Monday, August 10, 2020

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.



Coronavirus - Training Cancelled

In light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and after consideration of the advice from Scottish Athletics and the UK Government, the committee has decided to suspend all club coaching sessions until further notice.

The numbers attending many of our club sessions regularly exceed 100 which in the current climate is likely to increase the risk of person to person transmission of the virus.

Scotstoun Stadium remains open and individuals will still be able to train within the facility at their discretion.

Some event groups may want to continue their sessions and that decision will have to be made by the individual athletes, parents and coaches.  Scottish Athletics gave the following advice today: "We recommend that all formal club/group training sessions be cancelled for the time being but the situation will be monitored and reviewed on a week-by-week basis and until the recommendations on social contact are better understood".

The circumstances we find ourselves in is unlikely to improve for some time and as a result, we’ve decided to cancel all of the athletes monthly training fees.  Members will still be able to use their track access cards until the end of the current month.  Members don’t need to take any action on LoveAdmin.  If you do visit the Stadium after the 31st of March, you’ll have to pay for access with cash at the reception.

We hope that everyone will retain their memberships meantime.  Some annual membership fees may become due during the suspension and we will continue to ask for payment.

We remain hopeful that our athletes will be able to compete in some competitions or championships during the upcoming summer season and our team managers will keep everyone aware of any opportunities.

We will also sadly, have to cancel the spring holiday camps that were due to start on Monday the 6th of April and the next block of the Run, Jump and Throw Club that was due to start on Saturday the 25th of April.  For those who had already booked places, we will arrange a full refund as soon as possible.

When the situation has improved enough for the club to resume its activities at Scotstoun we’ll notify the membership by email and on the club website at:  Another point of contact that is popular with our members is our Facebook Group which can be found at this link:

During this enforced break, we hope that everyone remains fit and healthy and we look forward to seeing you all back at Scotstoun in the not too distant future.

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Club Manager



Scotstoun Open

Scotstoun Stadium reopened today. Our regular coaching sessions will resume this evening and our Road Runners are planning on leaving from the stadium as usual at 7pm.

We plan to reschedule Saturday’s cancelled Run, Jump and Throw sessions as soon as possible.

We've had a confirmed case of the Coronavirus at Scotstoun Stadium. One of the Scottish women's International rugby players has fallen ill.  As a result of this, today’s Rugby Match has been cancelled.

The infected player has been in the Stadium training this week and we don't know where she's been or what she’s touched.  Scottish Rugby have said that the player is being treated in a healthcare facility but is "otherwise well".

We’ve cancelled the Saturday morning Run, Jump and Throw Club and no one will be allowed access to the stadium ahead of a deep clean.

There’s every likelihood that the rugby players used a different area of the stadium and different doors, but the staff will have shared these areas.

I’ll be having follow up conversations with the management today and tomorrow and I’ll update when we have more information.

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In an email from Glasgow Life, families were told that the decision to temporarily close the facility was taken in the "interests of the safety of staff and public".

"In conjunction with, and on the advice of, the appropriate public health agencies, we will reopen when it is deemed safe to do so," it said.

"The safety of everyone who uses or works at Scotstoun is our absolute priority and it will remain closed while we take appropriate cleaning measures.

"It will only reopen when appropriate public health agencies deem it safe."