National Road Relays

For the first time the Young Athletes section competed in these prestigious relays in Sutton Coldfield. All the athletes ran the same distance of just under 4k, which included a long climb at the start. The parents of the 26 athletes must be commended for travelling to the Midlands in order that our athletes could have a taste of racing the best in England.

So a wet cold morning greeted our athletes on the day, with the rain easing during late morning.

Under 13 girls

The girls exceeded the team manager's expectation of a top 20 placing from 60 starting teams by finishing an excellent 9th place, with the other team in 37th spot.

2018 Essex XC Relays

We had a tremendous turn out of 14 teams for our opening fixture at a sunny Gosfield School. Our overall results were excellent, with silver for our Under 13 boys team and a bronze for both our Under 17 Men and Under 13 girls. We also had another 5 teams inside the top 6 teams, where the entry was the biggest ever with an average of 18 teams per race.

Unfortunately for the first leg runners in the girls race, the leading group were sent the wrong way midway through their run. However the organisers, who were apologetic, agreed to let the results stand.

Girls Results

Boys Results

London Region Volunteer Awards

The club was well represented at the England Athletics London Region Volunteer Awards on 1st October 2018. The Woodford Green Game Changers won the Spirit of 2012 award. Spirit of 2012 is the legacy charity from the London 2012 Olympics, and many of our Game Changers were inspired having had a taste of volunteering as kit carriers at last year’s World Championships and Para World Champs. This year our volunteers (aged 14-25) have enjoyed success team managing our YDL lower and upper age group teams to promotion, officiated at a range of events including UKWL fixtures. with 5 reaching their requirements to become level 1 officials, while several are taking their coaching assistant awards. Game Changers Coordinator Alan James accepted the award on behalf of the volunteers from England Athletics Chief Executive Chris Jones.

John Stow (below) was the runner-up in the prestigious Coach Of The Year category at the event held at a hotel in Kensington. WGEL was recognised as the runner-up in the Club Of The Year category.


Freddie Sykes medal

A true gem has come to light. The medal won on 2nd January 1912 by Freddie Sykes when he won the club's 10 mile championship. Freddie Sykes was Club Secretary for 2 years 1912-1914 before relinquishing his post to join HM Forces.

Freddie-Sykes-medal-1 Freddie-Sykes-medal-2

His great-niece, Brenda Fil, recently got in touch with the club from Canada and sent photos of the medal, which seems likely to be the oldest known club medal. Tragically, Freddie was killed on the Somme in 1916.

After the war his brother Len Sykes was one of those responsible for getting the club moving once more. Len was a CC man and Social Secretary until the advent of WW2.

For many years, the club's medals were actually made of gold, silver and bronze. Judging from the hallmark, Freddie's medal seems to have been made of gold.

The medal would surely take pride of place in any WGEL-related Antiques Roadshow!

It is, perhaps, worth taking a moment to consider the enormous sacrifice made by the country's young men at that time.

RIP Freddie Sykes


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