A new management team is in place at Long Wittenham Athletics Club as it prepares for a new season in the North Berks League. A new secretary has been appointed and the club plans to step up social activities to raise funds for a £20,000 extension to the pavilion.
The first team is led by Jamie Newport who was brought in last season to help with reserves and who was promoted this season. Jamie has played for Wittenham in past seasons and has also been a member of Wantage Town and Didcot Town playing staffs.
The new manager for the reserve team is Mike Learoyd who played at the club for over ten years. Mike decided to get started in a management role and was appointed Reserve Team player manager. The first team plays in Division 1 while the reserves are in Division 3.
The club’s new secretary is Angela Andrews from Didcot. Angela returns to a role she first took on ten years ago. Angela replaces Ron Carter who held the position for many years before retiring this year.
Club treasurer is Steve Bolton, Ian Burton is chairman and Angela’s son Mackenzie Cooper is vice-chairman. Mackenzie is the son of former Athletics player and captain Andy Cooper.
The first match of the season is on 4th September while the reserves are away. A new and encouraging development is the formation of an Under-13s team which will play in the Oxford Mail league. The first match is at home to Oxford Blackbirds on 12th September.
This season the club plans to step up its social activities to raise money for the extension to the pavilion. An extra burden the club faces is the cost of an archaeological survey which will be undertaken by the county council’s archaeology department.
The need for a survey puzzles the club. Artefacts were found on the site of the Vanderbilt housing development which is some distance away from Bodkins. Previous works on the pavilion site revealed no archaeological findings.
Meanwhile the club hopes that villagers will support the social activities. A Race Night is planned on 16th October and a Cheese and Wine Night on 4th December. A Cinema Night is proposed for late September or early October. Other events in the pipe line include a children’s party, a baby shower and a children’s Christmas Party.