Indoor League Kicks Off
While the National Cross Country Relays were taking place on the hills at Cumbernauld, the Scottish Athletics Indoor League [SAIL] had its 1st Match of the 2017-18 Season at the Emirates.
For those new to the League it’s a timely reminder of the strength and success of this league now taking it to its position as the largest Indoor League Competition in GB. The recent league AGM noted that approx. 400 teams from across Scotland will be competing this season with 29 clubs participating and considerable numbers of other clubs knocking on the door, seeking to enter.
Billy Glasgow, League Secretary, reports that this progress and success is down to the enthusiasm of the Athletes, Coaches, Clubs and the invaluable commitment and dedication of the Officials and Administrators who work with him to continue this exceptional League, building on the initial work of the renowned John Innes from the Victoria Park Club who recognised in the days of the Kelvin Hall Arena that there was a need to provide club competition opportunities for athletes in the winter.
Billy underlines the friendly competition opportunities afforded by the SAIL to sprinters and Field eventers as well as Middle Distance athletes looking for opportunities to post times indoors in addition to District and National and Schools competition which can sometimes be daunting for those new to the sport.
Billy could not be more fulsome in his appreciation of the loyal band of officials who have supported him since John Innes had to relinquish the role over 11 years ago. Without this dedication, commitment and input the league would have folded reducing significantly the options for indoor competition.
He identified several challenges to the league, which they have thus far managed to overcome. The Emirates Arena is recognised as a world-class venue and the facilities are superb. However, the popularity of the venue and the demands from other sports have meant considerable challenges in establishing the availability of dates for the 3 Matches of the league and the exciting Finals Match which also includes the 4X200m Relays for all ages from Under11s to Under20s. Traditionally the SAIL operates on a Sunday reducing the possibility of clashes with XC as this weekend [National XC Relays and Schools events [Scottish Primary schools Road relays Championships etc.] With a competition in the Morning which lasted just short of 4 hours and a repeat performance in the Afternoon, it’s a very long day for all concerned. Therefore as you can appreciate the task of producing the results is a mammoth logistical one carried out over the last 11 years by David Cunningham.
While the un-scrutinised results are posted at the event, David has to organise the production and presentation of the finalised results. Billy then sends the results to all the Team Managers to identify any amendments and additions required before the fully scrutinised results produced by David can be made available to all participants via Scottish Athletics and the Power of 10. The hope and expectation is that this can usually be achieved within a week, especially if the Team Managers are in the position to do the necessary checks and respond.
Those of us attending from Giffnock at the Morning session on the 28th October felt the Club had got off to a good start with some excellent performances on the Track and on the Field. There was a Club Record in the U15 Girls Shot Putt from Jennifer Dallas who continues to make excellent progress in this event. We , the GNAC Coaches and Athletes, are already looking forward to the 2nd Match.