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What's been happening

June 2022

For links to the groups mentioned, please visit my Socials and Links page. 

Fri 10th – Picking up puss cats 


Sun 5th – A small group of running friends went for brunch then had a walk around Friarwood Valley Gardens where the Jubilee Picnic was happening. Despite the weather being a bit gloomy, we still had lots of fun playing games, having a laugh, and even having a nice ice cream! A good time was had by all! 

Sat 4th – Today was the CRC C25k Graduation Parkrun where our Couch To 5k runners got to run their first parkrun together as a group. They all did amazingly well. We got some fab photos before and afterwards and this day will live long in their memories, and in mine. We got some really kind comments from other runners too which was good. 

Thurs 2nd – Fri 3rd – The Queen’s Jubilee Bank Holidays meant some time off work to get a few jobs around the house and garden done. It was good to do some preparation work ahead of when my cats will be coming to live with me next weekend! 

Wed 1st – The first CRC Curry Night was great fun. 21 of us having an enjoyable time together, having fun and laughs, and getting to know each other too. We definitely have a group who likes spending time together away from running as well as whilst wearing running gear. 

May 2022

For links to the groups mentioned, please visit my Socials and Links page. 

Mon 30th – The first CRC Cinema Night saw a group of 8 of us go and see Top Gun Maverick. Great film, fab story, awesome music, and even better company. A good time was had by all! 🙂 

Sun 29th – My new phone arrived. I can definitely say that the Samsung S22 Ultra is phenomenal. The camera even has a 100x zoom which is mind-blowing. The battery lasts all day (which all phones should do as a basic!). The phone is larger than I’ve had before but manageable and more useful for someone who needs larger text now I’m getting old, ha! 

Sat 28th – The day I met two puss cats in need of a new home. I had followed this rescue centre online for a while and have seen these two cats who were in need of a new home and a fresh lease of life. I went to visit them and decided to go ahead and adopt them. I can’t wait to have them at home and help them get used to living with a human and to share lots of good times together. Pets make a house a home. I’m looking forward to lots of loving times ahead! 

Fri 27th – Despite me wanting a flip phone for so long, I finally decided to upgrade away from my Samsung Z Flip 3 due to the poor battery life and sub-par camera quality. For someone who is a big mobile phone user, I can’t continue putting up with a poor camera and battery life. I opted to stay with Samsung though as I like the infrastructure and style of it all. I chose to upgrade to the Samsung S22 Ultra which had much better battery and camera capabilities. 

Sun 15th – After last week’s flat 10k, I knew that Ponte 10k wouldn’t be the same! I was still able to record a course PB and was only a minute slower than Oxford the week before so I was really chuffed with my performance. This even made me feel proud too as so many of CRC were running or supporting. It was fab to have a race day locally where we could all play a part one way or another. We went back to the pub for brunch afterwards to celebrate and enjoy the day together. Happy times! 

Sat 14th – The Eurovision Song Contest is a must watch for me each year. There is so much fun, exuberance, and humour around this event. I like to watch it and make and share comments with others on Twitter. Good humoured chat around how bizarre and funny things are. The UK did very well for once too. Sam Ryder’s performance of Space Man really captured the feeling of the event, and was only pipped to the win by the understandable voting for Ukraine.   

Sat 7th – Sun 8th – A great weekend visiting Oxford, catching up with a friend I hadn’t seen for 20 years, and doing the tourist thing around the city, taking lots of pics, and then on the Sunday taking on the Oxford Town and Gown 10k. It was my first sub-60 minute 10k since Summer 2019 and only my third since 2016. I was chuffed to bits, but also conscious that it was a flat course, and even though it was very hot my performance was erratic and badly paced, but still got the job done. Lots of work still to be done. Bring on Ponte 10k next week for a slower, steadier, hopefully more calm race performance. 

Wed 4th to Fri 6th – My car was in for a repair at the garage. This enabled me to have some fun travelling on public transport, and seeing the world from a different angle. Letting the train and the bus taking the strain is fun.

April 2022

Sat 30th – We had CRC’s biggest social yet where we had 25 members for a social evening at The Carleton. We took over a quarter of the pub and had fun getting to know each other better and have a laugh. For those who were there, St Bernard enjoyed himself!! 

Fri 29th – My first day back in the office this year. My new team were having a social after work so it was a great opportunity to come in to the office in Leeds, work collaboratively face to face, get to know people better, and have a few drinks afterwards. Happy days ahead! 

Tues 26th – CRC‘s new kit was presented to the group. How exciting!!

Sun 24th – CRC‘s Committee Meeting mapped out the next couple of months worth of work. Exciting times as we expand the community feel. 

Sat 23rd – Attended Ponte Colls‘ last game of the season, which saw the Colls lose to Sheffield FC, the world’s most tedious club, sorry, I meant the world’s oldest club! They quite like telling everyone at every opportunity! Haha! Met some friends from Twitter too that were Hallam FC fans. We will have to do a visit to their ground sometime. 

Mon 18th – A dozen of CRC’s runners took part in The Carleton‘s pub quiz. 

Sun 17th – A number of CRC’s runners were back at The Carleton later that day for a live music performance by Bulsara, a Freddie Mercury tribute act. It was a really good evening and enjoyable mixing with other runners in non-running gear! Social running friends are good!  

Sun 17th – Attended The Carleton‘s Easter Craft Fair and had a stall informing interested people about Carleton Running Community. We got a number of new runners sign up for our club from this and it helped raise our profile and gave an opportunity to tell people about our aims and ambitions. 

Sat 9th – Attended the Pontefract Civic Society Community Showcase representing Carleton Running Community. It was a useful day getting to speak to members of the public who wanted to find out who we are and what we do, as well as a chance to network with other community groups in Pontefract too. Community groups have a responsibility to make themselves available to others and not just to think of their own needs. 

Fri 8th – Today I have completed my latest online training course – CBT Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Life Coaching. It was 3.5 hours of online video lectures and 16 hours of self-study. It was a really interesting topic and one I found useful and stimulating. 

Thu 7th – I’ve had a lovely couple of days at the coast. I decided to take a mini break to get some air, a change of scenery, and a refreshing time just away from my usual environment. This approach does so much good to energise the spirit as well as having a nice time away. 

March 2022

For links to the groups mentioned, please visit my Socials and Links page. 

Mon 28th – I’m now off work for a fortnight with very few plans in place. It’s quite a joyous thing just to be able to rest, get my life in order, and to start thinking of exciting things for the future. 

