Sunday, April 11, 2021

John Melvin 1942 - 2020

We received the sad news yesterday that one of our life members, John Melvin had passed away after a short illness at the age of 77 years.

Like many parents, John followed his daughter Hazel, who was an outstanding high jumper into the sport in the 1980’s.  He became a successful coach with City of Glasgow AC, helping many of his high jumpers to international selection and success at national championships and it was for this that he received his life membership of the club.  Perhaps his greatest success as a coach was in guiding Ray Bobrownicki to his selection for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, the year he achieved a personal best and a VP-Glasgow club record of 2.28m in a Scottish Athletics League match at Grangemouth.  That same year, John was rewarded for his efforts by receiving the Performance Coach of the Year award at the Scottish Athletics Awards Night at Hampden Park.

Although he enjoyed great success as a coach, John was also a highly regarded official, serving the sport for many years as a level 2 field official.  John would regularly volunteer to fulfil his commitment in the high jump where he could keep an eye on the progress of his athletes.

He may have been known to a wider group as the Team Manager of the Team Glasgow composite team which was successful in providing competition for U17 and U20 athletes in the upper tier of the Youth Development League.  Many of those athletes have spoken very highly of John, citing his enthusiasm and support over many years.

John and his wife Evelyn also served on the committee of the Glasgow Athletics Association for many years. Evelyn as treasurer of both the GAA and Glasgow City AC.

As you would expect, many friends from within the sport expressed their sorrow on social media.

Ray Bobrownicki posted ‘Beyond saddened to share news of the passing of my coach and dear friend John Melvin. Many in Scotland will have been impacted by or have benefited from John’s efforts, skills, and experience over the years. I will miss him greatly and probably won’t have dry eyes for a while.’

Mark Munro, chief executive of scottishathletics posted ‘This is a real shock to the sport, John contributed so much to athletics in Scotland and beyond. A coach, administrator, team manager, official, facility guru he contributed significantly to Glasgow Athletics since it started. His passing is a huge loss and our condolences are today very much with his family and friends.’

Track and Field Commission Convenor Leslie Roy said: ‘John was a man who did so much to help athletes of all ages. ‘He put his heart and soul into doing everything he could for athletes. John had many roles and was a Coach, Official, Team Manager, Event Organiser. He will be sadly missed.’

High jump coach Ken Allan said: ‘Shocked and saddened to hear this news yesterday, ‘John’s contribution to our sport spanned decades and every conceivable area, from Coaching to Team Management to Officiating to Facility creation. He will be sorely missed. Condolences to all who knew him.’

Diane Ramsay said ‘John is a tremendous loss to athletics in Glasgow and Scotland. As team manager of Team Glasgow, he did an incredible job of encouraging/supporting junior athletes trying to make the difficult transition to senior. Thanks John for everything you did for us all!

Everyone at Victoria Park City of Glasgow is shocked and saddened by the news, his passing is a terrible loss to the sport and we send our condolences to John’s wife Evelyn, and their children Ewan and Hazel.

 

 

Exit Plan Framework

scottishathletics have now updated their Exit Plan Framework document with their own ‘route maps’ that adhere to the Scottish Government’s latest advice.

This follows on from the Scottish Government announcements on Thursday the 28th of May and the publication last week of  ‘COVID-19 – Framework for Decision Making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis’ .

They're pleased to confirm that their Exit Plan Framework document is also accompanied by further separate guides for athletes, coaches and clubs/groups.

ATHLETES Phase 1 Advice 28 May

COACHES Phase 1 Advice 28 May

CLUBS Phase 1 Advice 28 May

It is intended that this should give some helpful clarity as the sport moves towards a return.

The guidance came into effect from Friday 29 May 2020.

Please note that advice for Phase 1 being communicated is that one-to-one coaching is permitted if it is outdoors, physical distancing can be maintained, and is with members of your household and/or members of one other household.

A coach should not deliver training to more than one household at any one time or provide training to more than one household per day.

Coaching a child (U18) from a different household one-to-one is not permitted unless a parent/carer is present, in order to comply with our scottishathletics safeguarding policy

Be aware that this guidance can change quickly, so please refer to the scottishathletics website regularly.

However, coaches and athletes must follow the guidelines from both a government policy perspective and for health and safeguarding reasons.

The plan is to update these documents (along with additional documents for event organisers and technical officials) as we exit Phase 1 and into each new phase.

scottishathletics are keen to stress that these documents are guides that we hope provides athletes, coaches, clubs, officials, event organisers and volunteers some advice and forward-thinking, allowing the sport to proactively plan ahead.

