Get Kids Into Sports!

Thanks again Gary Jordan, Geoff Waller and the Armchair Club for your support as you know it’s appreciated by myself the youngsters their parents and guardians and all of the coaches.

Wayne Turner indicated how the money would be sent on new equipment and that all support is really appreciated. The Rainworth & Blidworth boxing & fitness club is in desperate need of a mezzanine and equipment to accommodate the growing numbers of youngsters that attend every week and this is the start of our fundraising drive

If any businesses, community groups or individuals are interested in helping then please email me thanks #GetKidsIntoSport

RIP John Slater

I am very sorry and sad to share the news that John Slater passed away on Sunday 12th December after a long battle against cancer.

John was a founder member of the AC and was the person who organised the Question of Sport event from the outset. John was Sales Manager at Abacus and at the point that Abacus took effective control of MTFC, he moved across to become the Stags Commercial Manager before eventually returning to Abacus and then subsequently moved on to work for a company based in France who also manufactured street lighting.

John was made an Honorary member of the AC earlier this year in recognition of his years of support. John was a keen golfer and back in the day was also employed part-time as a football scout, working for a number of League clubs, preparing reports on promising players or briefing a team on their upcoming opponents.  John was also “honest John” giving tips on horse racing. In recent years he played this role to perfection when he and Nicola came to our home for our annual Grand National lunch when he was also the bookie.

Sharon and I were going over to see him and Nicola on Thursday but this was postponed until Monday 13th. So very sadly we did not get to say goodbye to a wonderful guy. The world would be a better place if it were full of people like John.



Mansfield’s best kept secret is how local businessman Malcolm Hall describes Pro Cyclist Ross Lamb as. ‘’He gets on with the business of winning without the public support he deserves. I’ve known Ross since 2017 when I was part sponsor for the team he raced with and during that year he came 2nd in the championships, something that has rested heavy with him ever since, so winning this year was an itch he needed to scratch’’  

Ross rides for British Team Swift Carbon UK and has brought the cup home after a long wait since Chris Allcock won the race in 1996. He joins an elite club of Mansfield cyclists winning championships which also includes Jonno Harper who took the cyclo cross double in 2015. 

Ross’s race calendar has kept him away from the championships for some years as he has been racing on the continent in both Belgium and France, but it was his performances there that came to the attention of Swift who had no hesitation in offering him a place on the team when it was formed. 

This year he has been in world level events including prestigious races such as the Tour of Portugal and the Tour of Britain where he has been rubbing shoulders with Mark Cavendish and World Champion Julien Alaphillipe to name but two. 

Friend and mentor Mick Padley said “after the quality miles he put in as part of the aforementioned races I knew he would be carrying some form and when he took a solid 4th at the Elite event the Beaumont Trophy, round the tough Northumberland moors, I felt sure he had the legs to do the business at the East Midlands Championships” 

‘’At the Championship race Ross was keen to push the pace on and dragged 3 other riders away with him and when I assessed his breakaway companions, I knew the win was a possibility and sure enough he brought it home’’. 

But Ross hasn’t got time to rest on his laurels as he prepares for his final race of the season the National Championships held at Lincoln on the 17th October. “The Nationals are a tough race “said Ross “with all the pro riders coming home from around Europe to challenge for the title but I’ll be giving it my best to get my hometown of Mansfield’s name to the fore” 

The Nationals consist of 13 ascents of the infamous cobbled climb of Michael Gate but racing on cobbles is something that Ross became accustomed to during his time in Belgium.

Second place in the sprint championship for Owen Speirs

On the 4th of September as planned Owen drove at Rye House in Hertfordshire in their endurance series racing for team 3FS, all three guy’s drove really well qualifying 2nd in clubman finally bringing the Kart home for a second place podium finish after a four hour race .

Onto Ellough park in Suffolk driving in the F160 sprint championship on the 18th this was Owens first drive at the circuit he set very competitive times during
practice,unfortunately during heat 2 his Kart suffered very heavy damage thankfully Owen was OK, we managed to get him back on track for heat 3 ,in the final he secured another third place podium finish.

Using his spare kart this places him in second place in the sprint championship for this weekend’s final round in F160 held at Rye House 🤞

Thanks Derek & Owen Speirs

Virtual awards salute sporting stars of 2020

Source: News Journal

Sporting stars from across the area were celebrated at the annual Mansfield Sports Recognition Awards.

The awards, which have continued thanks to the work of the Armchair Club, were held online for the first time because of coronavirus restrictions.

It was a good night in particular for Mansfield Harriers Athletic Club — as it celebrates a full return to Berry Hill Park ­— 776 Gymnastic Academies and the sport of ice skating.

