With the completion last Wednesday of the Wallasey Athletic Club track and field championships the season can now be considered over for Wallasey athletes and now perhaps would be the time to consider our achievements in the light of other Merseyside performances.
When comparing the feats of members of Liverpool clubs with those of Wallasey athletes two factors must be taken into consideration. Firstly, the facilities for training available to Liverpool and many other clubs, especially in the south of England, are fat superior to anything at present even envisaged in Wallasey. Sports stadiums where there are ample facilities for practically any sport are being built all over the south country.
There is nothing to touch them anywhere in the North. I learn a cinder track is being constructed in Lingham Park, Moreton. This is certainly a step in the right direction and the Council must be complimented on taking it, but along with many other Wallasey athletes, I think it might have been better sited somewhere along Leasowe Road, as with the rising cost of travel, training on this track is likely to prove a costly business. Also at the moment some doubt is felt as to whether Wallasey Athletic Club members will have access tot he track. A plan has been formulated for another track near the present club headquarters and if this is carried out Wallasey may have runners as well as swimmers in the 1960 Olympic Games. Incidentally the cost of a sports stadium would be somewhere in the region of the price of the sandhills.
In the light of the above, the performances of the Wallasey athletes can be looked upon with some pride. The outstanding performance has undoubtedly been Ron Barlow, to the best of my knowledge he has been unbeaten this year on the track and his raking stride and strength have already earned him a reputation on Merseyside. The best performance of the season must go to Tom Kennedy, who with 51.8 secs., 440 in the Northern Schools, must be one of our best prospects.
The most disappointing feature has been the lack of competitors and officials for the club matches. This fault will however probably be rectified during the Cross-Country season. The most improved athlete had been Brain Bird, whose running, since going into the Army, has improved a great deal, his speed and relaxation are now most marked. The most missed runner is Len Platt, an international jumper, who has been forced to give up athletics owing to the uncertain hours of his work, but I feel that should he have kept up his training he would have had little difficulty in regaining his A.A.A. long jump title.
Cross-Country members should now be shaking the moths out of their kit and starting training again. The Monstre meet takes place early in October and is always one of the most enjoyable runs of the season. Anyone interested in joining the club should contact R. Hubbard, 44 Tollemache Street, Wallasey or Mr. C. W. Gee, 78 King Street, Egremont.