Running to Time

Image credit: Peter Radford

For athletes, officials and volunteers alike, the schedule and organisation of the ESAA Championships replicates that of a senior championships. Have a look at our section on the ESAA in numbers to get an idea of the scale of the organisation needed over the weekend to allow over 1700 competitors to experience their own Olympics.

The precise scheduling has been a feature of the championships since the first edition in 1925, when 15 events were completed in less than 3 hours.

The 1960 Olympic bronze medallist and 200m world record holder, Peter Radford, recalls the importance of competing within a schedule for his future career.

It was a significant step in my athletic apprenticeship; running six races in two days, and representing my county was a test on many levels:

• 10.51am: 100y Heats
• 4.56pm: 4 x 110y Relay Heats

• 10.33am: 100y Semi-Final
• 11.31am: 4 x 110y Relay Semi-Final
• 3.30pm 100y Final
• 4.30pm 4 x 110y Relay Final

Angela Davies (now Newport) and Spencer Newport, both ESAA Champions and ESAA representatives, also emphasise the importance of learning to cope with the realities of a championship programme.

The English Schools’ Track and Field Championships were always an amazing experience which provided the perfect preparation for Senior National Championships and International Championships.

From being away from home, the call-up procedure, the need to progress through a number of rounds to being part of a representative team and competing against the very best in the country. It simply was the athletics highlight of the year!

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