Let’s be honest, it’s not the most enjoyable drive to Corby. The dull grey clouds over the motorway did little to inspire enthusiasm. As we arrived in the stand, the weather felt more like that of an early April warm-up meeting as opposed to a league competition in the middle of summer! As Europe basks in a heat-wave where people are advised to not go out and to keep their curtains closed, summer in Corby felt more like a game-of-thrones ‘north of the wall’ escapade. A strong and persistent head wind on the home straight put pay to the majority of our sprinter’s chances of PBs. If you achieved a PB at the weekend, then you should be very pleased with yourself. The dark skies were occasionally pierced with downpours and the odd bit of sunshine, perhaps this is as good as it gets in Corby??? On that backdrop, seeing such an amazing team of smiling junior athletes is truly inspiring
This was the final of our 3 league fixtures for 2023. Having won the first two fixtures, promotion was all but guaranteed, but why not do it in style?! I have heard rumours that other clubs are asking “what has happened at BRAT?!”. No-one can quite believe our small army of juniors. I mean, we were only promoted last season, so to gain back-to-back promotions AND to do it so emphatically…..I can see why they may be shocked!
This is a team effort. Every athlete, every official, every coach and every family. The smiles and jokes between our team. The mutual support each athlete has. The commitment and dedication in training. The ‘never give up’ attitude in competition. This is a testament to all of the club. Congratulations to everyone involved.
I am going to break my trend of not mentioning individuals, but I am going to keep it to an absolute minimum. There is so much that could be said about each athletes’ performances, but I’d be here all night, so just a few:
- Alice Stewart competed in an 800m and 1500m double. After a long stint in the junior section of the club, this was Alice’s final Heart of England league outing as she moves up into the seniors. Well done and good luck!
- Sophie McKinnon for being so enthusiastic and grabbing the spot in the u13g 1500m following a late withdrawal. Sophie is an u11, but moved up an age group and battled through the race and picked up some vital points for the team. Similarly, Anna Faux for stepping into the 800m at the last minute, an event she had never tackled before!
- Elliot Jones for finally breaking the club’s u11 long jump record (4.10m). Having jumped 4.09m twice during the week, I can only imagine the satisfaction when 4.11m was read out!
From my position as team manager, this as been an extremely challenging season. It’s something of a blessed position where we have athletes battling to make it into the team. Whilst this bodes well for us as a club, it gives me selection nightmares when I try and work how to accommodate essentially too many committed athletes, let alone giving them all their desired events. The best thing about writing this is, I won’t have to think about that again until next season!
On to the results, we won by around 200 points. To put that in perspective, 8 point are awarded for a 1st place in each event. A margin of 200 points is quite THE performance. Indeed, when they announced the mid-point scores saying “In first place…..’surprise surprise’, it’s BRAT!”, our reputation clearly precedes us!
2024. 2024 will be our first season in the top division and will see us competing against the best clubs from across the region. How will we do? I don’t know, but if it is anything like this season, then I’m sure that all our athletes will have an absolute blast when the time arises!
Last but not least, this is the last you will hear from me about ‘team selections’ and ‘response required’ e-mails. Rest assured, I will be watching closely the results from the remaining champs, open meetings and senior league comps. Good luck for the rest of the season and here’s to division 2 champions; BRAT!