Damn ANSW and the bureaucracy of running administration and their brutal policy decisions.
I have just found out that Woodstock can no longer be an affiliated club with ANSW due to 'new policy' recently tabled by them. Seems for an athletics club to remain affiliated it must have at least 30 members who are registered with them. Not only is this a little unrealistic for Woodstock, but I'm sure there's many smaller clubs in the same boat that have now been relegated to the 'second division' of running clubs.
Woodstock has a proud history. It has been at times in its past a very strong running club. However, it's charter has always been to promote health and running around the inner west, rather than competing with the top tier clubs such as Striders, Hills etc. It has had its fair share of fine athletes, and still has many runners who consistently win their age categories at fun runs.
The recent decision now closes the door for any members to represent its club at ANSW events. That means that the 5 members (me included) who do represent Woodstock at these events are forced to join bigger athletic clubs. This stinks, and no disrespect to other clubs. I'm sure that its just a way that ANSW is trying to cut down on their paperwork and therefore save administration costs, or force these smaller clubs to pay up to 30 members. They say it is for 'insurance reasons', but I still stand by that it's just crazy that any policy that pushes any athlete away from their local club.
Woodstock will go on. It has some great masters runners and a good mix of younger males and females. Unfortunately the more serious athlete looking for a club will no longer see the club as an option. Look out for me wearing the colours of Bankstown Sports in the future. Hey, at least this way I can now compete in the relays...some small consolation.