About Great Milton Athletics Club
Athletics in Great Milton came into being in September 2012 and Great Milton Athletics Club (GMAC) was formalised and became affiliated with UK Athletics in September 2014.
The club arose from a group of keen children from Great Milton C of E primary school inspired by the London 2012 Olympic games. The club has grown and developed around this group of children and has expanded to include a larger group of children both from and outside of Great Milton village. At present we have 24 members split between juniors (up to age 11/12) and seniors (age 11/12 upwards). Outside the pandemic, membership numbers are higher, but for now potential new members are placed on a waiting list until the situation improves.
Athletes are invited to join from Year 4 upwards if they are from Great Milton village or school, and Year 5 upwards if from further afield. GMAC is primarily a children’s club, although has two young adult members who have progressed through the age groups and remain involved.
Pat Read is our head coach. He is a UK Athletics qualified coach and also holds various other qualifications within athletics. Pat is a former endurance runner himself and this together with his qualifications means that he brings a vast wealth of knowledge and experience to our club and its athletes. Pat is dedicated to the sport and meticulous in his coaching and planning. He also is the person behind many of the local schools’ Area Sports events. The club and athletes are very fortunate to have Pat within our club.
The club also has two UK Athletics qualified assistant coaches who support Pat alongside. Some of our older athletes are now coming through to begin training as Assistant Coaches.
As an affiliate member of UK Athletics, the club is covered by Public Liability Insurance.
Our main training sessions takes place at Horspath Sports & Athletics ground on Tuesday & Thursday evenings; 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm. Tuesdays is for the Senior squad and Thursdays for the Junior Squad. There is a further training session on a Saturday morning in Great Milton and other training opportunities are available for our senior athletes, particularly the competitors. These are often arranged at training venues across the South East and provide athletes with the opportunity to train with event specific coaches enabling them to further develop their skills.
Summer training concentrates on track and field events, and training sessions rotate between running, hurdling, jumping and throwing content as well as drills, strength and conditioning, and warm-up/cool down. Winter training has more of a focus on laying a sound fitness and technical base for the summer, as well as an emphasis on endurance work for the cross-country runners.
Each and every session is planned by Pat to meet the need of all the athletes.
The club training year runs from September to mid-July, and breaks for the school summer holidays. However, some training may take place during the summer holidays for individuals selected to represent Oxfordshire for regional/national finals which may take place in August and September.
A management committee runs the club. The committee meets regularly and the club holds its AGM meeting in October/November, which all members are invited to attend. Our committee members are currently:
- Emily Johns - Chairman
- Kate Blanche - Secretary
- Alex Kirkman - Treasurer
- Sian Brown & Jim Brown - Welfare and DBS verification secretaries
- Pat Read - Coaching Coordinator
- Beth Wilson - Volunteer Coordinator
GMAC also benefits from Sue Barratt who supports the club as an administrator. She oversees the membership process, assists with affiliation and supports our treasurer with banking and club accounts.
Annual membership runs from 1 April each year and costs £48 per athlete. Members aged 11 or those turning 11 in the membership year must also join England Athletics (£16) if they wish to enter any competitions. Training fees are in addition, and will cost typically £6 a week.
Competing athletes must also purchase a club vest at £16.50 each. Club Hoodies are available to order and a stock of T-Shirts is available for immediate purchase for members. We also have a supply of second hand running spikes available for a small donation to the club.
Funding & equipment
GMAC has been extremely fortunate to receive funding from the Sheppard Trust, a local charity in Great Milton. This support enabled the club to start up and then affiliate with various leagues and UK Athletics. Generous funding has enabled us to train our coaches to a high standard and to purchase equipment such as hurdles and throwing implements. The club is very grateful to the Sheppard Trust for its support.
Training in Great Milton
GMAC are grateful to the Recreation Ground Committee, for being able to use the Recreation Ground for some of their Saturday training.
GMAC further benefit from the ethos of community generously displayed by Le Manoir, Raymond Blanc & Belmond in allowing the club to train on the hill above the Orchard, and cutting for us an amazing set of paths across the hill for running routes.
The club is a member of the Oxfordshire Cross Country League, the Oxon Junior League as well as Oxfordshire Athletics. Our athletes compete in both leagues as well as in County Championships, Open graded athletics meetings and Quad kids events.
*** CLUB WELFARE***
Great Milton Athletics Club is committed to creating a safe environment for athletes, parents and coaches to train and compete. Click here to contact our Club Welfare officer, or for further information on club welfare, please click here.