A Year of Firsts for the Serpie Juniors

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One of our Juniors, Reema, gives the run-down on a successful and fun 2017.

Serpentine Juniors is an athletics club open to all 8-19 year olds who are interested in athletics or eager to improve their skills. This section of the club is relatively small, and has a warm, friendly atmosphere. Irrespective of any previous training or ability, Serpentine Juniors is open to all, and the qualities that are valuable are enthusiasm, energy, and effort. The training sessions are held every Tuesday and Thursday at Paddington Recreation Ground throughout the year. We currently have over 80 members on our membership list with 25 attending regularly. Over this past year, the Juniors have undertaken a variety of activities to advance and grow this section of the club. These include participation in the Middlesex Young Athletics League; the creation of an under 11s section; and even a trip to Nando’s at Christmas!

In September, we started an under 11s section led by Grace Mackintosh Sim. We believe that involvement in sport from a young age is essential in the development of children, physically and psychologically.   ‘Our aim is to encourage younger people to join in for fun athletics games to get them involved at an early age – this is similar to other clubs in the area,’ Grace said. We are excited because next year a Junior Parkrun, 2k at Paddington, is starting on Sundays. We hope this will further grow our young team.

The Middlesex Young Athletics League is an athletics league for junior athletes, and last year we competed in all four events. In April, the juniors participated in an athletics meeting in Perivale, which was the first event the Juniors competed in as part of the league. In May, the club went to Finsbury Park to compete in another event, led by Peter Clarke. The following two months also saw days of competing; one in Parliament Hill, led by Tim Wright, and the other in Allianz Park, led by Grace and Megan Roberts. July ended with a nail biting finish to the relay as our junior girls won the 4 x 100m relay! I asked two members of the club what they thought of the competitions: Baqer said, ‘It was a great opportunity to have fun and demonstrate how far we have come.’ Abdalla thinks, ‘It’s great for young kids to be able to have the opportunity to participate in these events.’ I was also interested in the parents’ opinion of the Juniors involvement in the league. One parent said, ‘It was exciting as for many Juniors it was their first time competing in such competitions, and it was great seeing what hard work can achieve’

Before the Christmas holidays, our junior team took a trip to Nando’s. It was a fantastic way to reward the team for weeks of training and it made a great gathering before many went away for the holiday.

Overall, 2017 has been a great year of firsts for the Serpentine Juniors, and we know that the New Year will bring more exciting news. We have new coaches joining in 2018 to support us and help with the advancement of the club, which we are particularly looking forward to!

Reema is in Year 12 and looking for a work experience placement in journalism. She has extremely good GCSE results and is aiming to apply to Oxbridge. If any Serpentimes readers work in journalism and can offer her advice or a placement please contact her via juniors@serpentine.org.uk