The Heart of England League is known as the “friendly league” and was formed in 1978 to give Midland based clubs local competition to a broader range of athletes including, under 11s.
There are 28 clubs, and normally they compete in 3 matches across 4 divisions with promotion and relegation at the end of the season. However, this year (due to the pandemic), it’s been regionalised to reduce travel, and there is no promotion or relegation. This did not affect the youngsters though who gave it their all and finished first out of 7 clubs!! This was the 1st Heart of England BRAT were able to compete in since July 2019, and was eagerly anticipated.
The last year has been a difficult year for many athletics clubs and BRAT is no exception to this. The overwhelming majority of our U11s and U13s had never taken part in a club competition before. In fact, it was a first taste of any sort of competition for many of them. This was clearly evident from how emotional it was. Many of them were understandably terrified, and getting to the start line was a challenge in itself. In spite of that, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM performed excellently, conquering their own fears and worries. To all of you that this applies to, you should be proud of yourselves.
The team scored an impressive 568 points overall, which was 63 points clear of their closest rivals Sutton Coldfield who finished 2nd. The U13 & U15 boys and U11 & U15 girls all topped their age groups, while the U11 boys were 2nd and the U13 girls 3rd. One of our strengths is our ability to field athletes in almost all of the events (even the technical field events). The credit for this goes to our ever-present coaches who plan meticulously to make sure that our athletes have had the coaching required to successfully perform in whatever event they are allocated to.
There were many impressive performances, PBs and SBs and it was a massive team effort, but some of the standout performances are:-
U15 Lily Smith’s long jump of 5.27m which ranks her 9th in the country and set a new BRAT Club Record
Newcomer U15 Nathanial Walker’s 100m time of 11.80 and High Jump of 1.60m which ranks him 34th
The full results are available here: Results – Heart of England Athletics League (hofe-league.org.uk)
Pics, courtesy of Alba & Toby, are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/birmingham_rowheath_ac/albums/72157719513499231
If there was a prize for the most supportive and loudest group of parents cheering* their team on I think BRAT would have won that too!! It was a big family atmosphere which couldn’t be dampened by the occasional downpour. From feedback received, “It was brilliant, I didn’t want the day to end” and “we weren’t going to stay all day, but how could we go when everyone is having such an amazing time”.
A fantastic achievement from all involved, so bring on the 2nd meeting on 29th August
*Pom poms will be available for next time.