a first year under 17, winning a total of seven National & School titles she got off to a great start in her second year by picking up another 3 National & School titles indoors and she broke the Scottish record for the 60m indoors in a new time of 7.57. Needless to say her achievements have not gone un-noticed and they have earned her an invite, which she has gratefully accepted to compete in the 100m at the Müller British Athletics Championships at Manchester Regional Arena on 4th and 5th September 2020.

Other Giffnock athletes invited to the championhsips are Erin Wallace, Neil Gourley and Nikki Manson.   Good luck to all.


Important Announcement 

 Due to circumstances outwith our control THERE WILL BE NO TRAINING AT WILLIAMWOOD HIGH SCHOOL NEXT WEEK and for the foreseeable future.
All  the external lets including the track at Williamwood HS have been cancelled by ERC until further notice 
We realise that this decision is due to the priority rightly being afforded to education and the imminent opening of schools. 
We ask all our athletes affected by this cancellation of training sessions on  MONDAYS ,TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS to await further information which will follow from Coaches.
We also ask you to extend your patience as we seek to make alternative arrangements . You will already be aware that Scottish Government and Scottish Athletics guidance requires us to adhere to strict rules regarding pre-booking of sessions in order to meet Test & Protect requirements. We all have to play our part in dealing with COVID-19 despite the frustrations of the systems at our disposal.
PLEASE WAIT till you are contacted by the Club as identifying alternative venues and time slots at existing & different venues will take some time to organise and put into action and Risk Assessments will need to be reviewed.
 Thank you for your understanding.

GROUP TRAINING HAS RESUMED for several sections of the club. Under Phase 3 of the Scottish Government and Guidance from Scottish Athletics we have been able to resume some Group Training within the Junior Section of the club. This commenced initially with the older Age Groups U13/15/17 +. & U17/20 Sprints Squads.Senior Sprints Squad Group training not restarted as yet. Senior Endurance are considering options under Phase 3 & 4 and these will be notified . U11s will follow as soon as possible.
In the interests of safety for all and the challenge of COVID-19, this requires us to adhere strictly to smaller training groups, to the Pre-Booking of classes , to ensuring our Data is up to date for any Contact & Trace need and to hygiene measures at sessions to prevent any transmission of the virus.
These arrangements are complicated administratively. You will receive or have received details from coaches . Please be patient and follow the advice carefully.
Our CLUB COVID Co-ordinators are Jackie Alexander [email jackie.alexander2912@gmail.com] & Sara Lang [email Sararusselllang@btinternet.com] Most queries re training will be dealt with by your coaches but we add these contacts here for information for any queries not related to Training issues. The COVID Co-ordinators have been appointed by the Board of the club to help us ensure we adhere to the Scottish Govt Advice and of course, that of our governing body- Scottish Athletics. On the SA website you will be able to see the extensive information which has been made available to all Coaches, Parents, Athletes, Officials and Club Committee and which has required substantial updating by Scottish Athletics as  each Phase of the easing of restrictions has occurred. Link to Phase 3 Guidance here: hhttps://www.scottishathletics.org.uk/clubs/club-support/coronavirus/

Michael at MIGO Sports, our Club Kit Supplier has kindly set up a page for members to buy club kit online.
As Michael says “This is just to make it easier for those who can’t or don’t want to be in shops at the moment “









Our club has, over the years, been involved in various discussions/plans/ideas/possibilities to improve and develop facilities  for the Club. As yet we’ve not been able to bring anything to fruition –  a source of frustration to many of us as one of the largest Athletics clubs in Scotland
Following a decision of the AGM we have set up a Facilities Committee to lead the discussion and outline a plan for future facilities for Giffnock North.  The Committee is established and has met, although it would be fair to say that it’s work has been adversely affected as everything else by COVID-19.
The committee membership is as below:
Ronnie Gourley – Chair
Ian McMoneagle – Club Treasurer and Trustee
John Davie  – Coach Jumps
Rob Crusher – Senior Endurance Club Member, Parent and board member of East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Trust.
Lesley Campbell – Parent  with interest in Junior Endurance and Sprints
Stephen Gourlay – Coach and Parent , Sprints & Hurdles
Clare Stevenson – Coach U11s and Trustee
Ronnie is a former coach at the Club Has a background in Education and Local Authority  Sports Development as well as Rugby Club Development. He is also a Member of Scottish Athletics Track and Field Commission and, of course, is Neil Gourley’s dad.
The Committee will undertake this work liaising with partners and reporting back to the Board.
This is the start of this journey and we are posting this statement to advise our Athletes, Coaches, Officials, Parents and Supporters. There will be a more formal consultation within the club at a later stage but in the meantime anyone who wishes to put forward any ideas or suggestions to the committee at this initial stage is very welcome to contribute. Please feel free to email either Ronnie Gourley  at r.gourley1@ntlworld.com ,Ian McMoneagle at marathon9@ntlworld.com or Clare Stevenson at c.stevenson@giffnocknorth.co.uk

We hope all our athletes, coaches, parents, families, officials & supporters  are well.