Mansfield ice skater Rebecca Gillespie was named Sportsperson of the Year.

The figure skater ended 2019 with a top four place at the British Championships and during a difficult 2020 was placed on the national development team by British Ice Skating.

She is now landing triple combination jumps in practice and has also started work on the triple axle jump, which has never been landed by a British woman.

Rebecca was invited to open the World Junior Synchronised Skating Championships 2020 in Nottingham and during lockdown has helped other young skaters, including with training at Berry Hill Park, Mansfield.

After hearing of her win at the awards on Zoom, Rebecca, who trains at the Lammas Leisure Centre rink in Sutton as well as in Nottingham and Sheffield, said: “Thank you so much, wow I can’t believe it. It means so much. In my whole skating career I have not had anything like this. It means a lot.

“I won the British Championships when I was 14 and this is a similar, wonderful feeling.

“2021 has been a tough time for everybody with eight or nine months of no ice time.”

Fellow ice skater Callum Mills was named Disabled was named Disabled Sportsperson of the Year.

He won gold at the British Championships for free skating, free dance and pairs and repeated his success at the Scottish Championships.

Callum, who also trains at the Lammas rink, revealed at the awards that he has been selected to represent Team GB at the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2022 in Russia.

Mansfield Harriers’ Lauren McNeil was named Junior Sportsman of the Year.

She ran for England Under-20s in January and was placed third, despite being three years younger than most of her rivals, and has been invited on to the UK talented athletes scheme.

Harriers’ chairman and coach Pat Carlan was named Volunteer of the Year and coach Richard Massey won the Roger Copestake Mayor’s Special Achievement Award.

Richard’s virtual training sessions during coronavirus lockdown that developed into including international athletes were highlighted by the judges.

To complete the Harriers’ success at the awards, it also scooped the Club of the Year accolade while the Under-11 Girls’ Cross-Country Team — Amelia Arbon, Lily Mason, Florence Kenney, Maisy Slack and Charley Whysall — was named Team of the Year after winning all its six Notts Mini League matches and won the Nottinghamshire County Championships.

The Coach of the Year Award went to Jessica Walters, head coach at 776 Gymnastic Academies, while the academies’ Nations Team was named Junior Team of the Year.

School Games organiser Nicki Biggs praised the Armchair Club for ‘saving’ the awards and celebrating sport at a time when many areas had cancelled their awards nights for 2020.

The Armchair Club is a group of local businessmen that has been backing local sports clubs and individuals for many years. Now it has taken over the organisation of the awards, which this year were supported by Mansfield District Leisure Trust and the Mansfield, Ashfield and Warsop News Journal.

Nicki revealed that the winner of the Junior Sports Leader of the Year Award was Becky Cartwright.

A surprise award was made to Bill Taylor, who is retiring from the Armchair Club after more than 30 years’ service. He was made a patron of the organisation.
Sally Callaghan-Wetton, from Fidler & Pepper Lawyers, one of the sponsors, said: “It was a great event and it was really good to see these things still going ahead even when it’s a challenging time. People do need something positive to focus on.”

Peter Herniman, of sponsors Pinders Opticians, added: “What a brilliant night at the sports awards. It was a great job via Zoom.”

New floodlights for athletics track

Source: News Journal

Mansfield Harriers Athletics Club members are to benefit from state-of-the-art flood lights at its track in Berry Hill Park.

The £47,000 lighting scheme is to be funded by England Athletics, the Harriers, and £15,000 each from Mansfield District Council and the Radford Foundation, a charity set up by Mansfield Town Football Club owners John and Carolyn Radford to give a helping hand to the local community.

Harriers have also received support from The Armchair Club,  a group of local businessmen backing local sportspeople and organisations.

Coun Andy Burgin, portfolio holder for environment and leisure, said: “The new lights will be a big improvement for the track now leased to the Harriers and just one of various improvements the council is putting in place since taking over the management of Berry Hill Park as trustees.

“As well as being a boost for the activities of the Harriers, their lit training sessions will also make the park more accessible to the wider public in the evenings.”

Pat Carlan, chairman of the 100-year-old athletics club, said: “This refurbishment of the floodlights will make a huge difference and allow our athletes valuable extra training time. It will make the facility useable at night.

“We are very grateful to the council, the Radford Foundation and England Athletics in making this new lighting possible.

“It’s vital at this time as health and wellbeing is paramount.

“It opens up opportunities for exercise and enables people to exercise in the evening as well as the daytime”

Nik Springthorpe, trustee of the Radford Foundation, added: “Mansfield Harriers has children from all age groups and adults training with them, so to upgrade the floodlights and allow them to use the track during the evening is great for the community.”

Pictured are from left, Nik Springthorpe, Pat Carlan and Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough.