id1224-Gillian's Final Sportshall Report

Written by GLL   

Gillian Libretto bids a fond farewell to Sportshall after 16 years of fine commitment to K&P and Surrey teams

Sportshall Athletics ( is considered by many to be an excellent stepping stone into T&F Athletics for Juniors, and it provides a competitive focus for many young athletes over the winter season. Sportshall activities, with specialist equipment for Sportshall events such as Standing Long Jump and Speed Bounce, are at the heart of many clubs’ winter programmes encouraging year round enjoyment and participation in athletics for Juniors and their parents, who form a close-knit group of supporters after the “Sportshall Experience” and continue that support throughout the summer competitions.

Our Coaches endorse this view and promote the sport for Junior athletes during winter training who are encouraged to join the K&P Team competing in the Surrey County AA competitions each October, November and January at the Guildford Spectrum.

Sportshall Athletics for K&P's U11's:

Not to be left out, our U11 Kingston Kestrels, managed by Coach Gill Broderick, are invited each year to competitions organised by the Birmingham-based Sportshall Associates in conjunction with Surrey County AA, and these are usually held at Burgess Hill Sports Centre. Youngsters in the the Kingston Kestrel Team come mostly from K&P's Kestrel Groups but they can also be from local primary schools to make up numbers and to recruit into the Club.

It is hoped for the future that more U11 Sportshall Athletics matches will be organised by Active Kingston and RBK schools, and in the Greater London Boroughs, but these festivals and developing leagues for the U11's will require designated budgets and their futures are uncertain.


The following U13/U15's competed in 2010-11:

Ellie Butcher Eva Clarke Patrick Comerford Laura Darcey Caitlin Dimbleby Amber Dummett Jody Edwards Issi Eno Chyna Fraser Nina Gibbins Lydia Hemington Cellia Landi Ellie Lynwood Ellie Manhire

Elizabeth Rennie Frances Rennie

Patrick Comerford Ryan Crema Gabriel Finch Harry Morgan

Harry Robinson Sammy Obitz Neil Wellard

Lewis Bateman Alex Bartle Matt Broderick Marlie Carter Edwards

Lauren Edwards Maziar Gregg Prerana Kaneri Nicole Kendall

Alex Lynwood Olivia Njain/s Sam Phillips Bryony Ross

Vanessa Saunders Ella Shaw Matt P Stevens Matt W. Stevens

All contributed to another very successful Sportshall season, which saw most of our Squads in the top 5 of the 14 Surrey Clubs competing at Spectrum.

Our U13 Boys gave some really good individual performances, despite their depleted squads. Only 7 boys competed overall out of a possible 20, and 4 managing only one of the competitions with Harry Robinson, Gabriel Finch and Neil Wellard competing in two. Unfortunately Gabriel was ill in match 1 and had to withdraw from the sprinting, which prevented him being the best scorer in the squad overall, Neil taking top position.

Gabriel shows real promise in the Jumps (3rd in Long Jump out of 28 athletes )and Neil is developing into a fine distance runner (4th out of 34 athletes in 6 Lap).

Patrick Comerford, Ryan Crema, the Harry's Morgan & Robinson and Sammy Obitz were novices to Sportshall and just up from the U11's, so they felt the pressure to perform against more experienced competitors in the Surrey Clubs.

Ryan and Sammy were a great team in the 8 Lap Parlauf (640m) and the two Harry's show promise in the 2 Lap (160m) and 4 Lap (320m)races. Patrick Comerford was 3rd in HJ out of 17 athletes and first year U13 Sammy Obitz was 7th out of 28 athletes in 6 lap in the first match – both excellent first time efforts.

Despite being poorly supported throughout this competition and the Squad therefore falling behind in overall points, the U13 Boys' competitive spirit certainly bodes well for summer Track & Field, and for the future of this young Sportshall squad.

The more experienced and confident U13 Girls fielded both A and B Squads and really attacked the competition, with 9 Surrey Clubs also putting in a number of squads – Epsom & Ewell fielding 4!

Our A's kept well in the top ten, being 2nd to Guildford & Godalming in match 1 and the B's kept their heads up in mid-range of the 20 or so squads overall.

New to Sportshall were Celia Landi, Amber Dummett, Jody Edwards, Chyna Edwards, Issy Eno and Lydia Hemmington who relaxed visibly after a few events had taken place, and put in some good performances – Amber in Vertical Jump; Jody and Issy in Shot; Chyna in 4 Lap. Ellie Manhire was best in Shot with 7m12 but her sprinting needs to improve if she is to progress to County selection next season.

For the first time in many years, the U15 Boys struggled with only 6 athletes who managed to spread themselves thinly over the 3 matches. At no time did they field a full Squad of six athletes but twice managed a good Squad of four scoring athletes to triumph in first position in match 1 out of 7 clubs, and third out of 9 clubs in match 2.

(Surrey Comet November 26thKingston are favourites to land honours”, by Tom Polak).

However, with only two athletes for the last match the Squad dropped to 5th position out of 8 – still an excellent effort from the two Matthews - Broderick (2nd in Standing Triple Jump) and P. Stevens (3rd in 4 Lap).