Sun 27th – Unfortunately the Wolverhampton 10k race took place without me today. There was no way I could do it with how I’ve felt the last few days. Best to rest up and come back stronger. I’ve got around six or so weeks until Oxford 10k so I can focus on getting ready for that now.

Fri 25th – After two years working on my current assignment at work, today is my last day with the team. We’ve achieved great things and made big steps forward during that time and there are lots of positives to take forward, and lots of happy memories to look back on. I now have a couple of week’s annual leave that I am taking before starting my new assignment in a different team. I’m not too sure of the detail of which team I will be in but that will all become clear in time.

Thurs 24thIllness struck! Stomach ache and pains and lethargy. How annoying that I can’t be more than 20 metres away from a toilet ‘just in case’! This puts my race in jeopardy for this weekend. I certainly don’t fancy being part way round a 10k race when getting those feelings.

Wed 23rd – Attended the England Athletics LiRF to CiRF Progression Workshop, for Leaders in Running Fitness who are looking to progress to the Coach in Running Fitness qualification. This two hour online workshop was really useful about what lies ahead and what is involved with the higher qualification. 

Sun 20thCarleton Running Community held our latest committee meeting where we reviewed the last month, and looked forward to all the exciting plans we have in place over the next three months.  

Fri 18th – This is my birthday. I had an enjoyable meal with my parents at lunchtime before a little shopping trip with them, and then a meal and drinks with a small group of friends in the evening. When you get to my advanced age, you just want things like birthdays and Christmas to be nice and simple with no dramas!

Wed 16th – I continued with some online training that I had started before Christmas. For some reason I hadn’t made time for my learning, so am now going to get this course completed in the coming weeks. I am studying Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Life Coaching, which will complement other recent training I have completed and will help furnish me with more information and greater depth of knowledge for a book that I am writing. 

Sat 12th – I went to watch Pontefract Rugby Union play in a top of the table clash this afternoon. What a well run club this is and has lots of great people volunteering and working there. I shall definitely be going to watch them again in the future when I have a spare gap in my weekend window. 

Fri 11th – Received feedback that Carleton Running Community has been getting high praise and amazing feedback from Greene King staff across the country, including directors. It is so nice to receive recognition of the good we are doing and the role we are playing in helping local runners with their fitness, their mental health, and bringing people together.

Thu 10thCRC has now had 50 different people run with us in our first two weeks, including 30 who have ran at more than one session. We are blown away by the atmosphere and culture that we are building. Membership forms and payments are rolling in almost daily and new people turning up to each of our sessions. 

Wed 9th – I had an impromptu trip to the theatre this evening. I saw a post on social media that there were limited numbers of tickets available to see comedian Stewart Lee at the Theatre Royal in Wakefield that evening. I had a really good time, and laughed a lot and his performance. As ever, his delivery was something amazing to watch and the content was equally thought provoking and entertaining. I’d definitely recommend seeing him if you can.

Tues 8th – Had a day off work as annual leave as I had a number of things to get through today. I also had the opportunity to meet up with the Chairman of Pontefract Civic Society to discuss how the Civic Society and the running club can work together and support the aims and values of each party. This was a very useful meeting. 

Later that day, I had another useful meeting, this time a telephone call with England Athletics, discussing the set up of the club, opportunities for development, growth, expansion, looking at strengthening the structure of the club, and to enable wider opportunity generally. Lots of good things to come out of this conversation. Busy times ahead! 

Sun 6th – Bearing in mind that I have my first 10km race of the year in three week’s time, I decided it would be good if I actually did some training for it! I decided to run the Pontefract 10k course that I will be running in May as I hadn’t actually ran this version of the course. I thought I was doing ok but when I got back I saw that I had got my best 10k time since October 2019. That’s certainly some encouragement for me as I work towards race day at the Wolverhampton 10k at the end of this month. 

Sat 5th – After deciding that I was going to rest this week and not run a parkrun, I decided to do the next best thing, some would say more so, I volunteered. I drove to Frickley Country Park in South Elmsall, a lovely, friendly parkrun that doesn’t have a lot of runners attend and they sometimes struggle for volunteers. They’ve always been really welcoming to me there when I’ve ran there in the past and I was happy to help facilitate the run and the runners. I was fortunate enough to get speaking to another volunteer and we shared our stories of the last couple of years and we both got a lot out of this new interaction. 

Wed 2nd – The programme I am working on at work is being scaled back and I will be moving to a different assignment as of the end of March. This is something that happens in large scale organisations such as the one I work in, especially in the public sector. I am excited to have the opportunity to move to another exciting area within data operations. Watch this space to see where I end up within the organisation. 

Tues 1st – Wow, how much nervous excitement and energy can a person cope with in a day?! Tonight was Carleton Running Community’s first ever running session. Whilst I was nervous and excited, I was also over run with energy, and actually ran four times this day. I ran 5k first thing, before driving to where we would be doing the 2km run in the evening and did a dry run then, before heading home to work. After work, I got to the venue early and as I was ridiculously early I went out and smashed out another 2km quickly before the session started! I don’t think I’ve ran 4 times in a day and still felt fresh as a daisy before. Anyway, the session went well. Better than could ever be expected in fact. More about that another time. 

February 2022

Sun 27thCarleton Running Community held our first Recruiting Evening where interested runners could come and listen to what we plan to do with the club, to talk about our values and the ethos of the club, and how we want the culture of the club to be. We want to be as accessible for runners as possible. Blown away by the 30 people who turned up to talk to us.

We were expecting to mingle amongst a few people to have small chats about what our plans are, not to be giving a stand-up presentation in front of a busy section of the pub! A big thank you to The Carleton pub for accommodating us so well despite the pub being busy for the football.  

Thurs 24th – Met up with a local councillor to discuss the new running club and the plans for us going forwards. This had some great outcomes of this meeting and there are good things to happen soon because of this. 

Tues 22nd – This evening, I completed the UK Coaching How To Coach: Plan, Do, Review e-learning course. This is part of my ongoing commitment to learning and continual professional development.

Tues 22nd – Still buzzing from the response to our new running group yesterday. It just shows that if you do your research well enough, you find your market. So inspiring hearing some of the messages and comments coming in. Wow, just wow. 

