Knowle & Dorridge win Ronhill/AW Club of the Month

Latest round of awards also sees Notts AC coach Dave Hourd named Ambassador of the Month for March

Knowle & Dorridge

Knowle & Dorridge Running Club has been voted as the March winner of the Ronhill/AW Club of the Month awards, with Dave Hourd of Notts AC earning the accolade of Ronhill Ambassador of the Month.

Knowle & Dorridge prides itself on its motto as “a club for all abilities that is easy for people to slot into”. It is clear that the Warwickshire club cultivates a friendly atmosphere and a strong social side, but it has also enjoyed notable success in the three years since it was founded.

The club was the first to be promoted out of division three of the Birmingham Cross Country League in its first year and has now enjoyed two years in division two. Each year they take a team to the national road relays in Sutton Park and, for the last two years, have also taken part in the Warwickshire Road Race League.

Last year the team finished second and five of the club’s athletes finished in the top ten overall – no mean feat for a league that fielded 371 runners. Having hosted the Warwickshire Cross Country Championships last year, the club now hosts its own race as part of the Road Race series, with the ‘K&D Arden 9’ taking place on June 23 this year.

The ethos of the club is best summed up by Geoff Lewis when he says: “I have retired from work and Knowle & Dorridge has become an important part of my life. I have made more local friends in the past three years via the club than I ever did in the 41 years of commuting and working. I may not be as good a runner as I was, but I am a much happier one. Competition is very important, but our club is more than that.”

Dave HourdHourd, meanwhile, receives the honour of Ambassador of the Month, with the Notts AC coach (pictured right) recognised for his passion and commitment.

A sprints coach at the club, Hourd first got involved in athletics when his daughter Emma showed an interest 12 years ago. Since then Emma has remained a loyal member and competes regularly for the women’s team, while Hourd has helped out on club nights, before taking his UKA level one and two coaching qualifications and developing his own training group, which has grown to include a range of athletes, many of whom have won national medals.

Among Hourd’s protégés are Ryan Gorman, who clocked a European indoor age-14 best of 21.76 for 200m this winter when winning the England Athletics under-17 title, and Charlotte McLennaghan, who as a junior girl won last year’s English Schools 200m and finished the season as the top under-15 athlete in the UK at 100m and 200m.

He coaches by the motto of ‘positive mental attitude’ and has even had t-shirts printed for his group with these words on.

Every month, we will announce the winners of the Athletics Weekly Club and Club Ambassador awards, which are supported by Ronhill and assisted by Hilly Limited and Ridgeway Textiles. The awards reinforce our joint commitment to grassroots club athletics and will culminate in our annual awards. You can enter here.

Winning clubs receive £150 of Ronhill kit and a trophy, while the chosen ambassador gets £100 of kit and a trophy.

» Read more about what Knowle & Dorridge and Dave Hourd have done in order to deserve their awards in the April 4 edition of AW, which is available here or digitally here

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