Leighton Buzzard Athletic Club delighted to mark 'Happy Return' and keen to recruit new members

The club is back in action and is also a registered charity

Monday, 19th April 2021, 12:09 am
Updated Monday, 19th April 2021, 12:12 am

Leighton Buzzard Athletic Club is celebrating its Happy Return as it moves forward as a registered charity and gets competitive challenges underway.

With the easing of lockdown restrictions, keen members started training again in March under covid-secure guidelines, while the team were thrilled to hold their first internal club event of the year - the Langmay Trophy - on April 4.

Soon after, members were pouding the streets again for the Stag Trophy on April 7, with the team delighted to be reunited after yet another lockdown.

Leighton Buzzard Athletic Club

Chairperson James Lowe told the LBO: "Everybody is really pleased to be back and that has shown by the number of people that have turned up for training. We've had a really good turn out for competitions - a great sign as more and more events begin to take place.

"The club has also become a registered charity recently and we're keen to recruit new members, both experienced runners and those people who are new to running, having perhaps taken it up during lockdown. It seems one of the few benefits of the last year has been getting people active and out the house be it running, walking or cycling, and as a club we want to support that. We have active Junior and Senior sections, so we appeal to all age groups.

"We're appealing for new junior members to get involved and get active! For seniors, we are open to all: both established or long time runners or those that are just beginning. We're open to everyone regardless of pace or experience."

Club members can enjoy a range of activities, including 5-10k runs and cross country routes, to track and field events, such as long jump, high jump, javelin and shot put.

Leighton Buzzard Athletic Club

There's also the opportunity to explore the local area; the route for The Langmay Trophy started in Heath and Reach and continued via Great Brickhill, before coming back to Heath and Reach via Old Linslade.

Meanwhile, The Stag Trophy route started and finished in Parson’s Green Park, Leighton Buzzard.

James added: "Apart from the obvious benefits in terms of fitness, running really benefits your well-being. You can remove yourself from the stresses of life and head out with the club.

"It's beneficial from a mental health point of view, and it's fantastic fun to take part in something competitive, even if you are not a competitive person."

Leighton Buzzard Athletic Club

To keep the club connected and lift everyone's spirits during the three lockdowns, the team planned various activities, including a weekly Zoom quiz and online training sessions for the youngsters, as well as virtual relays around Leighton Buzzard, using apps such as Strava.

James added: "More and more it's about engaging with people who have a like-mind and shared interest.

"I took over as chairperson this year from Andy Inchley. Andy was chairperson for nine years and remains actively involved in the club. He will be a hard act to follow and the club wants to put on record our thanks for all his hardwork and commitment."

To give you a little taster of club life, the LBO has also included an extract from the April 4 race report.

Leighton Buzzard Athletic Club

The account of the Langmay Trophy reads: "This is a blind handicap with the trophy going to the person who can beat their predicted time by the largest margin. Our new ‘Andycap’ master, Andy Inchley had a challenging time predicting pace after a year of very little competition but did a sterling job all the same.

"So, in third place came Paul Andrew beating his predicted time by 1 minute and 41 seconds. In second place, a very evenly paced run from Andrea Meek saw her beat her prediction by 2 minutes and 23 seconds. However, the winner who absolutely smashed her handicap by over 3 and half minutes is Sadie Towell. Congratulations

Sadie, hopefully you can look forward to collecting your trophy at future awards dinner all being well."

For both sections the club offers the opportunity to try before you join.

If you are interested in senior membership, please contact the club via: [email protected]

Junior enquiries should be sent to: [email protected]

Website and social media:

www.leightonbuzzardac.co.uk/www.instagram.com/leightonAthlete/www.facebook.com/LeightonAthlete/https://twitter.com/LeightonAthlete> Why not get involved in the Leighton Buzzard Observer’s Happy Returns feature? We’d be delighted to hear details of how businesses and the community are emerging from the restrictions of the pandemic.

It might be news of a business relaunching, your youth sports team resuming its matches, how your school is coping with the ongoing challenges, how your club or society is ditching Zoom and is looking to meet face-to-face again, a family reunion or celebration which can finally go ahead, or the many other examples of events and activities we all took for granted slowly returning.

This is a great chance to tell your story over the coming weeks and months ahead. Submit 100-300 words to this newspaper on how the pandemic has had an impact, how you’ve kept going and most importantly news of your ‘Happy Return’ when it’s deemed safe.

We’d also love to receive photos of those joyful reunions/reopenings. Please send all details to [email protected]Here’s a handy reminder of the remaining roadmap steps.

> From April 12, non-essential retail, hairdressers and public buildings can open. Also outdoor settings like alcohol takeaways, beer gardens, zoos and theme parks can welcome visitors. Indoor leisure like swimming pools and gyms can open. Funerals can continue with up to 30 people, and weddings up to 15 guests.

> From May 17, ‘rule of six’ abolished for outdoor gatherings and replaced with a limit of 30 people. Two households can mix indoors - with the rule of six applied in hospitality settings like pubs. Cinemas, hotels, performances and sporting events can reopen. Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes.

> From June 21, all legal limits on social contact is intended to be removed, with the final closed sectors of the economy reopened.