Mon 21st – Finally I can let the cat out of the bag! Today is the official launch of the new running group that me and my colleague Chris have been working on for quite some time. A running community focusing on the requirements of its members no matter what their speed, experience or ability is. Prioritising getting running to be enjoyable and to enable greater participation are two big passions of mine, and this new group we have set up – Carleton Running Community – addresses many of these massive opportunities in a groundbreaking approach to delivering running sessions in the Pontefract area. 

We will be focusing on social inclusion and encouraging positivity and involvement throughout the community group. We want to socialise together as well as run together. We want to get people active and to do some good in the area as well as run for our own sakes. This is fun!  

Thu 17th – Re-read my book and it really helped me. Wow, a self-help book that helps even the author. I should put that on a poster! 

Thu 17th – I led my last session with Pontefract Athletics Club. I have submitted my resignation to the chairman with my reasons why. You can find out more about my decision here

Thu 17th – On my second of two day’s annual leave, I drove down to Derbyshire for a nice walk in Dovedale. I really like that part of the world and enjoyed my 9 mile walk followed by a meal in Ashbourne before heading home. 

Wed 16th – I had a day’s annual leave to take so in the afternoon I decided to have a walk round the City Walls of York. It was rather soggy but really enjoyable. I hadn’t walked around them before so it was nice to see a different part of the city. 

Sat 12th to Fri 18th – Been having some problems in my personal life that has been quite tough for me to keep my usual cheery self going. A big, thank you to those who have helped me work out what’s what and to help bring sense to how I think and process ‘stuff’. You’re the bestest! 

Wed 9th – The discrete project I am working on reached the penultimate milestone today. This is great news and I am so over the moon that something amazing is going to come from this. As before, still unable to discuss publicly but all will be revealed in time. 

January 2022

Mon 24th – A discrete project I am working on reached a major milestone today. I am so excited about this and whilst I can’t talk about it yet, this has the potential to do so much good and to remove a lot of the negativity involved in this area. It’s so hard running a blog and not being able to say what you want to say on a topic, ha! All will become clear in time. 

Thu 13th Freedom Day! Having had Covid since the start of the year, I am now able to go about life in a normal way again. That’s such an exciting thing to be able to do. Just going to a shop for some bread is fun! The major lesson I have learnt is around phrasing things better. I GET TO DO THIS rather than I HAVE TO DO THIS. Looking at how we are free to do things and we have opportunities rather than seeing something as a negative.  

Sun 2nd to Wed 12thThe ‘Rona has landed! I had symptoms and tested positive so had to isolate during this period while I recovered. A massive thank you and big love to those who looked out for me to make sure I had everything I needed, and for the messages and calls throughout my lockdown. You know who you all are. You rock! 

December 2021

Christmas – Christmas was a quiet time for me. I spent most of Christmas day with my parents and enjoyed their company. We normally see my brother and his family over Christmas but due to health concerns we have decided to wait until the pandemic has quietened down a bit. 

Thu 24th – Christmas Eve and I have NOTHING planned whatsoever for today. Christmas doesn’t have to be overly busy and packed full of things 24/7. I am the kind of person who needs some unplanned time to just exist and do whatever I feel like at the time. It has been an aim of mine this Christmas holiday time to have some days with nothing in the diary and to see where it takes me. Today I have already gone for a five mile walk, watched a bit of television, and listened to some music, and now catching up on some website stuff. Being on your own doesn’t mean you are lonely. Sometimes you can be more lonely in a crowd. 

Wed 23rd – It has been a full year so far this year and one where lots has happened. Highs, lows, in betweens. I’m not one to look on specific dates where something not nice happened and am much more inclined to look back on dates where something happier happened. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think about sad things from the past, just that I have learned over time to look forward rather than to look back unless there are lessons to learned from the past. Positivity and hope are much greater attributes than negativity and sadness. Head up. Look up. Move on up.

Mon 21st – Watched Spike Island film which features the music of The Stone Roses. I am reminded of how much I enjoyed their music, how it made me feel, and how I was more me when I used to listen to them in the past. I have now bought a Stone Roses t-shirt and my first ever pair of Adidas trainers, ha! If how you dress makes you more comfortable as a person, and the kind of music brings out your personality and character more, that can only be a good thing. Time for me to dress more confidently going forward. Let’s see how that goes! 

Thu 18th – Wow, I’ve just watched what I think was my favourite Christmas film ever. Last Christmas, written by Emma Thompson and starring the new love of my life Emilia Clarke, was such an amazing film. Emilia’s character Kate was just adorable. If you haven’t watched it yet, please do. You won’t be disappointed. 

Tues 7th – I have completed a fully accredited professional counselling diploma course. The course is fully accredited by CTAA – Complementary Therapists Accredited Association. This training with each of the assessment modules has helped me understand the counselling process a lot more and has taught me a number of useful tools that are used during delivering counselling and therapy. 

Sun 5th – Took part in the Liverpool Santa Dash. This amazing 5k run is a great event and one that holds fantastic memories for me as it was my first mass participant event when I started running back in 2012. Seeing 5000 people running, walking, strolling, dancing round the streets of the city whilst all dressed as Santa is a sight to be seen. I will definitely be back next year for sure. 

Wed 1st –  Christmas Tree Of The Day is back again for 2021. Also known as #CTOTD2021 I thought up this idea back in 2014 when I wanted to bring some happiness and entertainment to my social media profiles, so decided to share a photo of a different Christmas Tree that I had seen out and about on my travels each and every day from Dec 1st to Dec 24th each year.

This has always been popular with followers with them getting involved by telling me where they’ve seen great Christmas Trees, sharing pictures of theirs and tagging me in, and general positivity about this time of year. Christmas can be a tough time for many people – the expectations and pressures that are very real for some is tough to deal with, and I hope that my little moments of silliness, fun, and light entertainment can bring smiles to those who see my posts. 

November 2021

Fri 26th to Sun 28th Nov – Weekend away at the Yorkshire Coast, taking in Bridlington, Scarborough, and Whitby. The wind was like nothing I had ever experienced before. 70mph winds at the West Cliff at Whitby where I couldn’t even walk into it and could only stand still by holding on to a wall. Wow, just crazy weather. 

Thurs 25th Nov – My new phone arrived. Having seen the upgrade options of my iPhone 11 Pro Max and saw how they weren’t very inspiring – i.e. to the 13 Pro Max, I decided to do the unthinkable and jump ship across to the Android world. Understanding that this isn’t the easiest of things to do what with having to move so much from one system to another, changing email accounts, calendars, syncing back-ups, how some apps aren’t available on Android that are on iOS and vice versa, and the difficulties encountered kept me busy for two weeks in total! 

