National Track & Field Championships

Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield

Friday 7th & Saturday 8th July 2000

Welcome to Sheffield
Prince Andrew to visit on Friday
Local Councils back Championships
New information services introduced this year

Welcome to Sheffield

Welcome once again to the Don Valley Stadium for the 70th ESAA Track and Field Championships. This is the third time in five years that the Championship has been held in South Yorkshire and we are delighted that all 44 counties are back here to compete in the millennium year.

Our event is one of the greatest schools' sporting events anywhere in the world. Over the two day period we shall organise the equivalent of three Olympic athletic events, with track and field events for 1800 competitors in three secondary school age groups. Amongst the athletes taking part this Friday and Saturday are several who will become household names in the near future as they become the stars of Great Britain's Track and Field team later in the decade. Many famous athletes have preceded them in the English Schools Championships including Seb Coe, John Mayock and Peter Elliot who ran in the colours of the home county, South Yorkshire.

We are pleased to welcome all the athletes, coaches and officials involved in the Championships as well as the spectators and special guests. We are particularly pleased that Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is able to visit the Championship on the first day. It is some considerable time since a member of the Royal Family attended our event and his presence here this year underlines the importance of the Championships in the athletics calendar in this country.

The Organising Committee have been preparing for this event for two years and we have been able to call on virtually the same team of volunteers who successfully ran the 1996 and the 1997 events here in Sheffield. My particular thanks go to David Pryce who took on the onerous task of Championship Secretary following on the tradition started by the late Dave Aizlewood and Sue McKiernon in the two previous events held at Don Valley Stadium.

We would also like to thank the four South Yorkshire local authorities for their support and especially the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun. Mrs. Pat Midgley. We have been supported throughout our preparations by the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Scarbrough and thanks are also due to a number of companies who have become Patrons. My personal thanks go to all the dedicated volunteers from the South Yorkshire athletics community who have provided the experienced volunteer help and the senior officers of the ESAA who have often travelled long distances to attend our meetings.

Welcome to South Yorkshire and enjoy the Championships.

Chair of the Organising Committee

Prince Andrew to attend ESAA event on Friday 7th July

The Duke of York has kindly agreed to visit the 70th English Schools Track and Field championship at the Don Valley Stadium on the afternoon of the 7th July.

He has an earlier appointment in Scotland that day but will be flying down to Sheffield to take in the action on the first day of the championships. He will be meeting the people who have organised the event and make a number of presentations to successfull athletes whose events have been completed.

Sue McKiernon, chair of the South Yorkshire Schools Athletics Association, who are hosting the event says. "We are delighted that Prince Andrew will attend our championships. This is the first time for many years that we have had royal support for this prestigious ESAA event. We feel it is recognition of the hard work of the teachers and students involved in the championships and of the support we have had from the four councils in South Yorkshire. We would especially like to thank the Earl of Scarborough for helping to arrange the royal visit and more generally for his support of our event in recent years."

Councils back Championships

All four South Yorkshire Metropolitan councils are financially supporting the English Schools Athletics Association Championships to be held on the 7th and 8th July at the Don Valley Stadium.

Barnsley MBC, Doncaster MBC, Rotherham MBC and the host city Sheffield have backed the Championships and helped to meet the gap in funding caused by the absence of a main sponsor.

John Cornwell, the Chair of the Organising Committee says: "When we ran the games successfully in 1996 and 1997 we had the backing of a major bank to help meet the costs of the championship. Therefore this help from the four councils is extremely welcome and will enable the schoolchildren at the 500+ secondary and primary schools across the county to have an opportunity to see top athletes from all the 44 counties of England in action."

The future stars of Great Britain athletics will be competing at the Don Valley and South Yorkshire will once again have a strong squad. Seb Coe, Peter Elliot and John Mayock are amongst former athletes who have worn the green and purple colours of South Yorkshire.

New information services to be introduced this year

This year, to keep up with the technology now available to us, a completely new program has been developed over the last 4 months. This will enable us to provide a comprehensive results service direct to the scoreboard at Sheffield, provide quicker information services to the announcers, and to give an even faster results service on the internet - we hope (but don't promise!) to update results and pictures online almost as they happen.