Welsh Athletics is very sad to report the sudden death of Welsh Athletics President Sue Sayer late on Sunday 8th March.
Matt Newman, Welsh Athletics Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Sue Sayer was a true unsung hero of athletics in Wales.
Sue showed an unbelievable commitment and dedication to her club, the North Wales Region and to athletics at a national and international level.
Her contribution was immense and she will be missed by everyone within the wider athletics family. Our thoughts are with Ivor, Caroline and Richard at this difficult time.”
News of her death has stunned everyone connected with the sport and sadly it is the second tragedy involving North Wales officials in the past week.
Last week Gareth Brooks, 35-year-old son of Paul Brooks, of Leeswood, the secretary of the North Wales regional athletics council, died in hospital after a short illness .
Sue Sayer, 68, from Buckley, was chair of Deeside Athletics Club, chair of the North Wales regional council and for the past two years has been President of Welsh Athletics. Until recently she was also secretary of the Welsh track and field committee.
In her role as President she attended numerous competitions and meetings throughout Wales, and at the close of Sunday’s indoor international in Cardiff was presented with a bouquet.
It is understood that as she was driving home she was taken ill near Craven Arms in Shropshire and pulled into a lay-by. A passer-by alerted the police and she was found to be dead.
The secretary of Deeside AAC Denise Harris said the news had come as a huge shock although she had not been in the best of health in recent years.
“I had known Sue for about 30 years since she first brought her daughter Caroline to the club as a youngster,” she said. “She started helping and became more involved as a team manager and eventually as chairperson.
“Her death leaves a huge gap to fill because she did so much for the club.”
Gareth Hughes, vice-chairman of the North Wales regional council, said Mrs Sayer was constantly working for the good of the sport in the region and was very proud of the achievements of local athletes at national and international level.
“She made a massive contribution to the sport over many years, which was recognized by her election as President, and she was forever speaking up for North Wales,” he said.
A former teacher, Mrs Sayer received a Welsh Athletics meritorious award in 2001 and 12 years later was presented with Award of Honour.
She leaves her husband Ivor, himself a much-respected official race starter, and children Richard and Caroline, all of whom have made a huge contribution to athletics.
Details of the funeral arrangements to follow.
Our sincere condolences to husband Ivor and her children Richard & Caroline.
Twelve Harriers competed at the Welsh Cross Country Championships at Rhug this Saturday . despite the dodgy weather and frequent snow showers the courses were fairly dry and mud free.
In the women’s race Annabelle McQueen took the day off swimming to come 18th in under 15 girls, Bronwen Jenkinson got her first ever medal at Welsh Cross Champs with third in the under 20s. New recruit to the Eryri women , Lauren Jeska, timed her run perfectly to finish second in the senior women’s race behind Llandrindod’s finest, Ffion Price.
In the men’s races Mike Spill ran solidly to come 14th in the under 13 race while big brother John was fifth in the under 17s and Steffan Williams was 18th in the same race. Owen Roberts was fifth in the men’s under 20 race which was won by GB International Jac Hopkins.
In the senior men, Richard Roberts put in a fine performance to finish sixth with SPJ coming a fine 20th leaving many youngsters in his wake, Ben Beachell was 23rd, a resurgent James McQueen 40th and Mike Blake 50th, missing the start despite turning up two hours early.
Amazingly another dry day for the last fixture in the cross country league, although of course there was lots of mud! In the first race, Steffan ran well to finish 5th U17 and Don again won the o70 category. The women were led home by Bronwen, 1st U20, followed by Lou (o35), Megan (o35) and Jenny (o40) packing well, then Sandra (o45), Ellie (o50) and Maggie (o65). This cemented the superb achievement of being first Womens team and first Lady Masters team, with a cup and and shield being awarded respectively. Andrea Rowlands has had a stunning season and ended up as 2nd Senior Women as well as winning the o40 category! Don again won the o70 category, Lou was 2nd and Megan 3rd in the o35 category and Maggie 2nd in the o65s.
It was great to see the mens race being won by Richard Roberts, followed in 2nd position by the ever improving Owen U20, Fred 13th after injuring his hand during the race, Craig (o40) 23rd, SPJ (o55) 33rd, Arwel (o55) 43rd, Paul (o45) 56th, returning from injury Kean (o50) 78th and Steve Llan (o55) 98th . The Mens team finished in an excellent overall 2nd position behind Bangor Unversity, with the Masters narrowly missing out on the medals in 4th position. Some great individual results, Fred being 5th Snr Man, Owen 2nd U20, SPJ and Arwel 2nd & 3rd o55.
