Although an established annual event - this is its sixth year - the Spring bank holiday weekend saw BASC's first sponsorship of the UK Javelin Carnival. This year's competition saw a record entry of around 190, up from 131 last year, spread over 12 categories.
Unlike another BASC-supported event Vault Britain, where several athletes jump simultaneously, for practical (and safety) reasons, it is only really possible to hold one javelin competition at a time hence the Carnival being spread over two days. And two very different days resulted - weather-wise at least. Sunday (28 Nay) was a warm balmy day which included the elite athletes while Monday was overcast, cool and with frequent drizzle. The result was a larger crowd of supporters for the Sunday while Monday was mainly family members cheering on the competitors.
The main organiser of the Javelin Carnival is David Parker. David is a former GB U23 javelin thrower who is currently the Lead Throws Coach at Loughborough University. Loughborough is blessed with excellent facilities as befits British Athletics' training centre. Although there is no seating at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium, the balcony to the sports centre affords dry viewing with good visibility of the throws. (Note for future spectators - bring your own chair.) However, many people preferred to be right next to the run up enabling them to be very close to the athletes. Music playing all day gave a good atmosphere akin to being at an indoor event. For those not able to be at the event Vinco provided on-line coverage.
Javelin Carnival is run under IAAF rules, so all competitors have three throws with the top 8 advancing for a further three attempts. The event was granted a grade 3 permit, which allowed all qualification distances achieved for International Championships in 2017 to be considered when selections take place. The Carnival also had IPC accreditation for ambulant throwers.
Sunday saw U13 and U15 girls and boys competitions plus the Senior Men and Senior Women competing for one of the 'Wilf Paish' Memorial Trophies. Monday had a combined U17 / U18 and U20 Men's and Women's competitions including a 'B' competition for the U17 / U18 category.
On a balmy sunny Sunday afternoon the BASC sponsorship was well advertised at Loughborough. There was a light following wind which added to the spectator enjoyment. The stadium announcer for the senior men was Goldie Sayers assisted by Sean Pickering. So plenty of long standing friends to chat with. The senior men's A event, a much higher standard than the B one, is encouraging until one realised that the distances needed to be 10 metres more to be of international standard. But hey, that's why BASC sponsors the event to encourage athletes to get more competition and to promote more participation.
U17 winners sponsored by BASC - with prizes of £100, £75, £50 respectively - were...
Single discipline events bring together athletes of all ages and all abilities and offer an excellent day's sporting action so it is disappointing that in the main it is watched by coaches and friends and families of the athletes. We can thoroughly recommend attending this and other events such as the Vault Britain Series.
Watch out for other events that BASC supports and come along.
Bloggers: Philip Andrews and John Standerline