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EAOA does not often get the chance to lay on a major national event and I was very pleased to see so many travel from all over the UK to compete here. The organisational complexities of the Sprints, including in this case the need to have two separate start systems operating in parallel for the heats, meant that we needed an exceptional number of on the day helpers, and this was achieved due to members from across the EA region volunteering to help, in many cases foregoing their chance to compete. Likewise, in the months of planning beforehand, teams from across the region’s clubs were formed and cooperated impressively, and it was very pleasing to see all this effort come together on the day to make the event a success.
I must apologise for the delay in the finals starts – especially given that this has been a known problem at previous events. There was a problem of crowding at the display boards, but this is not the root cause. The intention was to spread out the start time information over all the 9 available boards, which should have given plenty of space for people to get within reading distance, but this did not happen due to other time limiting factors which only became apparent on the day.
I am pleased to say that competitors disregarding OOB stipulations was not a problem this year. However one competitor lost their place in the A final following a complaint for them having been seen peeing in full view of those waiting to start. On which topic, I also realise the loo queues were too long before the heats, but the only way to fully resolve this would seem to be to provide at least twice as many units – a significant additional cost which would have meant increasing entry fees.
I would like to end by thanking again not only those in the EAOA clubs, but those from outside the region who have loaned equipment and helped deliver it to us; to those providing commentary and the associated infrastructure; and to Jeff from SportIdent for his patience and assistance in the event preparations. Finally I am indebted to Mike Cope who is organising the Middles Champs and whose experience and support has been invaluable to me.
Peter Woods (WAOC)
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