One particular difficulty was getting my second line eSIM transferred from one phone to the other. I use this line for work and it saves me having to carry two devices around. I got it working eventually but it was a headache for a week with back and forward calls with my network provider. 

My new phone – the Samsung Z Flip 3 is FLIPPING amazing though. I’ve wanted to have a flip phone ever since they were phased out when smart phones became the norm. I held back from getting one of the earlier versions as there are always problems with that kind of thing. The Z Flip3 though is truly amazing. The battery life isn’t as great as the iPhone but apart from that, it is a really fab phone. With this phone being more delicate that the iPhone I am being more mindful to be careful of it whilst out and about. It certain looks and feels out of this world. I have phone pride once again. 

Mon 15th to Sun 21st Nov – Ill – Tonsillitis. 🙁 

Fri 12th Nov to Sun 14th Nov – Eleventh year anniversary of moving from Wolverhampton up to Yorkshire.  

Wed 10th Nov – Wow, just wow! The e-book has surprised me massively with the response from those who have bought and read it. Thank you so much for all the kind comments. Even more so for the kind people who rated and reviewed the e-book on Amazon too. That really does help persuade others to buy it too. 

The most amazing thing ever though was how the early sales impacted the Amazon book charts though. Never in a month of Sundays would I have thought that I could have said the following statements about anything that I had written:

  • Mon 8th Nov – Number ONE in HOT NEW RELEASES list for ‘Running and Jogging’
  • Mon 8th Nov – In the top 6000 e-books WORLDWIDE on the Kindle Store in all categories!
  • Tues 9th Nov – Number TWO in the BEST SELLING LIST list for ‘Running and Jogging’

Now these are only snapshots of where they were at that time and there aren’t sufficient sales for them to remain there, it is still truly mesmerising to have those stats for even the shortest amount of times at all. Truly amazed and blown away. Wow, just wow.  

Sun 7th Nov – ‘Rebuilding The #Machine. The New You Is Already Within You.’ is released on Amazon Kindle Store for £1.99. This is my second e-book and comes five years after the release of ‘How A Fat Sweaty Santa Became A Marathon Runner‘. 

Wed 3rd Nov – It’s nearly ready! My new e-book is written. I’ve sent the document off to a subcontracted expert for them to format the document and to create the front cover from an image idea I had sent through to them. Hopefully, all being well, this will be able to be listed on Amazon within a week. I’m not revealing the title until I get things back from the experts. I’m definitely excited about this whole chapter of my life right now (pun definitely intended!) 

Tues 2nd Nov – I went to the latest Wes Anderson film The French Dispatch at the local cinema. It was a really enjoyable film, an eccentric watch that you had to work so hard to keep an eye on all the different moments of genius happening on the screen all at once. 

As many people do, I checked into the Cinema on Facebook, but strangely my post was removed (and so it appears so did many other people’s posts about this film worldwide). They said that the posts were inappropriate and were spam. We were only saying how good the film was! How bizarre these algorithms are at times. 

Tue 2nd Nov – Received an invitation to interview for a temporary promotion at work. Decided to decline the offer due to the length of the temporary nature of it. I would rather wait until a permanent position becomes available before applying for it. I’m comfortable doing what I’m doing and earning what I’m earning, so not in a desperate hurry to make changes. The right opportunity isn’t just money and temporary, it is about needing to be the right fit for me longer term. Felt good being that liberated enough to not just chase the dollar though. I will go through a mind mapping exercise to explore my options going forward about what I have to offer, what I like doing, and how I want to plan any particular direction. 

October 2021

For links to the groups mentioned, please visit my Socials and Links page. 

Sat 30th – Sun 31st Oct – I had the great pleasure of going to stay with my friend and his family in Chester. We spend the evening chatting and catching up about life and how lockdown had been, and much more. On the Sunday morning we both took part in the Chester Zoo 10k. This was my first race for two years, and the furthest I had run this year. Only 12 weeks previous I couldn’t even run 5k and I had pushed myself hard to get to this point. It was an emotional day. I went through a rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions, mostly being happy, proud, and pleased to have got back to a place where I could enjoy running once again. I ran the race in 68min 13secs which as I was aiming for 75mins was an absolute shock and surprise, but one that made me walk tall afterwards thankful and grateful for the opportunity to do what I love once again. 

Thu 28th Oct – Met with staff from The Carleton pub to discuss arrangement and plans for this year’s community Santa Dash from the pub. We discussed routes, medals, distances, and much more. It’s going to be a good event and one where all in the community can get involved with. I love it when communities come together and what better place to do it than round the local pub which in itself is a community hub. This isn’t a Pontefract Athletics Club event. This is something that me and Chris Whawell are doing as locals supporting our local pub, rather than run leaders. 

Wed 27th Oct – As I was thinking forward to Sunday’s race day – the Chester Zoo 10k and my first race for two years, it made me review how my year had been. How I had go through ‘that Winter’ and all the stresses and personal battles I had gone through. I started drafting a new e-book sharing not just my story about how I fought back, but what takeaways (not edible ones!) could be shared with others and what my view was on opportunities for us all. Watch this space. It is coming soon! 

Mon 25th and Wed 27th Oct – The kitchen extensions have been completed now. The worktop surface in in place and the cupboard shelving too. All that is needed now is the new kitchen flooring that will probably by vinyl. Will leave that a couple of weeks before starting looking into that. It’s looking good though! 

Sun 24th Oct – I was aware that the week ahead was going to be difficult mentally and emotionally as it was going to be the anniversary of the change in domestic arrangements for me at home. My household had gone from 2 up to 4 for two months prior, then down to 2, and then a couple of days later, back to a disjointed and separated 2 leading to being just 1 from December onwards. In light of this, I made the decision to go and spend the day somewhere happy and where I could enjoy being who I am in a place I enjoy being. I went to Scarborough and went for a walk round and enjoyed having that clarity of mind. 

Wed 20th – Fri 22nd Oct – I completed my latest training course and qualification. The BCS Practitioner Certificate in Business Analysis Practice, as part of the International Diploma in Business Analysis. This was my fourth exam of the five required and I passed the course and gained the qualification. Should I wish to complete the Diploma an hour long oral exam on the whole of Business Analysis is required. Crikey – that’s going to have to be one to think about another day! In the meantime, four Business Analysis courses passed now so I have a greater understanding of the topic of Business Analysis. 

