Meet our new Vice-presidents

At last month’s West Cheshire AC Celebration Evening, three new honorary vice-presidents were introduced, all of whom have played a pivotal role in the development and day to day running of the club since its formation 25 years ago.

Ellen Molloy started as a qualified coach and official at Whitby Heath Athletic Club, who amalgamated with Chester and Ellesmere Port Athletic Club to form West Cheshire Athletic Club in 1998. Ellen has always provided help and guidance to younger members, and played an integral role in all aspects of club life as an administrator, coach and official until 2019.

Her enthusiasm to see youngsters develop and enjoy our great sport has been a joy to see whether in sportshall athletics, track and field, or cross country running.

Our other two new vice-presidents Richard Batterham and Ian Cook were both race directors of the Chester Half-marathon for many years on behalf of the club, and were founder members of the club’s road race committee – our “best-kept secret” in providing much of the money that helps the club to keep going, both via our popular local races and the substantial sum we get for our help from the new organisers of the Chester Half-marathon.

As well as being a fount of wisdom to the club on all race organisation matters, Richard also officiates and adjudicates at many on- and off-road events all over the north-west. He is no mean runner himself. He has run for West Cheshire AC and its predecessor CEPAC for 30 years, holding the club male vet 50 marathon record (2:53!) for 21 years, as well as the male vet 65 marathon (3:23!) and half-marathon records. He still competes for the club as a vet70.

Like Richard, Ian also ran for both CEPAC and West Cheshire AC for several years, before using his sharp mind and outgoing nature to branch out into coaching while still race-organising. He gave many youngsters a positive experience of athletics in setting up a junior middle distance running group that formed the nucleus of the successful group we have today. As a coach, Ian was always very “vocal” but always gently encouraging, something which he carried through from his race organisation days, where his instructions to marshal always included the advice “Cheer on the runners – don’t just stand there!”.

Posted by Dave Alexander
10th March 2023

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