Sport

THE chairman of The Football Association visited the Byfleet village Club at the weekend.

Greg Clarke, right, with Paul Robinson (club chairman), middle, and Rosie Ainsworth (club secretary), left

Greg Clarke, who previously served as the chairman of The Football League and Leicester City, was given a tour of Byfleet Village’s facilities by Paul Robinson (club chairman) and rosie Ainsworth (club secretary). Clarke also watched practice sessions involving the club’s girls and under fives.

His visit was part of a whistle-stop tour of some of Surrey’s youth development clubs for boys’ and girls’ football.

Robinson said: “It’s nice to see that people at the The FA are willing to come down and see what we are doing at Byfleet Village.

“This season we got our first girls’ team off the ground, at under-11 level

A Byfleet Village player practices her footwork

“We’re also actively involved through local schools helping to promote girls’ football, where we’re currently providing training free of charge until the end of the season to try and get as many girls involved in football as possible.”

Clarke said: “Byfleet village is a wonderful club run by wonderful people.”

For the full picture feature get the 14 March edition of the News & Mail

RAIN, hail and blustering wind made running difficult, but more than 3,500 people completed the Mercer Surrey Half Marathon on Sunday.

Woking Mayoress Hannah Thompson congratulates first woman home Emma Davis, second Lesley Locks, far right, and third Lucie Custance, far left

They streamed for over three hours from Woking Park to Jacobs Well and back, in another successful staging of the largest event of its kind in the county.

Serious club runners out to set a record or a new personal best, joggers raising money for charity and children enjoying the kids’ races braved some awful weather in the day’s three events.

There was an overall total of 4,385 finishers, in the half marathon and the five and two-kilometre races.

“The runners and organisers faced some challenging conditions, especially when we were packing up,” said Hollie Light, the Surrey Half marketing manager. “But there were some excellent performances, especially from some of the teams taking part.”

Two participants – Richard Moffat and Evie Read – are waiting for confirmation that they have broken the Guinness World Record for pushing a disabled children’s buggy in a half marathon.

With Evie being pushed by Richard around the course, they took three minutes off the current world record of one hour 35 minutes.

Teenager Evie, from Headley Down, near Haslemere, has ataxia-telangiectasia (AT), a rare genetic disease. She and friend Richard, from Ascot, were raising money for the Action for A-T charity.

An innovation for entrants this year was a pre-race meditation session in Woking Leisure Centre.

“A lot of runners get anxious before a race and this helped them relax and prepare themselves in a quiet place,” said Hollie. “There were also massage and yoga sessions for runners after the race.”

For the full story and picture feature get the 14 March edition of the News & Mail

A TEAM of around 60 children, teachers and parents from Knaphill School and Knaphill Lower School are taking part in the Surrey Half Marathon on Sunday to raise money to buy defibrillators.

The organiser is Mandy Walsh, who has children in both schools, and who will taking part in her second Surrey Half Marathon.

A group of the Knaphill Schools runners who have been using the Woking Junior Parkrun on Sunday mornings at Woking Park as part of their training

Mandy said the idea came after one of the parents and a teacher went on a first aid course and decided that the schools needed to have a defibrillator.

The runners hope to raise enough money to buy two of the lifesaving devices, which can cost around £1,000 each, so that both schools can have them installed.

Many said that nearly 30 children and more than 20 adults had agreed to take part, although some had dropped out because of injury.

“For a lot of them, this will be their first half marathon. A few are running the 5K, which will be the first time they have run for anything, except for the bus,” she said.

About 15 Lower School children, aged 6 and 7 will be taking part in the 2K kids’ race.

“It’s quite a distance for them. The kids are having their own training sessions in the playground and a few of the adults are training together.”

Donations to support the runners can be made at www.justgiving.com/knaphillschools

A NEW £6 million sports hall and all-weather pitch at Gordon’s School will be available for use by residents to play sports such as badminton, basketball and indoor cricket.

The hall at the secondary school in West End will have enough space for four badminton courts, changing rooms, a café, first aid room and storage.

The new sports hall will allow the school to take part in more competitive events at all levels and will enable students to participate in a sporting activity whatever the weather

The development, which will be funded by the Gordon Foundation, was approved Environment Secretary Michael Gove last week.

Plans had been passed by Surrey Heath Borough Council and then had to go to Mr Gove because the development is above the size permitted on Green Belt Land and not in the local plan.

A spokesman for the school said the new facilities will allow its pupils to take part in more competitive events at all levels, whatever the weather.

“Students currently take part in over 22 extracurricular sporting activities,” she added. “The all-weather floodlit pitch will enable the PE programme to be expanded to include sports such as basketball, badminton and volleyball.”

Jamie Sinclair, the school’s head of house, will be taking part in the London Marathon to raise funds for the facility.

For the full story, see the 21 February edition of the News & Mail

TEN-man Westfield conjured a late equaliser at Wodson Park as they earned a point away to promotion rivals Ware.

“We weren’t at the races”: Westfield Manager Tony Reid

The Yellows manager Tony Reid had recently confirmed his sights of promotion, and while looking to surpass Marlow into third made just the one change, drafting in Louie Downey for Harry Carter.

With two strong penalty claims for Westfield rejected, as well as their woodwork being tested twice by thumping drives from Ware, it was a surprise there was only one goal separating the two sides as the match headed for full time.

Yet in the final five minutes The Yellows were awarded a penalty, captain Matt Steer striking from the spot to level the scores, before Graham Purdy was dismissed for two challenges on the home side’s keeper.

“We weren’t at the races and it’s two points dropped unfortunately,” said Reid.

For the full story get the 21 February edition of the News & Mail

THE Yellows turned on the style at Woking Park on Saturday as they swept aside Uxbridge to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches, winning 4-0.

Arsen Ujkaj lets fly to score the third of four goals against Uxbridge

Victory over their Hillingdon-based opponents saw Westfield climb to fourth place in the table.

Matt Steer, Harry Carter and George Frith returned to Westfield’s starting line-up.

After their midweek draw at Chalfont St Peter stopped The Yellows’ five-match winning streak in its tracks, the hosts looked to get back to winning ways.

After the match, Westfield boss Tony Reid said: “From the off we controlled everything. It was an all-round great  performance.” 

For the full match report, get the Thursday 14 February edition of the News & Mail