A tale of Success

As has become usual there were Sale athletes competing in the England International at Sport City and a couple who were brought up through their formative years who recently moved on. For all athletes and coaches this year has again been challenging. Not only has there been a disparity in opportunity depending on the area in which you live, but even at times within some clubs covid restrictions have impacted on plans. Stress levels have been higher than normal. Despite this those who made it to this event were treated to a well organised event with some good, close competition in some events. As in 2019 the weather was not kind.

Two women in particular impressed; one a youngster just moving into senior Athletics with great promise, the other a well-established jumper who is at the top of her event. The aptly named Success Eduan (Anita Richardson) is still only an U17.She competed for GB Juniors in Senior Women's events. The first was a no score 100m in which she came 1st in 11.84.In her preferred event, the 200m she came second in 23.75 which is a UK U20 European standard time and is not far off the times she ran at the European U20 championships in Tallin in July. Her final race was as anchor leg of the 4 x 100 relay in which the team was second. A successful day.

Abigail Irozoru (Aston Moore) has a pb of 6.86 from two years ago when she won the British championships. Recently returned from Tokyo she produced a consistent series of jumps in a close contest ending as winner with a leap of 6.45. Abigail has competed for the club since 2005 when she was a young athlete.

Andy Robertson is another athlete who has served the club well since early secondary school days. He spent seven years with John Smith who took him from U13 to U23 achieving regular success. He captained the England Athletics team and was third in the 100m in 10.56.

Shauna Thompson (Bob Gaisie) was once a top sprinter and competed in the City Games against the top women sprinters of the day back in 2008 when she won the 100/200 double at the Youth Commonwealth Games. She had a very difficult couple of years with injury returned for a year then didn't compete in anything for six years until she re-invented herself as a thrower. For the last three years she has improved her shot pb. A tale of success, disappointment, but most of all, resilience and determination.

Sophie Ashurst (Andy Ashurst) is another young athlete with tremendous talent and potential with a pb of 4.21 she tops the U20 ranking in Pole Vault with a performance that is within the World Junior standard. On a cold drizzly day not ideal for vaulting she cleared 3.87 to come third.

Sean Okome (Keith Hunter) has springs in his heels. Formerly a High Jumper with Jack Frost he now competes in Triple Jump. His jump of 15.47 gained him third place for the NAL team. Melissa Booth (Keith Hunter) currently is second in the National rankings for Triple Jump. Nicholas Walsh has represented the club well in the NAL matches. He ran in a no score 100m event and clocked 10.64 to win his event.

Sale athletes should be congratulated for their perseverance in what has remained a difficult time this year. I hope everyone will appreciate their coaches though and all the other hard working coaches who have tried their utmost to keep their athletes going in all age groups. Some of these senior elite athletes started out with the club. Sometimes they change coaches, sometimes for various reasons they drop out or move away. Coaches invest so much time to their athletes with such dedication. Those mentioned above will be a small percentage of athletes and coaches who have been with the club for some time. You all have my utmost respect in your pursuit of excellence.

Dave Greenwood


In a year with limited competition especially for our younger Athletes, u13 Sale hurdler Liam O’Brien, in only his second hurdle race, set a new club record of 12.6s for the 75m hurdles at the Wirral open meeting on Wednesday evening.
Well done to Liam and his coach David Lowe.




Sale Harriers have a number of club athletes selected for the Tokyo Olympics, steeplechaser Aimee Pratt, long-jumper Abigail Irozuru, triathlete Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jona Efoloko in the 4 x 100m relay squad.

Also Jona Efoloko (200m) has been selected for the European U23 Championships in Estonia on 8/11 of July and Success Eduan (200m) and Sophie Ashurst (pole Vault ) have been selected for the European  U20 championships also in Estonia  on 15/18 July. The latter two are also significant in that they  are coached by club coaches Anita Richardson and Andy Ashurst.

A huge congratulations to all the above and we wish them lots of luck.


Hi Sizzler-ers,

We’re onto Sizzler 3 and Covid is still the ominous shadow so expect the same Covid compliance issues as we’ve had in the other two races. This includes the waved start. Let’s hope we return to ‘normal’ for the ‘Run with Olympians 5k on July 22nd on the eve of the Tokyo Olympics.

For the third time I ask you to give the biggest ‘Hurray’ to our sponsors Airport City Manchester and associated architects 5 Plus and BDP for so willingly putting their hands where their mouths are and supporting community events like ours. It’s so much more appreciated in this difficult Covid time when running and sporting fellowships are paramount for physical and mental well-being.

Before departure : Please! Please! Please! Don’t come if you’ve tested positive or socially isolating. We’ll give you a full refund…or you can donate to St. Ann’s Hospice. Bring your own drinks and mask (if you’re wearing a mask).

