A Grand Evening: The Club’s annual presentation evening.

Kindly note: My thanks to Michelle for scribing a report, by my PC for some unfathomable reason has converted the words into an un-readable format, so here (belatedly) are some words from Graham.

Photos to follow. Thank you to Jonny Lowes for being Mr. Photograph Man 🙂

The Club’s presentation evening took place on Saturday evening at Blaydon Rugby Club House. 170 tickets were sold and it appeared to just that with a full house present, so thank you to everyone who came along and made the evening a thoroughly enjoyable one.

The evening commenced with the Junior awards, it had been a fine 12 months for Junior Team Elswick. There were many excellent performances throughout the year, from the junior athletes: the boys & girls, across all age groups in local & regional competition. In particular if I may say so, Poppy Wilde taking a superb 1st place in her age group category, by winning every single NEHL race 🙂 Charley Lee was a very worth recipient of the Kevin Stephenson award.

Club Chairman, Harry Matthews was then invited to the stage to handover the awards.

Next followed the Senior, Vet Club Championship and NEHL awards. A rather excited (though slightly nervous!) and sweaty Graham 🙂 started the proceedings by saying a number of Thank you’s: To the coaching staff, Club members, to Steve Robertson, to 2018’s (and 2019’s) committee members for all their work during the previous 12 months and to the presentation team for bringing the evening together. Graham thanked Frank Watson for his historical archive trawl! and to Rob Wilson for a ‘very fitting nomination’!

So to the awards (in summary):

The winner of the Senior Women’s Club Championship was Catherine Lowes. The Senior Men’s winner was Scott Brady. Lindsey Grant took the ladies V40 title and Andrew Ball took the new V40 Newcastle Brown Ale trophy (it is rather heavy!). Rob Lambert took the V50 title and Melissa Bateson took the ladies V50 title. Peter Sloan took the V60 title and Irene Henderson took the ladies V60 title. Congratulations to all 1st 2nd and 3rd placed athletes.

The NEHL 1st 2nd and 3rd place winners took to the stage with Joe Higgins, Amy Fuller, Paul Robinson and Melissa Bateson taking Gold medals home (apologies for the missing medal set – They are now on order 🙂 ).

Two faux pas, by good old ‘G’ on the microphone, brought out a raucous chuckle from Team Elswick 🙂 All good honest fun!

Andrea Banner, Ladies Captain made a speech, with a particular note of appreciation to all of the athletes who contributed to cross country competition. This was especially noticed at the competitive Sherman Cup / Davison Shield meeting, where a collective effort saw the Ladies Team take a superb silver medal.

The special awards followed. Two new awards. For the most improved female and male beginner Athletes. These inaugural awards went to Kay Thompson and Jim Ross. Excellent!

Shaun Connelly received the Fred Stephenson Trophy (most improved Male Club Athlete).

Amy Fuller was a thoroughly deserving recipient of the Ladies Fred Stephenson Trophy.

Jan Heslop ‘brought the house down’ 🙂 A huge round of applause from Team Elswick, as Jan received the Ladies Quantum Award (for outstanding services to the Club). In a ‘double act‘ Ken Heslop received the Male Quantum Award.

More special awards and recognition followed: Firstly, Ian Leighton to the stage: Ian appeared a little overwhelmed (if I may say so 🙂 ) as he received from guest of honour Bill McGuirk, a scroll of appreciation for his significant contributions and assistance to Elswick Harriers over many years ( I think a tear was shed?). Congratulations to Ian 🙂

Elswick’s Richard Houghton could not attend the evening, but he was to be awarded (the following day) an inscribed silver salver for becoming the first Elswick athlete to attain Abbott World Marathon Major Status. Richard also medalled in the NEHL and Club Championship competitions. Well done Richard.

A surprised (but hopefully delighted) Bill McGuirk received from the Club, a silver salver for his dedication to North East Athletics for over six decades (and for his personal assistance in helping our Club, successfully host our own Club Events).

In addition, Bill was given a voucher for a restaurant meal at his beloved St .James’s Park for himself and his wife Pauline. Bill made an impromptu speech and a very warm round of applause followed.

We saved, I believe the best till last: Life honorary membership to a 40 year member of our fine Club, the wonderful Mary Avery.

The first lady in the club’s 130 year history. Mary was cheered to the stage as she received from Harry, a silver salver, in recognition of becoming a honorary life member.

Mary had had a fine running career and continues to run with her fellow peer group. Mary also received a bouquet of flowers and a voucher to spend on her good-self 🙂 A final round of applause, brought the proceedings to a close.

Harry thanked a now just ‘damp Graham’ 🙂 for his endeavours. A buffet and Beckleberry’s ice cream followed. Mike Banner made a sterling job with the picture quiz (A few oooh’s and aaah’s as the answers were revealed 🙂 Cath Lowes table won with 25 out of 25!

The raffle rounded off a grand Club evening.

Cheers, Graham.