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Diss & District Athletics Club head coach hopes members use lockdown as motivation for 2021




It broke head coach Gordon Coe’s heart to close the doors of Diss & District Athletics Club because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Coe is also trying to remain positive, and hopes his members will use the current uncertainty and frustration to ensure that they have memorable winter and summer campaigns in 2021.

Coe said: “It has been quite disheartening, particularly early on.

Diss Athletics Club Fun Day at Diss Mere Park pictured are Harlie-Rose Martin, Rio Martin andGordon Coe...Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (34298358)
Diss Athletics Club Fun Day at Diss Mere Park pictured are Harlie-Rose Martin, Rio Martin andGordon Coe...Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (34298358)

“It broke my heart to close the doors but you have to conform to what is going on.

“We get updates from England Athletics, usually with news of another competition being cancelled. Currently that runs up until the beginning of July, and at that point half the season will have gone by.

“Part of me thinks they should just cancel the whole season and then plan a big event for whenever it is safe to do so.

“It is hard for the kids to work hard at their disciplines when there is no end goal at the moment.

“But I have encouraged them to use all of this time to make sure they have amazing winter seasons that carry through into the summer. Focus on next season, and if we get something before that, then great.”

Like all coaches, Coe is currently having to find ways of keeping in touch with his athletes virtually.

He receives messages and videos on WhatsApp, which allow him to feed back any praise and advice.

“Everyone is doing little bits and pieces to keep in shape. Some are going for a run, but not everyone wants to do that,” he added.

“For our throwers, it is a case of doing some free weights and conditioning work at home.

“There are a few drills and blind throws they can do in their gardens that will help to work on their technique and stance, but obviously that isn’t ideal.

“Not having a coach watching you go through your work is hard, but the videos help and we can pass on our messages that way.”

In these uncertain times, there are clubs across a multitude of sports concerned if they have the finances to come out the other side of the health crisis.

In contrast, Coe has no such worries about his club’s ability to survive.

“We will probably be affected slightly in a financial sense, but we are lucky that we get on well with the council, who own our facility,” he said.

“They have already been good enough to give us a rebate and because we are not up there training at the moment, there are no costs for us. The membership fees were due soon and obviously we cannot ask for those at the moment, but we will be alright.”



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