Tues 19th Oct – The FA Cup replay match took place at FC Halifax Town where Pontefract Collieries were less confident on the larger pitch and the bigger stadium. With 9 players behind the ball for much of the game, a game plan of having to take chances clinically and to shoot on sight wasn’t quite there. The Colls lost 1-0 and the 562 travelling supporters were proud of what was possible. By the next home game, the attendance had dropped down to it’s usual levels. Where is the fan retention? What approach is there from the club here? 

Sat 16th OctPontefract Collieries FC had their biggest home fixture ever, a FA Cup draw against FC Halifax Town. A record crowd of 1429 squeezed themselves into the Beechnut Lane ground. To say the average gate is nearer the 200 mark, there were a lot that were in the ground for the one-off game which is a shame not to see them down there more often. What would it take to get them down more often? Well, I guess the club has the answers to this as I went through the reasons and background to much of this pre-season. Implementation sometimes takes a long time when they re-prioritise. The game finished 0-0 and will be replayed at FC Halifax Town’s ground on Tues 19th October. 

Tues 12th Oct – My shower hasn’t been great for a long time. Spewing out gunge and water from the bottom of the pipe as well as a less than great flow of water from the shower head itself. Today, I bit the bullet and went to get a new one and had it fitted. Wow, it’s so much better. I’m so pleased with it. 

Tues 5th Oct – In light of wanting to spend more time in the West Midlands and for friends from down there to come up here to Pontefract too, I have invested in a new spare bed mattress and have started making that room more visitor-friendly. 

September 2021

Thu 30th Sept to Sun 2nd Oct – I spent a long, busy weekend in Wolverhampton

catching up with friends that I’ve not seen for a long time. Up to 30 years in some instances. Wow, what a great weekend this was. It was fantastic being in my old stomping ground, being with friends and having proper, decent conversations and finding out about their lives, sharing my life with them too, and generally having a fab time. 

One big take-away from this weekend was how much Wolverhampton has been part of my life, and even though I’m a Yorkshireman there is definitely a part of me that identifies with Wolverhampton and the Black Country area too. This made me think about things. I wrote about it in this blog piece here – The forgotten part of my identity – Rich Lord

Tues 28th – Stepped down from the committee of Pontefract Athletic Club due to the reluctance to embrace development opportunities. I will continue to lead running sessions for the club as I have done since June 2020. 

Sat 25th – Attended a family gathering at my uncle and aunt’s house in Wakefield. It was good to spend time with relations and to get to see people I hadn’t seen for a long time due to the pandemic. The Lord sense of humour was definitely flowing, which meant we all enjoyed being silly together. 

Sun 19th – I led a training session for Pontefract Athletics Club as part of the practical element of my Leader in Running Fitness qualification. This was videoed and reviewed by England Athletics. Feedback has been given for consideration for future sessions but they said the session was very good. Pleasing to hear! Many thanks to those who came and attended and supported me in this activity. I was due to do it in December of last year but injury/illness/personal circumstances delayed this unfortunately. 

Sat 18th – Spent the morning at Wakefield Thornes parkrun. It was their 7th anniversary of their first parkrun so it was nice to be there once again. It is a varied course with plenty of everything. 

Fri 17th – The 2020 Pontefract Athletics Club awards presentation evening took place. This was the first one of these I had attended in the four/five years at the club. We tried to shift the balance from ‘celebrating winning’ to ‘celebrating achievements’. This is a key aspect to my philosophy around this area. You can achieve great things whilst still not win races. You can achieve great leaps forward in your own personal times and distances yet still not win against peers. I am much more in favour of recognising individual wins as well as those on the wider landscape too. Still work to be done in this area as a club, should the will be there in certain quarters. 

Thu 16thPontefract Athletics Club held their latest committee meeting. The use of the phrase ‘but we’ve always done it like that’ is used too often when not being open to new opportunities. When asked for ideas, those ideas need to be listened to by the relevant subject matter experts, otherwise there is no point in asking for ideas or involvement of the subject matter expert. 

Tues 14th – First day back into the office since the start of the pandemic. A different building, a new pass required, and the unique experience of feeling strange actually going to work. I know that many people have worked at their usual place of work throughout but for those ‘returning’ it feels a lot stranger than I had anticipated. 

Sun 12th – At the end of a busy and eventful weekend, the opportunity to look back and reflect shows a couple of polar opposite situations. “Gratitude is the attitude” is a phrase I turn to often as guidance for myself. I am grateful for many things, including having my eyes being opened wider to situations that may be less than ideal. Each new morning is a new opportunity. Not just for me, but for all other people too. 

Sat 11th – Lack of discipline removes opportunities in sport. Lack of respect for support removes so much more. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” as Shakespeare once said, or maybe closer to home may be more appropriate. The tap has now been turned off. 

Sat 11th – Spent the morning at Rothwell parkrun. The atmosphere and feeling within the running community there is so uplifting and encouraging. I had a friend who is normally literally twice as quick run round the course with me encouraging me, supporting me, chatting with me, and being an absolute star. Afterwards, we chatted with friends over a cuppa and everyone felt so good about the whole morning. 

Fri 10th – Took a day off work as leave to spend some time relaxing. Went to the cinema to see The Last Bus starring Timothy Spall. A poignant, thought-provoking film about a man taking a journey the length of the country to keep a promise. It showed his experiences and interactions with people along the way. It showed how times change, decency isn’t for everyone, and how on the whole good deeds are valued and respected.

Tues 7th – You can only help those who want to be helped. 

Mon 6th – My weight loss is still continuing. Since I started to focus on this area in mid-May 2021 I have now lost 11.5kg / 1st 11.6lb. Long way to go, but this is definitely encouraging progress. 

Sun 5th – Met up with a colleague from Pontefract Athletics Club to discuss road running and to plan areas needing discussion at the upcoming Committee Meeting on Thurs 16th September. 