Overall this season 23 women and 24 men have run for the club and they all deserve a medal for their contribution to the club`s success! Diolch yn fawr iawn i bawb!
Just when you thought the cross country season was nearly over , it isn’t if you are selected to run for North Wales at the UK inter-counties in Birmingham on the 7th March and if you a Master – over 35 – the British Masters Cross Country Championships are being held in Ruthin on the 14th March. Further details are available on the British Masters Athletic Federation website www.xchangecms.co.uk and look at the fixtures tab. The event is pre-entry only by the 7th March.
A cold but sunny day and a heavy course, water logged in places, greeted us at the National Sports Centre. It turned out to be a very worthwhile trek in terms of cementing contributions to individual and team results, with the outcome being finally decided next Sat (Feb 7th ) at Oswestry.
The first race saw John Spill finish an excellent 3rd and Steffan 6th in the u17 age category, while in the same race, continuing her superb record, Andrea Rowlands finished 2nd lady (1st F40). Bronwen Jenkinson ran well to finish 10th (as well as 1st u20) and was followed closely by Jenny Heming (F40 ),(great to see her racing again after a long injury lay off!), Sandra Rowlands (3rd F45), Helen Blair (F45), Hayley Turner, Ellie Salisbury (F50), Don Williams (1st M70) and Maggie (2nd F65).
Concern about the men having a team were allayed by the nine stalwarts who turned up! It was great to see Richard Roberts in his first cross country this season for the club, coming 2nd overall and new club member Owen Roberts (1st u20) continuing the standard of his debut run at St David`s College, by coming 7th in the men`s race. Good running saw Craig Jones (3rd M40) 25th, SPJ (1st M55) 31st, Arwel (3rd M55) 38th, Antony Woodall (M40) 50th, Paul Jenks (M45) 69th , Stu 75th and Steve Llan (M55) 98th.
The Ladies team was 2nd on the day but still has an overall lead of 67 and the Masters are also in a strong medal position. The mens team was 2nd on the day and are now only 30 points behind league leaders Bangor University in the aggregate results! The male masters were 3rd on the day and are in 4th overall position, only 23 points behind Buckley! So come on everyone, a really strong teams at Oswestry would see these great results maintained and even improved!!
Thanks to all who turned out to run for the club, with special mention to Stu for crossing the A55 dual carriageway with the gazebo and Arwel for driving the minibus! A final chance to share in the glory is the last league fixture at Oswestry on Sat Feb 7th. The free bus will leave Parc Menai at 10.30. Please confirm with Maggie Oliver to book a place. 07792053751 / 01286 871494 or Arwel Lewis 07772302411 / 01248 671202
Triumphant teams at Cross country NW Champs
Following on from the numerous excellent individual results as reported by Paul Jenkinson, the team results were superb!
The Senior Men, Senior Ladies and Ladies Masters teams were all 1st and the Male Masters team was 2nd! Hope this bodes well for further success in the NW Cross Country League, though we might be a bit thin on the ground for this Saturday!
Please get in touch if you are able to come and run to support your club at Lilleshall or Oswestry, the following Saturday (Feb 7th). Free bus going to both!
Despite the obvious clashes with other fine races in north Wales plenty of Eryri harriers were in action at Northop in the North Wales Cross country championships. With more reasonable weather than last year some fine results were achieved.
Andrea Rowlands was second lady and 1st vet 40, Bronwen Jenkinson was fifth lady and 1st under 20, Megan Hughes was second vet 35 , Sandra Rowlands was second over 45, Ellie Salisbury was third over 50 and Maggie Oliver second over 65.
In the mens race John Spill was third in the under 17 race with Steffan Williams continuing to improve a little further back. Don Williams was crowned over 70 champ, SPJ the over 60 champ, Arwel Lewis over 55 champ, Owen Roberts won the u20 mens race while Daniel Kashi was second male overall and Hugh O’Donnell was second over 35.
Lots of other members also ran well on the day
Thanks to David for giving out so many prizes even if the prize giving took longer than the mens race!