At all times, the Scottish Government guidance must be followed.

Information on the Scottish Government’s approach to managing Covid-19 is available at www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/ .

Additional information can be found via Health Protection Scotland at www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/web-resources-container/covid-19-guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings/

There is also information available at the following www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/hand-hygiene/

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90th Anniversary 1930 - 2020

Despite all of the bad news about the spread of Covid-19 and the subsequent lock down that has led to the cancellation of most of this seasons track and field meetings, we at Victoria Park City of Glasgow should take some time out to celebrate a special anniversary.

Victoria Park AAC was founded 90 years ago on the 4th of April 1930 in the Unionist Rooms, Partick.  The first committee meeting was held within Scotstoun Showgrounds and although the purpose of the Showgrounds has changed over the years and some of our neighbours have come and gone, the athletics club has been ever present.Picture by Partick Camera Club 1955

Over those 90 years, the club has made a massive contribution to Scottish and British athletics.  Many of our early successes are well documented and can be found on our website at this link James L Logan summarised our history from 1930 till 1970 and rightly highlighted the 12 appearances our members made in Olympic, European and Commonwealth games.  Since then our members have made a further 17 appearances in major games and the conveyor belt of talent shows no sign of slowing.

Last year was one of our best for many years and saw the club confirmed as the second highest ranked track and field club in Scotland.  We were Champions of both the Scottish Women’s Athletic League, the Central and South of Scotland Athletic League and set 4 new Scottish records.

It was great to see the teams succeeding last year because, for most of our members, individual success at the level they dream of will always evade them.  Some will have a long and rewarding career as an athlete and then as a coach, an official or another volunteering role within the club.  Others will only stay a short while, but hopefully make friends for life and go on to live the active, healthy lifestyle we promote.

Our current membership stands at 720, but just think of the thousands of young men and women who have joined Victoria Park and subsequently Victoria Park City of Glasgow over the years and enjoyed the inclusivity, the sense of belonging, the pride of wearing the vest and meeting and training with great role models.

Our reach these days goes much further than our membership.  Last year 400 children attended one of our week long training camps at Scotstoun, 200 children attended one of our eight week blocks of run, jump and throw sessions and our coaches provided about 40 hours of free coaching in local schools.  Many of those children will have formed a lasting impression of how an athlete trains, competes and conducts themselves while training within a group led by cheerful and enthusiastic coaches.Great picture from Gary Leek

Much has changed since the club was formed, but our members still dream of being the best in their school, of being the best in Scotland, of winning their first Scottish vest or being selected for a major games. These dreams have inspired them to join our club, motivated them to match or better their peers and driven them to be winners.  That’ll never change.

Everyone connected to the club, whether you were a competing member, an occasional volunteer or someone who’s served on the committee for over 30 years, should be very proud of what you’ve all achieved.

Although the future appears to be very uncertain due to the current circumstances, I have no doubt that the club will endure as a result of the lasting legacy created by its members, past and present.

Like many of our members, I was at the 75th anniversary at the National Piping Centre in November 2005 and was privileged to meet several of our founding members.  Sadly, they’re no longer with us.

While it’s no small achievement for the club to reach its 90th anniversary, the main event will be on Saturday the 6th of April 2030 when we can hopefully celebrate our 100th.

Gordon Innes

Sats Challenge - Club of the Year 2019

Arnold Black, (Scottish Athletics Statistician) has for the first time looked at rankings for the track and field clubs in the SATS Challenge.

The approach was straightforward: from his annual athlete rankings he’s awarded the athlete's club 10 points if their athlete is top of their event rankings, down to 1 point for the 10th placed athlete.

Scoring was on the basis of first-claim club members with the following exceptions: (1) Glasgow City AC, a team set up for the British League are excluded; (2) Universities and Schools are excluded; (3) Where an athlete's first-claim club is Glasgow City AC or a non-Scottish club, and where they are affiliated to a Scottish club AND competed for that club, their points are allocated to the Scottish club.

Victoria Park did exceptionally well, being 1st in both the U17 and U15 age groups, 2nd in the Senior age group, 3rd in the U13 age group and 5th in the U20 age group.  Only Edinburgh had a greater overall points total. 

It not only displays how well we exceeded our expectations last year but reveals why we should be so optimistic for the years ahead.