Chairman's joy as Chesterfield AC get firmly back on track
Chesterfield and District Athletics Club are hoping to go full steam ahead in 2021 following the enforced break from competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Competitive running is once again taking place following the break through most of 2020, with membership of the club still strong across all ages.
And for chairman and coach Jon Baker it’s good to see athletes in all disciplines getting back in action.
He said: “It was obviously a frustrating year for a very active club like ourselves but we were lucky in some ways because we were able to make use of public parks and train together in small, socially distanced groups, whenever restrictions allowed that to happen.
"But now we are seeing a return to competitive action and training sessions have been well attended too, although we are a little down on numbers compared to last year but hope that will improve as time goes on.”
The club’s usual training base of Tupton Hall School was out of bounds for much of 2020, with athletes instead having to make use of what public spaces they had available.
Baker added: “Obviously the school had their own rules to implement and worry about so we weren’t allowed on the site as we usually are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
"Thankfully, as the restrictions got lifted we’ve been able to use the facility again and so far are having around 60 or 70 at the sessions, with the hope that will grow to the kinds of numbers we usually have as people get back into some kind of normality.
"We’ve found that some members may have lost interest and not yet returned but for so many, athletics is important from a social point of view but also for mental health, so a lot have been desperate to get back into it.
"Some teams are struggling to fill spaces at the moment but we hope athletes will soon start to come back again in good numbers before too long.”
Younger athletes continue to make up the bulk of the club’s membership and Baker says parents have been grateful to see their children back in action.
He said: “Parents have been coming up to me and thanking us, not from the point of view that the kids are out of the house because the parents are often sticking around and watching them, but more because they’ve been so keen to get active again and we’ve been able to accommodate that.
"We take on a lot of kids at around the ages of nine or ten as it’s a good way for them to get into sport.”
*In the club’s most recent action, Alex Ediker set another 800m PB and club record at an open meeting in Aldershot on Saturday.
Alex, who is studying at St Mary's Uni in Twickenham, ran a time of 1:56.3.
The following day, two of the club's pole vaulters were in action in Trafford, Manchester. Lottie Hall continued her good start to the season setting a PB of 2.60m and Beth Falconer again equalled her PB, jumping 2.70m.
On May 5, Ewan Spencer set his second PB of the year with a 4:17.0 over 1500m in Cambridge, where he is studying at university.
*For more information on the club, visit its Facebook page or www.chesterfieldac.co.uk.