Coach of year prize for Striders' Bradley, as Jones earns podiums

PUBLISHED: 13:30 06 September 2019

Saffron Walden's Michael Bradley receives his coach of the year award from Clive Poyner (pic England Athletics)

Saffron Walden's Michael Bradley receives his coach of the year award from Clive Poyner (pic England Athletics)

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Saffron Walden's Michael Bradley was named coach of the year at England Athletics Regional Volunteer Awards at the weekend.

Saffron Striders Alan Jones at the Great Barrow ChallengeSaffron Striders Alan Jones at the Great Barrow Challenge

Bradley received his award at a special ceremony at the Bedford International Stadium, as part of the under-15/under-17 age group championships.

And the Saffron Striders member admitted it was a privilege to accept the prize, saying: "It's a great honour to receive this award and accept it on behalf of me and my coaching team.

"It's also a great honour for the club to be recognised in this way."

Bradley developed the club's 10-week zero to 5k programme in 2018, which attracted over 50 new members, and went on to also develop the 5k to 10k runners, not missing a single session over the course of 22 weeks.

This year's beginnners course has over 80 new members and he also inspired eight others to undertake courses, with the club now having nine qualified coaches.

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A club spokesperson said: "Mike works tirelessly, always with enthusiasm and good huour to encourage and develop runners of all abilities to do their best and achieve their goals.

"Though he works full time, he is ever present at coaching sessions, races and social events, not just in the background but leading and inspiring.

"In 2018 he was awarded our Strider of the Year based on members votes. He always ensures what we do includes everyone and encourages others to adopt the same attitude.

"Mike has transformed the skills, overall enjoyment and attitudes within Saffron Striders. We all think extremely highly of him and believe he is a very worthy winner."

*Saffron Striders enjoyed a busy weekend in the late summer sunshine and warm weather and Alan Jones had a double podium at the Great Barrow Challenge, finishing third in the 5k and 10k.

Nearer to home, the Flitch Way was the scenic route for Fiona Hall's victory in the Takeley 10k, with other fine runs by Rob Shaw and Neil Halls.

Meanwhile, Tom Platts (1:25) and Mark Frow (1:43) set personal bests at the Bedford half marathon.

*Saffron Striders fast five-mile race takes place at Carver Barracks on October 13 and is suitable for experienced and novice runners alike.

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