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UK Athletics

Eight Lanes on...

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Alex Jackson celebrates his Official of the year award
Alex Jackosn is surrounded by top GB stars as he celebrates his Officials Award from the UKA Awards Dinner
Each E-Inspire, we focus on giving you a quick and painless guide on any subject matter in athletics in eight easy-to-digest points.

Today we take our partner by the hand - swing 'em round.... and tell you all about Scotland's finest: 


Scottish Athletics enjoyed two key victories at the UK Athletics Awards Dinner with East Ayrshire Athletics Partnership (EAAP) and popular official Alex Jackson winning their respective awards. Now Eight Lanes On... explains how and why these two nominations took the big prizes:


The background. Official of the Year Alex Jackson worked as secretary of the East District cross country for more than 20 years and has also served off-track athletics with his road running and cross country event organisation. This year he took a key role in the organisation of the World Cross Country Championships that took place in Edinburgh – culminating in a highly successful weekend following months of hard work.


Partnership of the Year – the East Ayrshire Athletics Partnership (EAAP) comprises East Ayrshire Leisure Development Services, Education and Social Services, Kilmarnock Harriers AC and Scottish athletics. Working together they have created a framework of athletics programmes which have enabled local people to experience and participate in athletics. Schemes such as holiday programmes, coach mentoring, community run jump and throws clubs and club “come and try” events have registered record numbers across the board.


East Ayrshire Athletics Partnership celebrate their Award
Kilmarnock members (Kenny Wales, James Wales and Jim Young) celebrate their award alongside Chris Tomlinson


Pile of silverware. Jackson’s award marks the end of a successful few weeks which also saw him awarded Scottish Off Track Official of the year the week before at the scottishathletics Annual Awards Dinner in Glasgow.


And the award goes to. Speaking of his moment in the spotlight, Jackson said: “I’ve never experienced anything like this before, its like the Oscars without the split screen showing the other nominees. In Birmingham there are five other nominees, I listened as each of their background information was read out, they all have a wealth of experience and service to the sport and I was humbled to be in such company.


Cross Talk.  In receiving his award, Jackson also paid tribute to his colleagues involved in the World Cross Country organisation: “I know that my involvement in the successful IAAF World Cross Country Championship in Edinburgh in March was a big factor in me winning the award, so to all the great Edinburgh Local Organising Committee, Officials, Volunteers etc, thanks, a measure of my large magnum of Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top Champagne is for you.”


Over the moon.  East Ayrshire’s Athletics Development Manager Louise West commented on the EAAP victory:  ”When it was announced that we had won the Partnership award we were all completely surprised but utterly over the moon. The Partnership was only established in January this year and in that short time, EAAP has had a very positive impact on the sport locally."


Alex Jackson in Mombasa 2007
Top Official - Jackson hard at work promoting Edinburgh to athletes back in 2007


Increasing numbers and making a difference – the EAAP success has made a tangible difference as West says: “There has been a noted increase in attendances in Community and School based athletics events and programmes throughout the authority, and the formation of a new and much needed satellite athletics club in Cumnock as part of the Kilmarnock Harriers."


Glasgow Kiss. Leader of East Ayrshire Council, Councillor Douglas Reid was delighted:

"I am absolutely overwhelmed by the success of East Ayrshire Athletics Partnership at both the Scottish and UK Athletics Awards.  East Ayrshire Council is committed to continuing our work with local and national partners to ensure that our local athletes are supported to reach their full potential – ultimately I hope to see some of the young people working with the East Ayrshire Athletics Partnership now on the Podium in 2014!"


E-Inspire will be taking a break during the Christmas and New Year period and will return with a new look in the Spring!