Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Bob Smith the Successful Newham & Essex Beagles Manager August 2009

BOB SMITH & TONY SHIRET have been instrumental in Managing the Newham & Essex Beagles team that won the National cross country senior Championships this year for the FIRST TIME FOR 108 YEARS besides the club being the top Premier League Track & Field Club in the country in 2009.
, who was once a high jumper, gets immense pleasure out of organizing the Newham & Essex Beagles teams that run on the road and county but there is something, I am sure many who view the Highgate Harriers website may not know and that he is the son of MIKE SMITH, that excellent coach from the South Coast. His Father coached Tod Bennett the international, who ran 20.3/45.27 for 200/400 back in the 1980's and that was when Kriss Ackabusi was coached by Mike. Kriss is still the British 400 hurdles record holder with 48.72 from 1992.

Voyage Round My Father

" My earliest memories of athletics meetings was when My Dad took me to cross-country races and track matches when I was six or seven years old. My first memory of television was seeing Bruce Tulloh in barefeet, winning the European 5000 in 1962 in Belgrade, so it was in my blood as, I was taken to athletics meetings when I was small. When I started competing and training I saw what he was doing and I knew, obviously, he was a good coach. It just became clear to me he was more than a good coach, a superb coach and a great enthusiast.'
  ' You remember Donna Murray (In 1978 she ran 22.75 and 51.2 200/400) who became Donna Hartely. I was practically the same age as her and so when we were about 13, I watched her and, how she then developed and the amount of time and effort that he put into coaching her. She was a great natural specimen and very easy to coach, as she did what she was told. She worked damn hard and it was after all that hard work she made the Olympics at 17 years of age and went on to have a really good athletics career but, what I think was fantastic about my Dad is that he is not in it for those elite athletes.'  
   ' I think a number of coaches today come into coaching and coach internationals but they have not served their time and learnt. They have not worked with a lad running 54 seconds for 400 and getting them down to 52 seconds. They just take proven athletes and just fiddle around it on the outside!. Donna moved away from Southampton and he coaches club standard athletes. It did not matter to him.
If people wanted to put the time in and do it seriously he gave them the time."

Alastair Aitken

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