Dear Parents and Athletes.
Just writing to keep you up to date with next term start details and some other miscellaneous (but important) bits.
Next week, 11th December is the last training session before we break for Xmas.
1) The first Monday back to training is the 8th January. However, the sports hall is unavailable on the 8th & 15th January as in use for exams. I tried to find alternate equivalent facilities but without success, so we are left with only the School Main Hall ie Assembly Hall, available, and only for the period 6 till 7pm on both dates. We will run both groups together at the same time, but I understand if this is not doable for some in the usual later group.
2) The age group categories for the Grand Prix will be changing from January to align with usual England Athletics categories for U10, U11, U13s etc. When I took over the coaching last year, I inherited the previous age grouping for these categories, but have in the last year since going to Cross Country, Track & Field & Pearson Cup competitions come to realise that we are not consistent ie an U11 in our in-house GP competition will usually have to compete at U13 in external events. The previous way of age grouping has also this year left us with two very big groups for U10s boys and girls (19 in each group) as it currently covers those in school years 3, 4 & 5 as at January 17 - the beginning of the Grand Prix year. This makes it very difficult for the younger ones to compete /stand a chance. The change will see only Year 3s & 4s in the U10s, Yr 5 will be U11s (was Year 6s), and so on. See next point for another related temporary change.
3) This has not yet been agreed by the Awards Committee, but I will propose an additional End of Year Awards category for Under 9s - for the 2017 Grand Prix winners / runners up. This will be those in school years 3 & 4 at the start of the 2017 Grand Prix - January 2017. The Under 10s GP awards will be limited to Year 5s. No other changes to the GP Awards are needed. Once the age grouping change referred to at 2) above takes place, from January 2018 there will be no necessity to continue this U9s category for separate awards.
4) The Grand Prix results spreadsheets currently on the SDAC Juniors (old) website is updated to the 9th GP, but will need to be recalculated for the Under 10s group to split into the 2 age groups mentioned in 3) above. I will not publish the final results on the website so they can remain (if possible) a surprise. Note; if in January / February I or one of the other coaches ask quite directly if you are coming to the Awards night (usually at the end of Feb - but date to be confirmed), there's a good reason for us checking your likely attendance, hint!!
5) Perpetual Trophies for the Awards Night in February need to be returned either next week or in the first few weeks of January so they can have new winners names engraved for presentation. Hopefully most of you know whether this applies to you and which trophy ie not the smaller plaques, just the larger trophies / shields with other years engraved names.
6) Finally, if your son/daughter is not intending to return to training, ie on this email circulation list but will no longer be coming, can you let me know, so that I don't keep any newcomers on a waiting list longer than necessary.
Hopefully, see most of you on Monday, otherwise have a lovely Xmas, and see you in the new year.
PS - chocolates / biscuits are allowed to be given to coaching staff on the last session - 😊