September is normally a flurry of activity for the Club with our 10K, awards night, charity nominations, AGM and finally training weekend following in very quick succession. Clearly this year is not a normal year and despite just as much effort going on behind the scenes, more in some instances, we recognise that you our members are not able to enjoy the clubs activities as freely as you once did, and will again. So, thank you for bearing with us and thanks especially to those who’ve taken part in the sessions or run the virtual 10k recently, as these events help to keep the vibrancy and relevance that the club needs to survive.

So why am I here? Well there’s a few positive changes afoot that you need to be aware of. First off England Athletics have stated that provided clubs can provide a Covid Secure Environment (which means that athletes’ book into activities, that they are held outdoors, Covid risk assessment has taken place, we have a Covid Officer and that social distancing is observed by those athletes) that we can run in groups larger than six. This makes quite a difference to the club, as with night’s drawing in our training locations become more limited and therefore subject to the need to be respectful of residents. Having small groups would meant some residents having runners in their street most weeks.

Following your feedback, and thank you to those who have taken part in the recent survey, we are increasing activities to groups of 10 or less. This helps with social distancing and enables us to maximise the efficiency of the coaches. We shall try to have two coaches per session where we can. It also allows us to organise ‘social’ runs in similar sized groups. These sessions will not necessarily be led by a coach in fact we’d welcome volunteers to join a rota to lead these runs. The aim is to run with athletes of similar pace with no-one left behind. The requirements for ‘Covid-Secure’ mean that these runs need to be booked on the website – exactly as a session. We sincerely hope that this will tempt the c30% of members who ‘don’t do sessions’ to re-join your friends in a club environment. The WSA remains closed but otherwise we hope that the running aspect will be more or less what you are used to and we cannot wait to welcome you back and see you on the Ings on a Wednesday at 7.00 – socially distanced of course. If you do try a session or a social run we’d love to get some feedback

We are also looking for nominations for worthy local charities who you think are deserving of our fundraising efforts in 2021. In 2020 we had two charities nominated Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Wetherby Foodbank, both fantastic causes with real relevance to the club. From the Clubs perspective we massively regret that 2020’s Wetherby 10k didn’t happen – it raises literally thousands of pounds for our nominated charities. Tradition wise we seldom nominate the same charity in the subsequent year but these are not normal times.

We must state that it is up to the membership to nominate a charity – if you assume someone else will do this you may find yourself disappointed, so I urge you to think seriously about this and contact us via any member of the committee or e-mail me if you would like to nominate a charity. The rules are on our website. At our AGM in November we get to choose through a ballot following a short presentation by the sponsor.

The AGM is a constitutional necessity and we are looking at doing this via the dreaded ‘Zoom’ more on that later but the AGM will go ahead – I’m less sure about how we satisfy an awards night. Racing has been decimated as you all know but I’m open to suggestions – best coach comes to mind or best virtual runner perhaps?

Finally, and with regret I confirm that this year’s Wetherby Training Weekend will not be taking place. The social distancing aspect of a full hotel in the Lakes was not something that the club could endorse officially. Consequently, our block booking has been moved forward to 2021.

The hotel has very kindly kept a window of opportunity over the next six days for our members to book direct. This can be done by calling Garry at The COLEDALE INN and mentioning Wetherby Runners – Tel: 017687 78272 | Web: www.coledale-inn.co.uk. We had earmarked Friday 27th November as the weekend we would have been away. I know already that some of you are planning to do just that so if you do book you will see some friendly faces there and I’m sure running and not just food will be on the menu. Again, I must stress that unfortunately this is not an affiliated Club Weekend and anyone going is doing so at their own risk.

Richard

All enquiries regarding this email should be directed to richard.bell@communisis.com