Sun 5th – Today saw the Leeds 10k and Leeds Half Marathon take place in Leeds. These races organised by Run For All are fantastic events and if I am not participating myself, I do love to go and support. I drove into Leeds early and walked across town to the route on Kirkstall Road about a mile from the finish. Four hours I was there supporting in total, firstly for the 10ks going out at the start of their race, then cheering them back on towards their finish, and then the half marathoners came through eagerly looking forward to the finish line. There were so many runners, joggers (word used advisably), walkers, and wheelchair athletes that appreciated the support they got from spectators that day. I had so many comments of thanks and appreciation at the time and on my socials afterwards. I got so much out of it myself though watching and supporting runners. It helps when you know ‘what it feels like’ and ‘what you need to hear’ at that point. When a supporter says you’re nearly there when you aren’t isn’t helpful! When a supporter tells you honestly and genuinely that there are ‘no more hills’, the runners tend to like that for sure! 🙂 

Sat 4th – My first run round Pontefract parkrun in a very long time! Not only that, but I ran 1km on the way to the park and 1km on the way back too, so I chalked up 7km in total (with a breather / chat before and after parkrun itself). It was so good to feel like that fitness normality could be back again in the coming months if I am sensible and work hard and rest hard too. 

Sat 4th – I had a trip into Leeds in the afternoon to find where my new work building is. They’ve moved buildings earlier this year and have introduced Hybrid Working so I will be in the office sometimes and working from home at other times. It was good to have a good walk round Leeds too getting reacquainted with the great city. I was generally fine but around the more boozy areas I was more uncertain of the crowds of ‘unpredictability’ if that makes sense. It may have been different if I had been drinking too, but I wasn’t. Not everyone can switch on/switch off normality I guess. It is still fairly early in the change back.  

Fri 3rd – Met up with a friend I’d not met up with a long time. They aren’t running any more and isn’t at the usual running events as he would have been before. It was great to spend time together talking about all things running, fitness, memories, and general life stuff. Finding time for people is important and so rewarding. We both left uplifted and valued which is a great thing. 

August 2021

Tues 31st – Had my latest sports massage which included cupping on my tight calves and hamstrings. Wow – they felt so much looser afterwards. I also felt a lot more confident about the future after my chat during the session. Sports massage therapy isn’t just fixing the muscles in your legs, it’s being challenged and encouraged to progress and develop too. 

Fri 27th – Mon 30th – I had a long weekend off work for the Bank Holiday and made sure I did the most to enjoy this time. I met a friend for lunch that I’d not seen for a number of years, had an evening out with my cousin, and witness the Gaia exhibition in Wakefield Cathedral as part of their Festival of the Earth exhibition. 

Wed 25th – I’ve decided to bring back #SelfieSunday – my weekly post on social media with selfies with people I’ve met during that week. It is a celebration of friendship that started at the beginning of 2019 and continued until the start of the pandemic in March 2020. My view is that selfies are a celebration of friendship and who we know, not narcissism. Watch out for these on my social media each Sunday and if you see me, grab me so we can have a selfie together too! 

Sun 22nd – Had a day out to Haworth in West Yorkshire and went on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway – a steam railway that goes between Oxenhope and Keighley. I had been on this railway as a child and now many years on, it was really enjoyable to experience it once again.

Sat 21st – The football club requested that our We’re In The Shed fans group remove a post that one person didn’t like. It was a picture of the goalposts and a humourous quip about here was something that wasn’t troubled that day as we lost 2-0 in the first home game of the season against our local rivals.

Fans have the right to be frustrated and to state this publicly. None of our posts are personal or against anyone in particular. We won’t be censored in this way. Most of the people at the club understand this and understand our viewpoint. 

Sat 21st – A frustrating pre-match for me at Pontefract Collieries FC. The scoreboard hadn’t been erected and that plans for it’s location had changed without being communicated. I went down to the ground to help guide some volunteers as to some of the pre-match preparations that are vital for spectator satisfaction – like a tidy ground beforehand with all litter and hazards removed out of the way, sufficient plastic drinks glasses for spectators, sufficient toilet roll in the facilities and regular checks in the day to ensure that they are still stocked correctly. I was surprised that these weren’t already looked after. I did what I could to help this time. 

Too often roles and responsibilities are blurred and uncertain and jobs like these are left to others to sort out, which inevitably mean they get left undone or not done to the level required. Hopefully my interaction has started the ball rolling to get things like this resolved earlier. I can hope at least. I will say it time and time again, spectator experience is key if you want them to keep coming back.  

Sat 21st – After being given the go ahead to try running further as part of my comeback from injury, I managed my first 5k run of the year. It felt great to be back out running once again. There is still much hard work to be done to get back to being comfortable running often again but this milestone, or 3.11 milestone has been reached. This feels so good. Now to keep up the hard work!

Tues 17th – Started planning a couple of weekends away. I’ve planned a weekend in Wolverhampton to catch up with friends down there that I’ve not seen for far too long. Part of my post-lockdown approach is that I want to catch up with more friends nationwide and locally. This is an ideal time to spend time with folk and to find out how friends are doing after a tough couple of years for people. Some people I’ve not seen in 25-30 years so it will be amazing to see them and maybe grab a selfie or two! I’ve also booked a weekend in Scarborough for later in the year and I always have an enjoyable time there no matter what time of year it is. 

Thu 12th – Attended the Pontefract Athletics Club committee meeting. I am there to represent the interests of the road runners and to ensure that as much as possible is offered out to all members. Inclusiveness is important to me, and whilst not everyone will want to take part in everything they should have the right to choose. 

Thu 12th – Collected the new scoreboard that I sourced and designed for Pontefract Collieries FC. This will look great in the ground. For a club that has been going so long, it seemed crazy to me that there was no scoreboard for fans to see. I guess that when the focus has been so long on the product on the pitch that the experience for fans is still an area of development. I hope that through my consulting with the club over the year to date that they have started to see that without considering the experience of fans that they won’t grow to the levels they want to. 

Mon 2nd to Thurs 5th – It has been a whirlwind of emotions for Aston Villa fans this week as the impending transfer of Jack Grealish out of Villa Park has taken effect. There was hope that he was staying. There was then the lows of seeing that actually he probably wasn’t. Then the highs of seeing new signings coming in that would excite and improve the team. All this and he still hasn’t gone yet (as of the time of writing!) All part of the fun of being a football fan nowadays. The mix of too much news and not enough facts and having too many wannabe in the know fans doesn’t help. Lots of filtering and muting going on on Twitter! 

A big shout out to the Villa Twitter fans who have come together to be a force together this week. The Twitter Spaces broadcasts or whatever they are (who knows?) have been great. Over 3000 people at best, trending #1 on Twitter, all having a release of emotion, and a common goal of wanting the very best for the club. I do think it has been the Samaritans equivalent for Villa fans this week. Lots of positivity now though! 