Sam Phillips and Matthew W Stevens, both new to Sportshall, were in the top three for their sprints and jumps events.

With ill-fitting shoes in match 2, Lewis Bateman was still the fastest in the squad at 2 Lap (160m) but would have had top ten scores and possible County selection had he been more prepared. Overall he is the best individual scorer in the Squad.

In contrast, the U15 Girls Squad did not struggle for numbers and were able to field two squads in the second match and full squads of 6 athletes in the first and third matches. Overall they worked well and with confidence to show that K&P Girls are amongst the best in Surrey. Prerana in Shot, Olivia and Ella in 4 Lap earned some solid points for the Squad, and newcomer Marlie Carter-Edwards shows promising talent in 4 Lap and Speed Bounce. Best Individual Points Scorers were Lauren Edwards, Nicole Kendall, Bryony Ross, and Vanessa Saunders - with Nicole and Vanessa tied as best scorers in the Squad.

The full results on the 3 SCAA Sportshall matches this past season can be found on the Surrey site (

Inter-county Sportshall Athletics – the Regional Finals.

Like the majority of counties in Britain, Surrey County AA’s Sportshall Athletics League held at the Guildford Spectrum, thrives at Regional and Intercounty level to the extent that there is always a Surrey Team representing the SE of England at the National Finals in Birmingham. This is also true for the 2010-11 season.

Many of our own current Seniors & U23's at K&P were successful athletes at National Sportshall and went on to higher successes in Track & Field Athletics at Surrey County level, English Schools, British Universities, Senior mens British Athletics League and the UK Womens League. They include Dominique Blaize (Junior/Senior International), Matt Field, Isabelle Hatton, Mary Iheke, Molly Renfer, Richard Smeaton and Humphrey Waddington.

Dominique and Isabelle were in the Surrey U15 Girls’ Squad which won the National Sportshall Finals in 2003.

Surrey prepares for the Intercounty match against Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, Kent, Sussex and Oxfordshire, by choosing their U13 and U15 Teams from the top ten performers at the three Regional league matches held at Guildford Spectrum.

This year, the following athletes reached the Top Ten Best Individual Performer's List in the Regional Competition:


Ellie Butcher Laura Darcey Caitlin Dimbleby Nina Gibbins


Matthew Broderick Lauren Edwards Nicole Kendall Bryony Ross

Vanessa Saunders Sam Phillips

Matthew P. Stevens Matthew W. Stevens

The Sportshall Regional Finals 2010 - 11

Unfortunately, and for the second year running, no K&P Boys in the Sportshall Team managed County representation despite most of the U15 Boys being very close in their individual performances. They were superseded by boys selected from Camberley, Hercules Wimbledon, Sutton, Walton and Wandsworth.

However, U13's Ellie, Laura, Caitlin and U15's Lauren and Vanessa (Reserve) joined the Surrey Squads on the 14th February at Burgess Hill for the Regional Finals.

Pb's were gained by Caitlin in 2 Lap (26.8) and her Standing Long Jump of 2m08; Laura in her High Jump of 1m30, and Ellie in her 6 lap (Pb 1:26.6) won the overall Silver Medal against 13 competitors from the other counties. Surrey U13 Girls finished 3rd out of 7 counties (Isle if Wight were in another Region this season).

Lauren gained a Pb in 2 Lap (25.4) and was ranked 16th out of 43 competitors when her Vertical Jump (53) and Speed Bounce (74) points were included.

Although the Surrey U15 Girls finished second behind Berkshire, the Squad has qualified for being the best scoring runners up for the National Sportshall UK Championships in Birmingham!'

The National Finals is on the 3rd April at the NEC.



Gillian's Farewell

My last Sportshall Athletics Report above does not give much idea of the atmosphere we all enjoy at these particular competitions – I would like those who have never been to go along and enjoy the fun and excitement, especially when our athletes win!

I have been lucky to have the support of a good team of Club Coaches and Team Managers to help on the day, and for that I have been extremely grateful.

My thanks go to Maurice for driving the mini-bus and officiating, Gill Broderick, Mary Dimbleby, Lyn Edwards and Andy Robinson  for looking after the Squads, to Susanne and Frank for their advice and support on and before the day of competition, to Nikolaj our Team photographer, and to all the parents who braved the "Sportshall Experience"!

For family and health reasons, I will not be seeing everyone next time round but I shall be supporting you all nevertheless and wish the TM who takes my place a really wonderful time with our Junior Sportshall athletes.

Despite the commitment and practical difficulties Sportshall Athletics demands, it has been a very exciting 16 years during which time I have seen some wonderful talent, the last ten years of which has been taking the Surrey Girls up to the UK Finals in Birmingham as their TM.

It has been a pleasure being in the company of so many smashing K&P kids and their families and I shall be missing that side of the “Sportshall Experience” very much.

All good wishes for the future!

Gillian Libretto.

Formerly Sportshall Athletics Co-ordinator /Team Manager & Surrey TM U15 Girls Squad.


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