Bays Athletics Club – a year in review

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2014 has been a great year for our club with members winning 60 National Championships medals and 18 National titleholders. The strength of our club is exemplified by the range of events over which our athletes excelled, with these medals spread over sprints and hurdles, distance events on the track, road and cross-country running, relays, as well as the full range of jumps and throws field events. No other athletics club in the country had this level of success in 2014.

We would like to acknowledge our splendid army of coaches for their part in our athletes’ achievements. We have 41 accredited coaches working with our members, covering the whole spectrum from novices through development levels, and high performance.

Also key to our athletes’ success is AUT Millennium’s wonderful facilities which create the perfect environment for our club activities. We really appreciate the organisation’s massive contribution to the re-surfacing of the track, which has now commenced, as well as the refurbished track floodlighting, an enlarged weights and conditioning area, an improved special throws training area, and the creation of New Zealand’s first indoor throws area.

We are very proud to have six club athletes compete in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. These athletes were Scott McLaren (decathlon), Brent Newdick (decathlon), Nikki Hamblin (800m, 1500m), Sarah Cowley (High jump), Portia Bing (4x400m relay), and Zoe Ballantyne (4x400m relay). We would like to congratulate these athletes on the huge achievement of representing New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games; you’re efforts in Glasgow were an inspiration to all of us watching at home.

Also making our club proud this year were two of our rising stars who competed in the World Junior Championships. Eliza McCartney delivered a supreme performance in the Pole Vault, earning the bronze medal and smashing the New Zealand senior record in the process, while Pascal Kethers finished 26th in the men’s event. Other club juniors on the international scene included Matt Bloxham, who finished the season as the number 3 Youth Hammer thrower in the world, and Portia Bing who placed 10th in the World Junior heptathlon rankings. With performances like these the future of our club is bright!

At the other end of our club spectrum, 2014 also saw some impressive results from our Masters athletes. Particularly brilliant performances this year included victories at the World Masters Championships won by Chris Waring (sprints) and Mark Cumming (Hammer). Bays masters also recorded the highest number of points in the medal count at this year’s National Championships, earning our club the title of most successful Masters Club in New Zealand.

As our athletes continue to excel both nationally and internationally, the club has sought ways to recognize their outstanding achievements. In an initiative inspired by our 60th jubilee last year, the club has established brand new honours boards, providing a record of achievement from athletes past and present, and put on display for everyone to view in the foyer outside the Finish Line restaurant. They make very impressive reading, as does the 60th Jubilee booklet published to mark the occasion.

We look forward to adding more names to the board in 2015!

For those who wish to keep in touch with the latest news from our club, we publish an annual Club Almanac describing all of our activities and successes each year; free copies are available from the club office.

We have also recently established opportunities for corporate sponsorship of individual athletes, to assist them in furthering their international success. Details are available from the club office, or make contact via our website: www.baysathletics.co.nz

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