All members will have today recieved the email from Colin Hutchison Head of Development at Scottish Athletics outlining the guidance for Club Athletes etc following the introduction of Phase 1 Easing of Lockdown Restrictions  announced today .

We are all hoping and looking forward hopefully to the continued easing of the restrictions over the next period of weeks . Phase 1 is obviously limited.  The Coaches Committee will be convened asap to discuss the implications and consider how we go forward in the club.  This will be then cascaded to all coaches and then to athletes .

The full guidance is attached with links to the proposed Exit Plan Framework and the refinements which will be agreed at each stage.

Any queries in the meantime please raise with your coach.

View this email in your browser
Dear Member

I hope this e-mail finds you well.

scottishathletics have been closely following developments as we begin to emerge from lockdown, and have now updated the scottishathletics Exit Plan Framework. We have also created our own ‘route maps’ for clubs, coaches and athletes that adhere to the Scottish Government’s latest advice.

The guidance will come into effect from Friday 29 May 2020.

The key advice for Phase 1 is that one-to-one coaching is permitted if it is outdoors, physical distancing can be maintained, and is with members of your household and/or members of one other household. A coach should not deliver training to more than one household at any one time or provide training to more than one household per day.

All documents are available to download from scottishathletics – exit plan framework and guidance documents

Kind regards

Colin Hutchison
Head of Development

Welcome to our club coach collage collection , creatively composed again by Yvonne McNairn.

Please forgive the few omissions – there are one or two, sorry -We’ll try and sort that when we can

Many thanks to all the Coaches, our great Young Coaches here and also our invaluable Parent Helpers who have contributed and continue to co-operatively construct our competitive , compassionate, confident and collaborative club !!

Collage courtesy of    Yvonne McNairn

Subtitles & Alliteration courtesy  of Croy Thomson.

Thanks everyone.





Club members, some anyway, may have been surprised to see the name of Grant Muir featuring near the top of the Scottish Athletics Leaderboard for the recent Virtual Mile.

Grant – an outstanding athlete* and contemporary, club-mate, school-mate and friend of Neil Gourley, is currently in Australia. He sent us this recent update from his base there.

“It’s been a strange year so far hasn’t it! That being said I’m working well as a physiotherapist and my employment hasn’t been affected, thankfully. I’m still in Australia and have been given permanent residency. I’m committed to staying until I feel like I want to come home for good! Though I was planning to come home for a month in June, this will be postponed.
I had a good season last year running 1.49 multiple times and ran a 3.46 recently. My highlight was probably winning the Victorian Senior 800m in March. This was a nice set up for the Australian Champs, which unfortunately were cancelled due to COVID-19.
As for the Virtual Mile run itself, the trail was beautiful. But unfortunately everyone else had the same idea as me! I can only compare it to Parkrun, where you’re constantly bobbing and weaving around prams and doggies haha! There were thankfully no casualties.
Hope you are all well, I’m still proud to represent Giffnock North”
Thanks, Grant, always good to hear from you, and we are all delighted to know that you’re sporting the Blue and Amber in Australia. Here’s to many more g’days for you on track and trail. Check out Grant’s Pof10 Profile:
*Grant features in three still-standing Scottish national outdoor records:
U17 3,000m  8:34.06 set in Gateshead on 03.09.2010
U20 3x800m 5:47.12 set in Pitreavie on 24:06.2012 (Grant Muir, Neil Gourley, Jack Walker)
U15 3x800m 6:21.99 set in Grangemouth on 15.06.08 (Jack Walker, Grant Muir, Max Lott)


Many thanks to Yvonne McNairn our Club Secretary and leading senior athlete for pulling together this excellent collage of Senior Endurance Athletes . All lockdown photos during COVID -19. Virtual gathering and Virtual races all round. Thanks Yvonne.

Our very own Michael Cross and his band, Popup, have produced the new official theme tune for the increasingly popular Tartan Running Shorts Podcast (recent guests include the Hawkins brothers and Steph Davis). Michael is interviewed on the show, talking about his music and running – including his allocated Giffnock North place at the London Marathon. Also featuring in this episode is Olympian Chris O’Hare. Great stuff Michael

See post below / listen here: http://hyperurl.co/lba26u

Tartan Running Shorts Post



It is with great sadness that the club has to announce that Alistair Shaw, stalwart runner and SA Timekeeper with Giffnock North AC, passed away yesterday morning. He will be remembered as a Giffnock legend for winning many age category titles both at National and International events – truly the end of an era.

Alistair by his long term running buddy, Bernie Campbell

I was introduced to Alistair on the start line of one of the Glasgow Marathons in the early eighties by Dr.Ian Kerr who was also to become another GN stalwart. Ian suggested that we should be aiming for a Sub 3 and that we were well suited for such an attempt despite both of us having only ever competed in one previous Marathon – needless to say we failed. This was to be the start of a friendship which lasted decades and when all three of us joined at the inauguration of Giffnock North it taught us what real training was all about.

