After a stella start to the season for UoN Athletics, Amar Mehta sat down with club president Jack Millar to find out the secrets behind their recent success.

Hi Jack, thanks for joining me today. How have the Athletics team been doing this year in your competitions?

We have had a great start to the season so far. The BUCS men’s cross country team finished 5th at the Championships in Sheffield, which is the best result in almost ten years. Likewise at the Indoor Championships, our sport scholar Tatum Souza finished third in the shot put, claiming bronze. We have the BUCS Outdoors soon.

What are the goals for the rest of the year and going into next year?

We just hope to build on a successful season and prepare for the BUCS outdoors. The track and field team will also be hoping to continue their early season success.

How does athletics work at this level?

There are two squads: distance and track & field. The distance team train six times a week at various places across University Park and Jubilee while the track team train twice a week at Harvey Haden. Both teams have BUCS competitions across the year.

Did you notice a obvious increase in membership after the Olympics?

Whilst I wasn’t here after the Olympics, I did speak to UoN alumni and they said there was a massive increase following the British successes at London 2012, and we’ve seen something similar after the 2016 Rio Olympics. Hopefully this will help the growth of student participation in athletics, both at Nottingham and across the UK.

Are there any obstacles in doing athletics?

Some people are put off by the name ‘athletics’, they think it is very elite, and that you have to perform at a high level to participate. But that is not the case – we also have a large social element to the club, which is far more relaxed. You don’t have to play competitively to get involved in the society. 

What are your goals for the rest of season, you aren’t part of Varsity 2017 but is there any competition planned with Nottingham Trent’s Athletics club?

Unfortunately, there is no Varsity event but we are planning an ‘unofficial’ varsity. I have been speaking with the President of the Athletics club at Trent about organising a fun event either this term or after Easter.

What sort of commitment is needed?

You can do as much or as little as you want. Some people turn up to every session [while] some people come once or twice a week or month. It’s not imperative that you must come to them all, its very much up to the individual – obviously the more you come [to], the better you get.

How has the new David Ross Sports Village impacted you as a society?

We do not really use the facilities at David Ross that often – some members use it for their own personal strength conditioning. There is a sprint track but we are still negotiating use of this. There are restrictions on who can and cannot use it but we are hoping we can gain access to it, especially for our sprint team.

What are socials at the club like?

Like most BUCS teams we do go to the post-BUCS Wednesday night at Crisis. But we have also had socials ending in Ocean and various other clubs. We regularly do post-race drinks as well as non-drinking socials such as trips to Planet Bounce.

Tell us about the Ed Prickett Memorial Relay on the 18th.

The Ed Prickett memorial is a relay around campus. It is a two-mile relay with 4 people for the men team’s and 3 for women’s. Registration is at 11 am at David Ross, with the men’s race starting at 14:30 and women’s race starting at 13:30. Anyone can enter, it is £2 per person for University of Nottingham students and more for non-students. It used to be the Nottingham relay but 10 years ago Ed Prickett died competing at BUCS event in Newcastle, and since then the relay was renamed in his honour.

How can someone get involved with the club?

Join our Facebook group –  UoN Athletics Club, all the info about training and try out sessions are on there. It is £15 for the rest of year. Come join whenever, it’s not too late!

Amar Mehta

Image courtesy of UoN Athletics. 

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