At this time of year, we would normally be encouraging last-minute bookings for the BASC Dinner as well as inviting everyone to the BASC AGM. Regrettably, this year will be different.
Until the government introduced its rule changes in September, we had anticipated that larger functions would be possible in the autumn. However, at the point where we had to commit to the event or not, the likelihood of larger functions being possible disappeared. The changing nature of what is allowed in this pandemic also means that, whilst it might have been possible to plan the event, there was a significant chance of rules changing at short notice, forcing cancellation of the event. Reluctantly, and with disappointment, we decided that we had no choice but to cancel this year’s event. Those members that have paid will have received full refunds by the time you read this article.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of events, the BASC Committee has decided that it is not appropriate to have any of our annual awards this year – this affects the Athlete of the Year, the Susanna Ingram Award and also the junior awards. Our hope is that there will be sufficient competition next year to be able to reinstitute our annual awards.
The Autumn edition of Backtrack - the magazine for BASC members - is on its way. This issue features an interview with world heptathlon champion and BASC Athlete of the Year for 2019, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, plus columns by Beth Dobbin and club president Katharine Merry. There are a couple of nostalgic articles - one on distance legend Dave Bedford, and the other looking back to the early years of the supporters club.
Unsurprisingly, the effects of the pandemic and lockdown take a high profile as we cover both the athletics that happened and the athletics that couldn't take place. The stunning film 'Rising Phoenix', highlighting para-athletes, is also featured.
If you're a member - look out for Backtrack coming through your letterbox. If you're not a member - why not join for as little as £15 a year, and you will be able to enjoy the magazine 3 or 4 times a year - written by athletics fans for athletics fans.
Club members took advantage of the dearth of championships this summer by voting for 4 Athletes of the Meet awards for the Muller British Championships. Awards were for male and female Athletes of the Meet, as well as two Young Athletes of the Meet. Harry Coppell, Aimee Pratt, Joel Clarke-Khan and Charlotte Payne were voted winners by club members via Twitter.
Harry Coppell: Harry won our male award with his outstanding pole vault of 5.85m, breaking the British and Championship records in the process. Harry took 70% of the vote in our poll, his jump being a highlight for many on the first day of the competition.
Aimee Pratt: Aimee won her award, with 58% of the vote, for her outstanding endeavours over the weekend. She won the 3000m steeplechase with strong front-running. She ran a world lead and a championship record, smashing her PB by four seconds. Not content with that, Aimee also ran in the 800m, finishing a creditable fifth.
BASC members were treated to a preview of the Muller British Athletics Championships 2020 in a zoom chat with club president Katharine Merry, Wendy Sly and the Backstraight Boys, Jody and Bayo. As well as informed discussion, anecdotes, gags and all round excitement as prepare for the national championships this weekend.
Club members who missed out will get the opportunity to watch a recording - info about how to access is being sent out.
The championships will take place behind closed doors but will be shown live on BBC TV - Friday's action will be on BBC TWO, and Saturday's on BBC ONE, with wrap around coverage on the red button.
To keep up with the Backstraight Boys, you can follow @BackstraightB on Twitter and listen to the Backstraight Boys (& Girl) Athletics Podcasts..