Track & Field Report December 2017

Dear Athlete

The Entry Forms and Provisional Timetables for the four Indoor Championships/Match being put on at Lee Valley Athletics Centre in 2018, are fully listed elsewhere on this website.

Let us deal with the two National Championships first, together with associated matters as these are lead up events to the European Masters Athletics Indoor Championships in Madrid at the end of March – closing date 18TH JANUARY 2018 [allegedly].

The Indoor Pentathlon is combined with the South of England Masters Indoor Championships which also incorporates both the EMAC and VAC Masters Area Clubs Indoor Championships. Please be aware Pentathletes who wish to compete in the SoE Championships can only do so as additional events. Your 60m Hurdles time for the Pentathlon, for example cannot also be allocated to the SoE Event – you have to compete in a separate race wearing your SoE Bib Number.

The Main Indoors and Winter Throws Championships will follow the normal format. The External Throws consisting of four trials per athlete, due to time restrictions.

Please be aware, if entering Madrid and considering submitting yourself for one of the 4 x 200m Relay Teams, although not actually competing in the 200m there, then you need an electronic time for a 200m at one of the meetings at Lee Valley, preferably the Main Indoors, as close to races in Madrid. Without that performance you will have little chance of being selected.

For newbie Internationalists, second timers and returners to the fold,  please fully read the detailed information about what is required of you to enable you to enter, be fully vetted by BMAF and allow you to get through the Call Room and actually compete.

There are three MUST READ sections of Information, highlighted in the International Section of the Fixtures List on this website.

The full range of the International Kit – Ronhill Sports Vests, Shorts, T-Shirts etc., the about to be released Kudos Track Suit [with alternative leg lengths] and a branded Russell Fleece – will be available from Sportswear Deals [Vince Wilson] at all meetings at Lee Valley in January, February and March, with a BMAF Executive present at most of them, to answer any queries concerning the Kit. All of this Kit will also become available On-Line shortly.

In the meantime, if you have any problems regarding entry to International Championships then please direct those to Peter Duhig our International Entries Co-ordinator who is also tasked with vetting your application –   internationalentries@bmaf.org.uk

All other queries to us at tfsec@bmaf.org.uk

A Recce of the Madrid facilities – stadium and outdoor venues, transport guide, dining and wining and partying possibilities will be undertaken in early January with a Report posted prior to the Closing Date. This report will allegedly be an encouragement for you to entry, but will highlight possible areas of concern, as there always are some and how Team Management try and address those for you, and indicate how to possibly avoid them.

However, let us highlight one main issue that continues to occur which we still find amazing.

When you enter you only know the day of your first event not the time. You therefore have to assume you could be required to compete at 08.00 on that day. That will require you to have Declared the day before, possibly by 18.00. That indicates that your flight to Madrid has to be a morning flight landing before lunch to allow you to get to the Stadium by 17.00 to allow you to pick up your Athletes Package and then declare.

Yet for all Championships we have athletes flying in late in the evening before the day of their first event, the ‘odd’ one very early in the morning of their first event. Yes some have got away with it, but only with luck not judgment.

Yes hotels are not cheap but an extra night at a hotel to ensure you can declare the day before your first event, find out all the uncertainties about transport, look at warm up possibilities, Call Room procedures and sort out your breakfast timings, has to be your option of choice.

Why risk compromising your first or possibly only event, by almost certainly being not fully composed before the first round of your first event – the question is therefore, after possibly six months or more building up to this moment, why you here, when not in your best possible condition by having been rushed before this event, which you could live to regret, as some have. That would be such a waste of time, effort and money.

Returning to the South of England Masters Championships. The Entry Requirements have been de-restricted to be in line with the inaugural North of England Masters Outdoor Championships in Sheffield in September.

The only entry requirement for this and the summer Outdoor Championships is that athletes are fully paid up to date members of a UKA Athletic Club in the SEAA Area, which they have to verify when registering in the BMAF system.

Masters Athletics is about inclusion not exclusion, but you are required to prove your date of birth. You are not required to prove your nationality which you have to do for National and International Championships

The other two fixtures are the SCVAC Championships on February 18th and the English Masters Inter Area Challenge on March 4th.

Entries for the SCVAC Championships are open and close on February 4th. All details are on the BMAF website bmaf.org.uk

The Inter Area Challenge is a team event. There are no individual entries, all athletes are selected by the team managers of the competing area clubs. No guests are permitted.

Lastly, if your area club membership expired at the end of December, do not leave your renewal until just before the closing date for competition entries, because your membership secretary may be delayed in the confirmation of renewal.

Maurice Doogan