Sun 1st – Volunteered as a marshal at the Pontefract 10k road race. Hundreds of awesome runners completed the course in this great local road race that took place on Yorkshire Day. It was great to see everyone twice on the route and seeing the help that a smile and a cheer gave the runners. I may not be able to run that distance currently, but I can still contribute to helping others achieve too. There were quite a few runners from Pontefract Athletics Club taking part and they said it was nice to have that support on the route. 

July 2021

Tues 27th – Wed 28th – Worked on my website, making changes to the presentation, layout, and the plans for the content. I have neglected the content of my website for a few months so hopefully now I can get into a better routine of creating content worthy of consumption! 

Mon 26th –  Met with Pontefract Collieries FC to complete the presentation planning for their meeting with Wakefield Council and the Football Association regarding development of their land. 

Sat 24th – Met with Pontefract Collieries FC to help progress their development plans using Trello. 

Wed 21st – I held the first Wednesday session for the new schedule for Pontefract Athletics Club. This is on the back of feedback sought from members and we hope that this will go down favourably with runners who can’t make the other sessions. With it being a social 5k, it is hoped that we can attract new runners too to this session. 

Sun 18th – Rolled out the new running schedule for Pontefract Athletics Club which removes the Saturday session now that parkrun is opening next weekend, and adds an extra session on a Wednesday. This was on the back of listening to members who said they couldn’t always get to the existing sessions on Mondays and Thursdays. It is important for community groups to listen to their members and do what they can to adjust their deliverables appropriately. 

Wed 14th – Met with Pontefract Collieries FC to plan for their upcoming meeting with Wakefield Council and the Football Association regarding development of their land. I can’t give any further details than that currently, but there are exciting times ahead. 

Sun 11th – It has been a very enjoyable month of international football with Euro 2020. England did so well and whilst the style of play wasn’t to everyone’s enjoyment the results certainly made up for much of that. With a very defensive focus to the team set up, limitations were always going to be there at the top end of the pitch. I think that upon reviewing the overall tournament performance there may be a slight relaxing of this approach to enable the attacking and creative players to have a greater impact. I can hope anyway! 

To get to their first major final in 55 years was a great achievement and getting there shouldn’t be forgotten when reviewing it. England got to the Semi Finals at the World Cup 3 years ago so now the team can be seen as a consistent performer in recent tournaments. Next year’s World Cup in Qatar, should England qualify, should mean that other countries won’t be keen to face us knowing that we are an emerging force.  

Sun 4th – Tues 6th – Enjoyed a short break away to the Coast. I love Scarborough and the surrounding area so it wasn’t hard for me to decide that when I needed a little break that Scarbs was the place I wanted to go to. A couple of days ‘rest’ was what I thought I needed, but it turned out that a change of scenery and not having to do anything at a set time was equally as important too. Downtime comes in many forms. You can still be busy and achieve lots of things but being free and flexible can be great too. Sometimes just sitting watching the sea for half an hour can do more good than we realise. 

Sat 3rd – This saw the start of Pontefract Collieries FC‘s pre-season schedule. It was good to see the progress that has been made at the club on and off the pitch. Fans and visitors are commenting on the difference they can see when they visit the ground now. This is rewarding when you consider the hard work that the committee and I have put in over this year to fix and improve the spectator experience and surroundings. 

June 2021

Sun 27th – Organised a 10km race for Pontefract Athletics Club. Carried out a risk assessment lap of the course before the start, set up and managed the start and finish lines and collated times upon completion of the race. All runners enjoyed themselves running safely and well. 

Thu 24th – Attended the Pontefract Athletics Club committee meeting and successfully lobbied for greater publicity for events that are open to all, in the interests of full inclusion, so that all who wish to attend events and take part can do. Also I proposed a change to the road running sessions too to enable more people to attend more sessions where availability is restricted with the current training schedule. The new training schedule will be introduced in the middle of July. Participation is important to me, and groups should do all they can to enable increased participation from their membership. I am pleased with these upcoming changes. 

Sat 19th – Met with Pontefract Collieries FC to discuss the plans for their new off-field management structure proposed last week, and to discuss the details of the new sponsorship requirements. In this we managed to secure funding for the club’s first ever scoreboard, which we hope to have in place for the first game of the season. The off-field management structure is for an executive committee and an advisory committee that feeds the exec. I am not putting myself forward for either of these and am happy advising on an ad hoc basis once the season starts. 

Part of my desire is to help the club set themselves up with a stronger structure and with a clear approach on how to best utilise their skills and talents in the most productive way. Deviation from best practice and recognised proven success routes will see sub-standard results so it is crucial for adoption of these practices if they want to go to the next level up off the field. The opportunities are there for the club, should they wish to continue this vein of improvement that they are currently bought into. 

Thu 17th – Had my annual Personal Development Review at work. One thing that I noted was how introspective I am and how I like to review things in my head and self-reflect on events and conversations. I think this is a form of emotional intelligence, and it helps stop events repeating, or it helps you deal with frustrations and see things differently. I know for a fact that I have two types of reactions – I have my ‘at the time’ reaction and then next day I have my ‘more reasoned’ reaction. Knowing this in itself is ground-breaking as it helps to understand how we operate and how we can manage emotions and feelings in the spur of the moment. 

Sat 12th – Met with Pontefract Collieries FC to plan their sponsorship requirements and income requirements for the coming season, and to restructure the sponsorship packages into more attractive prospects for potential partners. The key I see to this is not to see it as ‘we want £300’ or whatever, but to see as to what value you can offer the potential partner for that £300. What is in it for them? Without seeing things from their viewpoint, you are going to strike out more often than you score. I thought that was pretty basic understanding, but I fear that many groups across the country haven’t thought about that. What is the value of what you are offering? Value to the other party, not what you see it as! 

Thu 10th – Jointly organised the 2nd PAC in the Park 5k race for Pontefract Athletics Club. Much drier this time!

Wed 9th – Building work has been completed at my house. I’ve extended the kitchen, knocking through into an outdoor storage cupboard that was being under-utilised. This extra space makes the kitchen area look bigger and will enable better use of the area much more than before. 

Sun 6th – Jointly organised a 5 mile race for Pontefract Athletics Club. Carried out a risk assessment lap of the course before the start, set up and managed the start and finish lines and collated times upon completion of the race. All runners enjoyed themselves running safely and well. 

