11th February 2019


Birchfield Harriers were victorious in the British Athletics Club:Connect standings at the SPAR British Athletics Indoor Championships last weekend in Birmingham with Feron Sayers’ (coach: Aston Moore) long jump gold and Mari Smith’s (Bud Baldaro) surprise 800m silver contributing to the men’s and women’s teams success.

British Athletics’ Club:Connect campaign kicked off at the Championships in Birmingham, with points on offer for the clubs of all athletes competing. Each finalist athlete could win one to eight points for their club if they finished in the top eight of each event, so first place receives eight points, down to eighth place receiving one point. Winning clubs receive a grant of £500.

The initiative has the objective of recognising and rewarding the significant contributions made by clubs in supporting athletes through all levels of their athletics journey.

It has gone from strength to strength since being launched in January 2014 and plans to continue growing. Clubs are the foundation of the athletics pyramid; British Athletics recognises this and use our global award-winning major events to showcase clubs and age group athletes in different formats.

Birchfield were the winners of both the men’s and women’s events at Arena Birmingham.

For the men, Sayers’ saved his best till near the end of the competition, winning the men’s long jump with his fifth-round attempt, moving ahead after a 7.72m jump which also confirmed his place in the British team for the European Indoor Championships.

Elliot Giles’ (Jon Bigg) silver in the 1500m and Jack Phipps’ (Nick Phipps) pole vault bronze contributed to the Birchfield win by nine points from Shaftesbury Barnet, with Sale Harrier Manchester in third.

Shaftesbury Barnet were aided by the fine performance from Dominic Ashwell (Marvin Rowe) who secured a remarkable 60m title, and Nathan Fox who claimed triple jump bronze.

Sale Harrier Manchester had two gold medallists in the form of Chris Baker (Graham Ravenscroft) and Connor Wood (Brian Scobie) in the high jump and 200m.

In the women’s standings, Birchfield were clear winners from Thames Valley Harriers and Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow.

Birchfield had several medallists including silver medals from Sarah McDonald [1500m] (David Harmer), Bethan Partridge [high jump] (Fuzz Caan), Laura Samuel [triple jump] (Aston Moore) and Mari Smith [800m], while their were bronze medals from Sophie Cook [pole vault] (Scott Simpson), Adele Nicoll [shot put] (Ryan spencer-Jones) and Melissa Roberts [200m] (Matt Elias).

There were some strong performances from second-place Thames Valley, with Zoey Clark (Eddie McKenna) earning the most impressive with the 400m title to confirm her slot at Glasgow 2019. Rachel Miller (Linford Christie) and Amelia Strickler (Zane Duquemin) were silver medallists in the 60m and shot put respectively.

Meanwhile, third-placed WSEH had two individual champions on day two of the championships, Morgan Lake (Fuzz Caan) winning the high jump with a clearance of 1.94m and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Jon Bigg) comfortably sealing the 800m crown.

Full results can be found here.

Club:Connect Men’s results and Club:Connect Women’s results

The Club:Connect series rolls on to the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham on Saturday 16 February 2019 taking a different format with a series of 4x200m relays for boys & girls  between the U13 and U17 age groups (total of 6 finals). There will be a prize of £250 to the winner of each race with a total pot of £1500 up for grabs.

More information on all things Club:Connect can be found here.