Ben Pochee, the great Highgate Harriers motivator for the last 25 years or more, enthuses everyone he comes into contact with an air of genuine confidence that is hard to match these days at club or national level. He will be 50 on Wednesday 2 September 2020.
In his time so far with the club, he was a junior international runner and later, as an over 40, Southern Veterans Cross Country Champion, before a set of horrendous athletic injuries stopped any future athletic aspirations.
Nonetheless, he has been instrumental in advising firms with coaching advice and, of course, he founded the first Highgate Harriers Night of 10,000m PBs that has become an important event. He is a coach, organiser of athletic programmes for large firms and next year on 5 June will be the Olympic 10,000m trials and European Cup, held at the home of Ben's club at the Parliament Hill track.
Ben's father, Ahmed, was a member of Highgate Harriers and his half-brother, Brahma, is a coach and runner for the club now. Ben was particularly pleased when the Highgate Harriers 12-man senior team, that he managed, won the National 12-Stage Road Relay at Sutton Coldfield in 2016, the first time Highgate have done that for over 100 years!
Charles Allen, a charming man, who was a longstanding official for Highgate Harriers for many years, sadly died at the age of 80 in England on 16 August. He was born in India, where his parents lived for a long time, in 1940. What some people would not realise was that Charles became a celebrated and popular author, freelance writer and a noted historian.
The England Athletics deadline for nominations for the 2020 Regional Volunteer Awards closes on 31 August. Last year, Marius Guei, who came from a good line of Highgate sprinters dating back to Simeon Williamson, the AAA's 100m champion, was honoured with the award of 2019 London Coach of the Year.
Marius has infectious enthusiasm, which his athletes at Highgate Harriers have witnessed, including Dominic Ogbechie, a British record holder with Highgate.
23-Aug-2020 Alastair Aitken