With the new year comes a new name for Amber Valley Athletic Club.
They will now be known as Amber Valley and Erewash Athletic Club, a name that better reflects their Ilkeston training base and the club’s expanding catchment area.
Formed in 1999, the club was originally based at the Charles Hill Sports Centre, Loscoe. In 2006 they were able to re-locate to the newly-built track and sportshall at Ilkeston’s Rutland Sports Park.
The club’s new name is the only change as all training times and venues, competitions, club kit and club personnel remain the same.
One of the club’s most successful athletes, David Feeney from Belper competed on January 8/9 in the England Athletics Indoor Combined Events Championships in Sheffield.
The 23-year-old all-rounder won a bronze medal, his first national medal as a senior, in the heptathlon. As a result he has gained international selection to compete for the GB and Northern Ireland team for an international indoor heptathlon in France at the end of the month.
Feeney set new personal bests in the high jump and 1k, and his overall points score of 5242 points ensured he picked up the Northern senior men’s title for good measure.
In much colder and muddier con-ditions, the club’s cross-country runners competed at the Derbyshire Cross Country championships at Wollaton Park. As well as individual and team team medals at stake, a top-eight position in each race entitles qualification to run for the county in the Inter-Counties championships at Cofton Park, Birmingham in March.
Making sure of his place was Belper’s Jethro McGraw, who as defending U13 boys champion had a tough race on his hands but his determination saw him take the title again.
Team mates Daniel Jones and Alex Knibbs finished 9th and 10th respectively to ensure that the AVEAC trio took the team gold. Also taking team gold were the U13 girls Tamsin McGraw, Emily Coope and Jessica Lockwood packing well in 5th, 6th and 7th places.
The U11 boys trio of Omar Aikman, Dexter Deaville and Jason Lockwood took the clubs third team gold of the day whilst there were further individual medals for Omar, a silver , and a bronze for Alex Turner in the U20 womens race.
Meanwhile, Amber Valley and Erewash AC athletes picked up a trio of medals at the Northern Athletics Indoor Championships.
Competing at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, Jack Allen gained his first ever regional medal finishing in silver medal position in the U15 boys shot putt, throwing a personal best of 9m 21.
He also made the final of the 60m wher he finished seventh and set a new personal best to finish sixth in long jump.
David Feeney, the club’s GB international multi-eventer took silver in the senior mens 60m hurdles.
Younger brother Michael also contesting the 60m hurdles, this time in the U20 mens event won a bronze.