Chairman’s Report 2016

On an individual level Tonbridge AC goes from strength to strength with the long list of athletes winning international vests increasing almost on a monthly basis. Topping this list must be the achievements of Tom Bosworth who claimed 6th place in Rio in the 20km walk. Tom continues to be a regular visitor to the club and we should feel rightly proud of his achievements on the world stage.

Other TAC members to have represented their country this year are (with apologies to any I have missed):

James West, Chris Olley and Corey De’Ath (England U20 Cross Country)
Henry Pearce and Chris Olley (GB Cross Country)
Max Nicholls (GB University Cross Country/GB & England Mountain Running)
Kathleen Faes, Phoebe Barker and James Puxty (ESAA Cross Country)
Kathleen Faes and Alasdair Kinloch (Great Britain at European Youth Championships)
Tom Holden and Joe Fuggle (England U20 at Manchester International T&F)
Toby Seal (ESAA Combined Events)
Alfie Scopes (ESAA Discus)
Guy Thomas (GB Junior Race Walk)

We also continue to win team medals at national level, with victories in the National Road Relays and National Cross Country Champs, as well as many individual wins in both club and school national competitions.

Zak Skinner has flown the flag for disability athletes, competing in T13/F13 category and winning gold at the UK School Games, while James West broke the 4 minute mile recording a time of 3:58.23m in Dublin.

It is also encouraging to see so many club athletes representing their County (Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Somerset) at T&F, Cross Country, Race Walks and Combined Events.

Despite these successes, these are challenging times for the club. As our membership increases daily and with the Tornados and Summer Camps over-subscribed, we are still struggling to field competitive teams in the SAL and YDL with the Senior and Junior teams getting relegated in 2016. Sub-committees, focus groups, athlete representatives and general track-side chats will hopefully find an answer to this ‘new problem’ and see this trend (to forego league action in favour of open/graded meetings and other attractions) reversed.

That said – congratulations to the newly established Vets team for gaining promotion in their first season, although we must ensure that this competitive outlet for our more seasoned members does not affect future coach and official recruitment (as my old coach Mike Rowbottom once noted about vets athletics!). Further vets success came in the recent world champs [in Australia] with Ben Reynolds gaining a gold and silver medal.

I wish all the team managers (new and returning) the best of luck for 2017 and thank the outgoing incumbents for their sterling efforts over the years.