Presidential Profile (01/09/2016)

As the season approaches we take the opportunity to get the 2016/17 League President, Bob Hughes, to introduce himself:-

"My involvement in athletics started in the winter of 1983 when I went to watch my nephew Steven who was 11 at the time compete in a Cubs cross country race on Cannock Chase finishing in second place. My response was to take him to Rowley Park to do some regular training (Steven still holds the Under 13 Boys 1500 metres club record of 4.43.3), I was soon asked by Stafford Athletic Club to join them and take up coaching seriously which I agreed to do. In 1985 Stafford A. C. were approached by Cannock Chase Athletic Club to consider an amalgamation between the two clubs which the athletic side of the club favoured but the road runners did not, leading to the road runners leaving to form their own club which later became Stafford Harriers. The new club Cannock and Stafford Athletic club went from strength to strength over the next twenty five years regularly contesting the main finals of the Young Athletes league at the Alexander Stadium until the closure of the Cannock track in 2010 which hit the club hard in terms of membership from the southern part of Staffordshire.

The role of the Birmingham Cross Country League has been for many years a stepping stone for many of our senior athletes who having progressed from the younger age cross country leagues continued their move to the higher level of competition leading on to National and International level not only at cross country but track success as well, one Spencer Duval a C&S athlete a winner of the Birmingham league on several occasions went on to represent Great Britain at the highest level in the steeplechase so proving the tradition of the league is a great start out for our future champions.

My involvement with the Birmingham League started with the amalgamation taking over as cross country team manager for all the age groups and continuing to do so to this day, on race days I delegate the job of completing the envelope to one of the parents while I on the day fulfil the role of timekeeper which I have done for the past five or six years.

My role as President of the League for the forthcoming season is a great honour for me and I will do all that is required of my position to serve the league in the best way I can,, making sure that the Birmingham League remains one of the strongest leagues in the country. I would like to thank all the clubs who are hosting a meeting this season because without their willingness to host, the league could not survive, also a big thanks go out to all the officials who give their time and experience! and again without them the league would cease to exist.

I intend to visit the first race at Cheltenham with Division 1, then Division 2 at Stratford followed by Division 3 at Droitwich then back to Division 1 for the final meeting hosted by Kenilworth."