Race Walking : Facing the Future

Firstly apologies for not posting a report on the Sutton Macclesfield 20k, but I’ve gone down with a chest infection, which isn’t responding to antibiotics. Anyway, just to keep the ball rolling and to encourage discussion here is a challenging argument from Trevor McDermot, which has just appeared on Facebook and has kicked off a lively debate, including information that Saturdays’s RWA 20k was 440 metres long! Hence Tony Bell, who flew the flag for us, can adjust his time accordingly! Trevor’s original was sent to the Essex Race Walker for inclusion in its pages.

With regards to the regular criticism of RWA in Essex Walker, private conversation and e-mails, may I suggest that our Officers are hardly getting any younger while not being replaced to any greater degree than we are finding new walkers.

The National body comes under consistent fire. But if you stop to think about what that implies, only means criticism of the same band of hardy servants who are out there standing in all weathers every year, purely for the benefit of Race Walking. Do I need to name them ?

Criticism of the RWA website is quite valid. In this day and age its quite shocking that such a crucial issue has not been addressed.

We squeeze in at Hillingdon when the cyclists allow, to have our most important National on a very slow circuit, quite hidden away from the general public. No atmosphere. No public address. The DQ board is a disgrace. Hardly any Midlands or Northern walkers apart from the Manx who were brilliant.

Big mistake not to arrange this with the Olympic Trials in advance of Rome, or on London Marathon weekend with Olympic selections tomorrow.

Tom gives us another training session while our promising youngsters – the ones who really matter most – win National medals to no acclaim at all as most of us are still on duty for the 20km. That’s so wrong !

I’m sure that RWA Officers would be delighted to have new people contributing, and to cut down on days given up for Committee meetings, or – perish the actual thought – be able to have the odd weekend off for their own benefit. We really should applaud or at the very least recognise what we have. It does seem unfair that a body gets continually slated without any consideration of the individuals who are the ones keeping it all going.

It would be far more pertinent to question the real governance of Race Walking in this country. UK Athletics control official development including grading of Judges and have their own Championships.

Do we even need the RWA ?

Why should the UK 2016 Olympic Trials not be mentioned in certain circles, we are also booked for Moulton committee and popular race that weekend ?

Why do we have two National 10km championships, one very well supported, and one that will not ?

I see very committed people on both sides and only hope for cohesive communication with positive action for the advantage of all.

Together, against many odds, we can be so much stronger.

Continually divided like this, we haven’t a chance.


Trevor McDermot

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1 Response to Race Walking : Facing the Future

  1. Roy Gunnett says:

    Thanks for this – an interesting article from Trevor. Hope your chest infection clears up soon. I did the Blackpool marathon on Sunday. Used it mainly as a long training session and jogged round in 5 hours 8 mins. I enjoyed it in masochistic sort of way. Got the 15 miles at Chorley on Saturday – I always find this race really tough. Cheers, Roy

    Sent from my iPad


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