Winter Season Wrap: Triumphs, Transitions, and Thanks! by Jay Potton

April 8, 2024

That’s it. My maiden season as Winter Team Manager, u13/u15/u17, is over. I made it! More importantly, WE made it! It has been quite a journey, and I have been truly honoured to be on it with such a fine bunch of young athletes who delivered a very impressive haul of medals between them.

Team Medals: Gold x 8,Silver x 7,Bronze x 5

Individual Medals (I think I may have missed some here!): Gold x 6,Silver x 4,Bronze x 6

Our athletes also enjoyed great success in Brighton Schools, Sussex Schools, Inter-counties and Nationals. We had athletes qualify for county and even England. I’d say that is a very fine season indeed!

Our athletes all grew throughout the winter (literally, in some cases). They faced some really tough conditions at times but did so with smiles on their faces (perhaps that was simple relief when the race was over). There was an excellent team spirit, and right from the start, I saw older or more experienced athletes helping and advising their newer teammates. We also learned the importance of listening to your body, looking after injuries or illness, and particularly how important good nutrition is before and after racing and training. Your body is your engine; it is your main piece of equipment, so you need to look after it.

Track and Field

With the 2023-24 Winter Season now complete, we have already moved into the 2024 Track & Field Season, and with it, we see team changes. Those who were second year in their age groups have gone up to the next age group (i.e. 2nd year u13 move to 1st year u15 and so on). It is an interesting period of transition that sees athletes competing with new teammates and against new adversaries.

The summer season will see a mix of Sussex League and Youth Development League (YDL) meetings and Southern Athletics League (SAL) for older athletes u17 and above. There will also be “Open Meetings” at various venues across the country.

Team Manager responsibilities now pass to our Summer Team Managers who are Samantha (Sam) Koloustsos for u13, Sean Dunford for u15, and Sarah Yelling for u17. They will no doubt have already reached out. Please help them with quick responses for athlete availability to enable team planning.

As for me? I am going back to being an occasional official, an avid BHAC fan, and a supportive parent (if she’ll let me as my presence seems less welcome these days! Am I that embarrassing? Don’t answer that!)

Before I go, I need to say thank you…

First of all, I want to say a massive thanks to Pete and Adam for all their help and advice. I simply could not have done this without the expertise and experience of our excellent and dedicated coaches.

I want to thank Duncan for being my glamorous assistant on race days. There’s a lot to do, and Duncan jumped in feet first.

Thanks to everyone who helped to marshal or provide support at our home race in Stanmer. Without volunteers, we simply cannot run events or even an athletics club.

Thanks also to Sean and the parents who transported and erected our tent(s) – I think we may have also provided some amusement to onlookers!

A big thanks to Kate and the Sussex Athletics team for their support and guidance and for managing some superb events throughout the season.

Thanks to our BHAC Committee for operating a wonderful athletics club and taking care of all the operations behind the scenes.

And finally, I want to thank you, the parents, for putting up with my updates for seven months, for encouraging your athletes, for taking care of extra admin challenges on top of life stuff, for taxi services, for your support of the club, and most of all for producing such a fine bunch of young people. They’re a credit to you, and you should be very proud of them all.


View the Sussex Relay Photos here courtesy of Andy Cox: