When I arrived in Dublin at the start of 2008 it was after an emotional wrench away from Spartans and what had become part of my life there. Now I’m back in Jersey it’s taken me a while to sort out other aspects of my life. It’s only now that I’m beginning to dip my toes back into the water. I’m very conscious that the Club has moved on and I’ve been nibbling at the edges a bit, not wanting to upset the status quo that exists.
But, by invitation, I’m getting back into it again slowly, and thoroughly enjoying myself. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I’m substituting for Rachel for the month of August and taking the junior boys’ group. Numbers are thin as always during this month and so Ed (who takes the younger girls) and I have been working in our sessions together. It’s really a question of ticking over and trying to keep things going ahead of the inter-insular on the second weekend in September. I hope the travel/accommodation arrangements are being taken care of by someone!
My specialised event group is the throws. This whole area comes under Carole and Cat, with the exception of our three top throwers Zane, Kath and Shadine. The first two of those are shortly off to Delhi for the Commonwealth Games. John Hillier, one of the (if not definitely the) top throws coaches in GB comes over at least monthly and is presently over for a full week. In his absence Zane just gets on with it whilst mentoring Kath and his young sister Shadine. After these three then there is very little, and a worrying gap is developing. There’s a couple of reasonable spear throwers right enough and that’s good to see. However I’m trying to persuade a few youngsters to give throwing a whirl and I’m going back to my old Sunday morning slot to cater for anyone that prefers that rather than Saturdays.
I started off, like most of us do, many years ago with the Minis, the youngest group. For the last few weeks I’ve been helping out the coach David Lawson (his helpers seem to have vanished since the end of term) on Sunday mornings. This group are great fun to teach and it’s pretty rewarding stuff. However I approach next Sunday morning with trepidation as I seem to have been put in charge of the session in David’s absence!
If that’s not enough I’m enjoying taking a Couch to 5k jog/walk group out twice a week. This started as a handful from work but it’s grown to 10-12 with the addition of friends and relatives. I’m thinking about offering this as a Further Education course through Highlands College, taking a step back from Spartans for a change. The perception that Spartans is an elite club will always persist, and indeed it is largely true insofar as beginner-runners have had no dedicated coach since the lovely Sylvia Wilson returned to her native Scotland.