Hello again

Paul Evans
Posted by Paul Evans
Thursday 2nd December 2021 11:24am

I just wanted to introduce myself as your new (well sort of) chairman and update you all on a few things since the AGM last Monday. For those that don’t know me I’ve been a BPJ since 2012 and been the club’s ‘webmaster’ for most of that time. I’m commonly seen leading the 7:45 group on Mondays, but I did start off back in 2012 in the 11min/mile group! As part of the committee, I’ve been heavily involved in most areas of the club’s organisation, especially around anything IT/techie.

I was previously club chairman from July 2016 to January 2019 and took a step back when my daughter was born, with Mark Dillon taking on the role until now.

I’ll continue to do this role and support the club for as long as I’m needed and able, but it’d be great to see fresh ideas and perspectives – I’d be happy to support anyone interested in the future.

Anyway, it’s been so great to see the club bounce back after the pandemic:

  • Growing numbers and back at the Riverside: Monday club runs are getting busier and busier each week with a wide range of paces. We’ve also seen the return of runs to the Riverside University building on a Tuesday evening led by Lorraine Griffiths. It would be really good to get more members and leaders attending on Tuesdays though. Thank you to the leaders who are already taking groups.
  • New home (and a bar again!): We now have a new home and place to socialise after runs at OEs thanks largely to Mark Dillon on our side and Pete Boyle at OEs.
    – The club teams have made a strong start to the cross country season.
  • Success at Croome: Our Croome Capability Canter race was very successful thanks to our awesome volunteers. We’ve had lovely feedback from participants. We have a provisional date for next year – Sunday 27th November 2022.
  • We’re now at the track: The club now offers an inclusive Wednesday track night thanks largely to Chris Attwood – numbers have been great with a wide range of abilities. Come and check it it out Wednesdays 7pm at Nunnery Wood track.
  • Strength and conditioning: We will have stronger, faster and more injury-proof members thanks to BPJ and personal coach/trainer Mark Thomas offering strength and conditioning classes free for BPJs. Mark has an impressive running record with a parkrun PB of 16:25, so he knows his stuff!
  • New College running club: Our outreach club for visually impaired runners started back up this term with a band of guide running volunteers led by Cliff Wood. The students have enjoyed a fantastic term with sessions that have included a Magic Mile and working up to running 5K. Cliff stepped down from his role at the AGM. He has been leading the club for 3 years and has inspired many new students to join and guide runners to give the sessions a try. Thank you for your efforts Cliff.

On top of this, next year will see the return of the champions league, which Peter Darwen has kindly taken on the admin on alongside the parkrun tourism calendar. He will announce more details on these shortly. I feel really excited about what lies ahead for the club!

This month sees the return of the BPJ Christmas Party. If you haven’t got your ticket yet. Grab one quickly! Thank you to Claire Shacklock for keeping the social events going. There has also been an axe throwing night and two curry nights recently!

Here’s some of my immediate areas of focus alongside day to day committee matters:

  • Support Jo in her new role as Sunday run co-ordinator to bring back Sunday club long runs in time for Spring marathon training.
  • Support Peter Darwen to take on the champions league administration.
  • Send out a follow up poll on the club kit (read the AGM minutes for a summary on where we’re at, essentially, more information is needed to make the right decision).
  • Continue developing new features on the club website to motivate and inform members.
  • Progress the contract with the Old Elizabethans Cricket Club committee and improve communication.

Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions, concerns or ideas and hope to see many of you at the Christmas party on the 11th.