The rules for entering County Championships are really not too complex.

You must have lived in Essex AA region for the preceding 9 months to the championships OR

You have an historical residential qualification, but no longer live in the county (residences East of River Lee) OR

You are born in the historical county of Essex (East of the River Lee)


You have not raced in another county championships during the current competition year – 1st September to following 31st August

and you are an affiliated athlete.

For all individual championship races (road, country, fell, track, walks) you must be a UKA affiliated athlete. Unaffiliated athletes will be welcomed in the championship as guests and in the results will be marked as such. However, unattached athletes are not allowed at track and field meetings.

For team events the club must be affiliated to Essex AA, and all members of the team should be affiliated athletes.

'The county of Essex as it is used in athletics means the historical county i.e. the 5 London boroughs plus the other non metropolitan areas. The London boroughs means all areas east of the River Lee. Please note the area west of the River Lee towards the City is historically Middlesex.'


Athletics at grass roots level, particularly for track and field clubs is underfunded. But running clubs also need the infra-structure of National, Regional and County Associations.

This is a list of services provided that is by no means complete:

Training of Coaches and Officials

control of course measurement and safety

health and safety generally

child and vulnerable adult welfare

rules of competition

fair application of the rules

team management and selection

championships organisation

insurance cover

legal cover

liaison with schools

control of finances

distribution of information

control of web sites etc. etc.


Now while 99.99% of club officials are volunteers, there must be an experienced, accountable and professional management structure.


NOBODY at county-level is remunerated.

At UKA and EA level there are paid officials, and they have various essential duties.

None of these organisations is perfect, and I have in my time been critical of all of them but they are essential to the efficient running of the sport … and they have to be funded.

Funding comes partly from clubs’ affiliation fees to county and national bodies and from individual affiliation fees.

Of course payment of these fees is voluntary, BUT the downside of not being affiliated includes the following

Unaffiliated clubs cannot enter national or county team competitions.

They are not insured in any way to organise competitions.

Unaffiliated individuals are not included in county or national championships or listed on the excellently run “Power of 10”.

Unregistered individuals pay additional levies for endurance events, which if more than half a dozen per year amounts to more than the registration fee. (by the way, the additional levies may well rise.)

Clubs or individuals have no say in the running of their sport. They can only shout and boo on its “touchlines”. Changes can only be made on the “infield”. (They are also allowed to cheer!)

By being affiliated you are in the information loop and have access to information and expertise at all levels.

Whether athletes are registered or not is being monitored ever more closely at all levels. It’s even getting to cross country league levels!! When races are costing £25-35, running shoes cost £100 plus £15 affiliation fee to register your club to Essex AA, £100 to register with EA and £14 to register individually strikes me as a reasonable deal. Funding has to be generated from the sport’s participants. You may have heard me say before – when, for example, the Essex Cross Country League attracts gates of 5000 paying spectators the funding can be organised differently.


November 2017



Runners in Action

Runners in Action

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