Alistair immersed himself in Running which apart from his golf seemed to be his main focus in life. He often said to me that he had wished he’d discovered the Sport earlier given that he started Running at the age of 46. He and I were into using Heart monitors as a means of control both in training & competition and with an age difference of exactly 10 years it was easy to keep an eye on our predetermined training bands.

Ever helpful, he was a constant at our Festival of Running both as a Timekeeper and Course measurer and always had time to chat with anyone – I could tell some great stories of his chance meetings with fellow runners.

A prolific trainer he was used to success which came in his various age categories both at Local, National & International level. – World bronze Marathon medal with the UK Vets Team, individual  European half Marathon medal, British Vets Champion (twice) and age category winner of numerous Races including three times at the Dublin Marathon.

He was one of a group invited to take part in a study, at the Victoria Infirmary, as to why Scotland had a high percentage  of ‘Running’ Septuagenarians.

After the loss of his wife, Betty, he struggled to cope and subsequently ended up in care were he passed yesterday.

A real Gentleman in the true sense of the word – it was a privilege to know you and to call you my friend.

Alistair far right

Glasgow City Physiotherapy has developed an online Training Camp  and is offering this to Giffnock athletes at a discount cost of £25
Several of our leading athletes involved as you can read below

“Glasgow City Physiotherapy who help keep some of Scotland’s top athletes heathy have put together an online running camp to help level up your running during lockdown!

The ten day camp will address all areas of running performance with sessions focussing on mobility, S&C, psychology, diet and meal preparation, injury prevention as well as elite athlete Q&As.

With a special club discount, GCP are offering this camp to members of Giffnock North for the price of £25 with the code Nikki-Neil (please add this to the notes section of the booking).

It’s a great way to keep your running on track during these uncertain times!

Bookings at the link below


Additional message from Nikki Manson who has contributed to this development along with Neil Gourley and Erin Wallace
“The camp is aimed at endurance athletes (and these athletes will get the most out of it) however it is suitable for all areas of athletics.
It is mostly educational with some practical mobility and S&C sessions – Scott and his team will not provide running sessions.
The aim is to provide additional content to give a more holistic approach to training and competing.
It is going to look at the “easy money” gains, the small stuff that makes a big difference, the performance enhancing stuff that doesn’t require you to be panting on your back!
Glasgow City Physiotherapy have consulted with a range of Scottish athletes such as Giffnock’s own Neil and Erin , Phillipa Millage, Sarah Inglis, Adam Craig among others so hopefully this could provide motivation for some during this strange time.
Attached is  a provisional timetable to give you an idea of what to expect from the camp. “
 Thanks Nikki !

Scottish Athletics have published a further bulletin with very useful advice and guidance around various aspects of current Corona /COVID-19


Message to all Parents and Athletes re Membership Fees.

Due to COVID -19 we suspended Club Fees until further notice. Some fees are still being paid by Standing Order. This is despite the move for Junior Athletes to our new membership system, LoveAdmin, where fee payments are by Direct Debit.
Can we ask parents of Junior Athletes to check for the various emails we previously sent re the  transfer from Standing Orders  to DD.
Can you now please cancel Standing Orders which are still currently in place and follow the direction to pay by DD when training can resume.

Senior Membership fees will also be requested via LoveAdmin and by Direct Debit when training resumes.

Stay Safe . Keep well everyone.

Message from Billy Glasgow GNAC Chairman
I hope you are all well despite the difficulties we are currently facing.
I would just like to remind athletes to keep in touch with their coaches re training advice and programmes. I would  also remind you that the  clear advice from Scottish Athletics based on the guidance from the UK and Scottish Governments is unaltered.
 Scottish Athletics statement  regarding group training.
“In view of the latest advice from the Scottish and UK Government, we would stress that group training should not be taking place in any shape or form or any face-to-face coaching. You are now restricted to one form of exercise a day and these should be undertaken alone or only with a member of your household.
Whilst athletics is predominantly an outdoor sport that allows athletes to exercise in the fresh air, the message to all of us is absolutely clear: we must play our part in containing the spread of COVID-19.
All at Scottish Athletics urge our members to utilise the opportunity to exercise as laid out by both governments.
But, as such, any informal small group training sessions of athletes or face-to-face coached sessions must now cease (*unless they are with your own household members as above).”
 At the club we recognise how important it is for physical and mental well being to exercise regularly. Young athletes need to exercise with their household or  be overseen by a parent.  It is crucial that the message re group training  must be observed . So we all need to keep active but we must also maintain social distancing and stay safe.

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.


Coronovirus: advice on events and club training

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


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.


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



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.

Health Benefits of CBD During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Not only does CBD for sleep benefit your headspace but there are also a handful of benefits that transcend lowering stress and anxiety levels. A lot of times, mental discomfort starts to manifest in physical ways, such as when poor mental health causes low energy and sluggishness. You can find the best CBD flower products based on your current needs at laweekly.com website.

Since we don’t have control over the pandemic, and the return to society as we know it might not take place anytime soon, it’s important to find ways to manage stress in healthy and productive ways, CBD gummies for sleep is one of the safest supplements out there, and you can reap the benefits without experiencing the high so often associated with cannabis.

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/ .


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.


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

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


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.