Inspire a Generation?
Well, what a summer we have had?! From the superb performances of Adam Gemili, Jessica Judd and Emelia Gorecka at World Juniors kicking things of then onto the Olympic Games with the unforgettable performances of Greg, Jess and Mo. Finally we had the culmination of the Diamond League again superb results from Robbie Grabarz and the astonishing World record from Aries Merritt. But what now? As we hit the winter season how are we to be inspired?
Last weekend I competed in the Junior Great North Run a great event on a lovely course around Gateshead, this year I had an awesome run and retained my title however the vents after this is what I am concerned for.
First of all the prize money mix up, if you are fortunate enough to podium in this race you receive some prize money. 1st receiving £100 and then 2nd: £75 and 3rd:£50. However someone somewhere managed to mess it up with one winner only getting £15! If you are going to give out prize money and especially as it’s so rare in junior age groups do it right! What does it make us think? That the people in the great Run office say: ` oh just stick one in there they won’t know…` Unfortunately for them young athletes never forget things like this and this age of social media they are going to get very negative reviews.
The slap dash race organisations, when one competes at high calibre events we only expect the best?! This is shown greatly by The ESAA and UKA when they put on an event. Now Great Run really needs to turn up at one of those events and see how it is done… The start is barely 6m wide and with 200 young children trying to get ahead of the race at the start it is really not suitable. Furthermore this system in which they think all is solved by the chip timer. It isn’t. If you want to be near the front of the race you have to be on the front row. These officials don’t seem to realise that thus pushing the club runners further and further back. That’s like telling Mo next year in Moscow when he wants to retain his 5000m crown he must start 10m back from the line! Finally the start time was advertised at 3.10pm, when we are still stood in the pens at 3.20pm then they are really taking the biscuit. When you have to be assembled 20mins before you start time having to stand in such a confined space is not contusive to fast running.
My final point is the dreadful coverage courtesy of the BBC, I watched the race avidly on Sunday morning to watch two fantastic races and then to my surprise I see that they are to show highlights of the junior races! I’m sat on the edge of my seat hoping to catch a glimpse of myself on the coverage and nothing comes on. Instead I am shown several groups of local girls who are raising money for a 75th cousin 10 times removed that got a cold. It may just be me but if they had shown any highlights of the front of the races I would have been so INSPIRED to race better for bigger things but no. The dreadful portrayal of the race continues and as it finishes my jaw drops. No boys race coverage what so ever. No older girls coverage. No mention of any winners and no real coverage of any race. It again may be me but I don’t really care about Tom, Dick or Harry that has run it. I want to see the future of British running getting a chance to feature on the most prestigious television channels on the planet.
The only thing they have inspired me to do is to have this very long rant about how pathetic the coverage was. Every cloud? I hope that in the future all 3 mistakes will be rectified and we will have a superb event in years to come.
By Joshua Schofield,