Last Saturday (5th September) Southampton AC hosted the first open meeting of the season at the Sports centre.
With over 200 entrants, representing over 30 clubs, racing over distances from 75m to 1500m and competing in the pole vault it was an exciting return to competition.
With perfect weather conditions and a supportive (and socially distanced!) crowd the event had an incredible buzz from the first gun starting the 75m at 11am, to the early evening finish of the last 1500m.
Local up and coming talents Annie Mann, Liam Higgins and Callum Gregson all raced to new personal bests after months off the track.
Annie, who missed out on an England Cross country vest due to lockdown, recorded a 9 second improvement on her 1500m time, running 4.45.85.
Liam Higgins, currently studying at Itchen College and a member of their Athletics Academy, ran two personal bests in the 200 (23.06) and 400m (52.05).
Callum Gregson, a product of England Athletics’ Youth Talent Programme – lowered his 400m time by 1.7 seconds to 53.19 which will be some welcome speed for next season as he returns to his favourite event, the 400m hurdles.
Club chair, Tracey Jones, was delighted at how the hard work behind the scenes has come together to make the event possible.
“Organising an event like this is always a lot of work for our team of volunteers and officials but this time it’s been extraordinary! We have worked very closely with Active Nation, who manage the Sports centre, to provide a COVID Secure environment and am delighted to deliver a safe and fun competition”.
With no training in groups until late May, and the track only opening at the end of July, it has been a real challenge for coaches to keep their athletes fit and motivated.
The club have also seen their Academy back in action for 8 to 12 year olds. The first
Summer school taking place during the glorious weather in early August, with three days of running, throwing and jumping tuition from club coaches. Regular weekly sessions return under strict Covid controls on Wednesday 16th September.
Want to get involved?
We are always looking for new athletes, helpers and officials. One of the club’s many dedicated volunteers Alan Force can be seen here helping the BBC record a preview of the event that was aired on South Today Thursday 3rd September.
Whether it’s track and field, cross country or road running, we provide coaching, training and competition for athletes from 8 to 80 years old.