  • On arrival : For access to the trackside car-parks best follow M23 0PH
  • After you’ve parked : Take note of the one-way system and the posters promoting social distancing etc. Hand sanitizer is available. A Covid medical officer (Dr Schumacher) is on site for anyone anxious for themselves or others. The Sizzler Covid-19 risk assessment is available on site.
  • Collecting your number : Use the same number for all races. If the dog’s eaten it we’ll give you a new one! Use the track infield for pre race socializing rather than the traditional area around the entries zone.
  • Toilets: We’ve had to move the ladies toilets from the trackside to where the men’s toilets are in the football compound in the centre of the car-park. Hand sanitizer is available
  • Race Start: As early as you can, make your way into your anticipated finish time zone. Don’t cheat! Aim to leave at least a 1 metre gap between the front of your zone and the back of the one in front. The start gun will announce a 5 minute warning. No pre-race announcements
  • Prize-giving: Prize-giving is always promptly at 8pm. We expect winners to be present. It’s a courtesy and a respect and comes even before ‘warming down’ Wait on to support your colleagues.

Other information :

1. Throughout the series we’ve been supporting St. Ann’s Hospice on their Golden Jubilee year and incredibly you’ve already thrown almost £700 into their collection buckets on exit. On Thursday they’ll also be selling raffle tickets at both the track entrances. The prizes will be drawn on their Neil Cliffe Sizzler 5k on Wednesday August 11th so please stick a few quid in your pocket for both these collections. Also, if you can’t make the race why not donate your entry fee to them. You can do this on line yourself.

See you Thursday

Fechin mc Cormick

Race director

Sale Harriers

Dave Greenwood

12th Jun 2021

Track is back! Well almost as it is a reduced programme but nevertheless it's an important step in the right direction.

The last time a Sale team competed here was at the YDL Lower Finals when Sale were crowned National Champions for the third time in a decade. The track has changed colour too after it was re-laid last year.

I hope everyone will appreciate the efforts of coaches in keeping their athletes ticking over safely and after a year of a lack of competition it is remarkable that young athletes have maintained their abilities. If we remember all the concern there has been over children dropping behind at school and compare it this puts it into context. As always sensible and committed parents who look after and guide their children into positive activity will benefit. Not all children are that lucky which is why these clubs and their coaches should be supported. Self-congratulatory bit over I'm sure there will have been conversations about how difficult it has been for everyone during the last year. These athletes who competed could be the backbone of clubs in years to come.

Big thanks should go to Debbie Beresford and her team at Manchester Harriers in organising the competition so well. Sport City is a good venue which we are lucky to have in our area. Imagine if it rained. Teams were able to be accommodated in clearly marked seated areas, which offered shelter in case of rain but fortunately was not needed. Distancing was possible. Announcements over the speaker system were very clear; another bonus .Covid protocols were in place.

The structure of the league has put together clubs in areas of a region to reduce travel. It means that smaller clubs will noticeably struggle to fill all events which is why this event has a reduced timetable and pits smaller clubs against bigger clubs. Points and positions will be almost meaningless but for some the challenges are there and for young athletes to experience a big stadium of this quality is a good opportunity. As we know some of our international athletes started at smaller clubs which may not have had great facilities but they will have likely had one coach who was inspiring.

The usual report would have a string of names and their successes. Especially as at the time of writing results are not available and in the circumstances a brief summary will suffice. Sarah James was thrust into the role of single manager as experienced team leader Carl Worthington was self-isolating as he had been in contact with someone testing positive. Sarah has been part of a team before and coped admirably despite the odd late arrival and juggling getting everyone to their event on time. Steve Windebank helped out getting the boys to their events. Everything seemed cool and relaxed in the Sale section.

The sprinters had to face a strong challenge, from Bolton especially who are a good sprint club. Similarly in hurdles Bolton showed they have some good athletes in this event. Later in the middle distance events Sale pulled away from their rivals thanks to some solid performances. As usual all clubs struggle to fill the field events and some athletes showed their potential to be able to multi event at this level. Filling a berth brings points to the team when next year it matters. From some times that were given or recorded in the stands by experienced observers, the track seems quick at both short and middle distance.

Looking forward it may take some time to get back to where we were, just like the rest of society. The importance of developing athletes in the right way from an early age cannot be underestimated and Sale has a good history of this. Crossford Bridge and appropriate age group coaching remains important for the future and those considering coaching should speak to those with experience. There is no god given right to success for any club in any sport. Similarly with officials. Events cannot run without officials and although this event ran smoothly there is always a demand for officials and helpers. If you think you might be interested- speak to someone.

Thanks to coach Steve Windebank for his many selfless years of service. He is moving to the seaside soon therefore will not be able to continue his work which is very much appreciated. He will be missed as I'm sure he will miss coaching Sale athletes.

Sale won the event.

The next YDL Lower events are 17th July- Sport City and provisionally 4th September at Ashton Under Lyne.



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