Report by Sara Lang
Hurricane Irma may have been hitting Florida but 35 Giffnock North athletes hit Stornoway at the weekend. Hopefully not as much debris to clear up, but certainly a highlight for many of our younger athletes.
Who would have thought our thrower Ollie would emerge as a high jumper?..
Who could have predicted that the elderly American couple sitting in our midst on the ferry back (and I did worry for them) would comment on how well behaved our group of athletes were compared to others they had experienced on the way over?…
In the quiz set by the U17 girls on the bus journey home, who would have guessed that one of the answers given to ‘Who is William James Adams better known as….?’ would be…. ‘Billy the head coach’! (it’s will.i.am by the way!)
As always with trips away, it is often the events off the track that are most memorable.
That should not take away from what was another successful voyage north to retain the trophy we had previously won in 2015 and 2013. The match itself against Central, Livingston, Stornoway and a Uist Select was competitive to say the least. It wasn’t until lunch time that it became apparent that we might be slightly ahead in terms of points, at which stage our unstoppable band of athletes put their foot to the floor. We won all but 2 of the 200m heats and all but 2 of the relays to firmly secure an overall margin of around 200 points. The weather was not conducive to many PBs in the morning session, being wet and windy, but by the afternoon session things were much drier and the sun was trying so hard to make an appearance. Either that or we were all so full of beautiful home-made soups , sandwiches and cakes that everything felt warmer!
The Stornoway hosts didn’t fail to keep up their reputation of providing outstanding (and delicious) hospitality. The overflow from the lunch spread even managed to make its way to the ceilidh that night just to make sure we couldn’t possibly be starving!
As we have discovered on previous trips bringing a group of teenage athletes to a ceilidh can be hit or miss – Will they dance? Will they put their phones away? Will they dance with each other? Will they dare to converse/dance with the opposition? This one was a definite hit (perhaps helped by Crazy Carl the DJ who warmed them up for the first hour, with only a couple of ‘80s tunes thrown in for the oldies)!!
Coaches and athletes alike sought refuge outside in the cool air having ‘Stripped the Willow’ once too often!
Once again we as a club are indebted to Jackie for her oh so able organisational skills. We now have a rote answer when other clubs ask us how we seem to run our trips so smoothly. We simply say: ’we have a Jackie!’
Many thanks to all our coaches who contributed, to all our athletes who were fantastic ambassadors for our club and to all the parents who helped bag the bags!! Emma definitely wins the largest bag prize!