Fri 4th – I have a new lodger! My friend is moving house and has sold his old house and his new house isn’t ready for three to four weeks. I’ve agreed to look after his cat until then. It’s going to be nice having a cat around the house again after so long without. It will also be the purrfect way to ease back into being a cat owner as I want to get two of my own later this summer when all my house and garden prep is complete. 

Thurs 3rd – 30 years ago today, I started work for the first time. As a young, thin, wide-eyed 16 year old I became employed by Royal Mail where I stayed working for 7 years before moving on. I am still friends with many of my former colleagues from those days. They taught me a lot – about life, work, people, and much, much more. Many happy days there. My career has moved direction several times since then and I am still learning – about life, work, people, and much, much more! I have been working in the NHS world for the last 17 years and there is still much more to learn! I think the government have me down for 21 more years until I can draw my state pension. By that reckoning, my career is currently 59% complete!  

Tues 1st – Removed non-members from Pontefract Athletics Club‘s members only areas. Notifications had gone out to everyone from April onwards that renewal was due and that runners should approach the run leaders should they be intending to renew their membership but hadn’t so far. Only people who we had not heard anything from or seen in that two months were removed. This was accepted and understood why by most people. Sometimes leadership requires taking actions that not everyone agrees with. 

May 2021

Sat 29th – Sun 30th – I started some work in the garden to make some design changes to the layout and usage of the garden. One aspect I am changing is to alter the borders that have decorative stones layered on top of the soil. I am removing the stones and stripping down to the soil so that I can plant bushes and plants to develop a more plant-based garden which can bring happiness and colour year-round hopefully.

Tues 25th, Fri 28th, Sun 30th – Drinks and catch-ups with friends that I haven’t seen in over a year. Being able to travel to see friends and spend a few hours with them socially was a big lift to me. No matter how resilient we may or may not have felt over the last eighteen months, seeing friends and friendly faces around certainly gives an unrivalled boost. This summer will be a time for lots of reunions and happier times. 

Wed 26th – The contributors to the new club badge sign for Pontefract Collieries FC met at the football ground for a photograph with the club badge. 

Fri 21st – Sun 23rd – Building work commenced at my house as my kitchen extension started. I am converting a external storage cupboard into being part of the kitchen. Part of this work is to install an extra window and to create a cat flap area for when I look to get cats later this summer. 

Thu 20th – Jointly organised the PAC in the Park 5k race for Pontefract Athletics Club. It was quite a wet day! 

Thu 20th – The new club badge sign for Pontefract Collieries FC has been installed on the side of the main stand. This gives the club a greater presence to those walking by the ground. The badge manufacturer was sourced by me and it was my liaisons between the club and the supporters group We’re In The Shed, of which I am a member, that led to the supporters group funding this installation and playing our part in the legacy and outward improving image of the club. 

Sun 16th – Jointly organised a 10k race for Pontefract Athletics Club. Carried out a risk assessment lap of the course before the start, set up and managed the water station for the runners half way round, then collated times upon completion of the race. All 20 runners enjoyed themselves running safely and well. 

Fri 14th – Confirmed installation date of Wed 19th May for the new Pontefract Collieries club badge that is being installed on the side of the building at the club. This has been donated by We’re In The Shed fans group of which I am a member. By getting this large club badge on the side of the building, the club are taking steps to inform the community who they are and what they do. 

Wed 5th – Had my second Covid vaccination. Really proud of how well this country has managed a mass-vaccination roll-out so quickly and well organised. We are very fortunate to live where we do. 

Mon 3rd – Drove to Scarborough to spend the morning taking in sea air and enjoying the scenery. The weather was great for the morning and torrential rain on the way home. It’s better that way round than the other way round. This short trip did me the world of good. We can get too wrapped up in things and doing stuff, when sometimes what we need is to just sit and watch the world go by for a while. 

Sat 1st – Met with Pontefract Collieries FC to discuss the preparations for the new season. Used the Trello Kanban board to help prioritise tasks and set realistic targets for workplans and to review offerings for supporters. Took away some suggestions to review with fellow season ticket holders. 

Sat 1st – Completed the Inclusive Activity Programme online e-learning course through UK Coaching. Leading sessions with people with disabilities is not something that I have too much experience in the past. I have coached some disabled rugby players and worked well them with them. They told me I treated them as being one of the team and included them as people as well as players. This is important for any player – to be made welcome, valued, and supported where necessary. This useful course gave some good instruction on this aspect. 

April 2021

Thu 29th – Fri 30th – Reviewed my involvement and commitments, and made appropriate adjustments. We can easily get over-committed into doing more than we are able to do. Time is not an infinite commodity and sometimes projects are bigger than the time or energy available. This isn’t any reflection on areas that are de-prioritised, but an acceptance that there are areas that give energy and areas that cost energy. One area I want to spend time on is personal development, and one aspect of that is making sure that any time commitments match specific life goals and areas that can demonstrate short term visible differences.

Thu 29th – Stepped back from work with Pontefract Civic Society Futures group. Time commitments are difficult to meet at times when you’re involved with so many different groups. I have decided to concentrate on the work with Pontefract Athletics Club and my short term consultancy assistance for Pontefract Collieries FC. With only so much time in the week, it is important to be sensible about it and to allow time for yourself as well as for giving to others. You can’t pour water out of a jug that is empty.

Wed 28th – Met with Pontefract Civic Society Futures Group reviewing progress over the last few meetings, adding clarifications and amendments to the log that I had created. Identified that there are a number of blockers and restrictions that would impede progress in certain areas, some are within the control of the group and some are external. 

Sun 25thPontefract Athletics Club held the first Grand Prix internal club race of the year. I coordinated the starting waves in accordance with England Athletics guidance, collated finishing times, filmed a promotional video about the day, and published this to the club’s social media accounts.

Sat 24th and Sun 25th – Arranged introductory conversations for Pontefract Collieries FC with two prospective local councillors to discuss the club’s work in the community, improvements at the ground, and to discuss ideas about developing the land at the club to promote environmental sustainability and growth.

Thu 22nd – Useful conversations with the Chairman of Pontefract Rugby Union club about co-operation and collaboration relating to sport in the town, promoting active lifestyles, and publicising the good work going on in the area that needs shouting louder to reach more people. 

Wed 21st – Met as part of the Pontefract Civic Society Futures Group – an internal working group which shapes the way the society operates in all facets, with a focus on marketing and communication. 

Wed 21st – Confirmation has come through along with a certificate to say that I have passed my exam this week. I can now say that I have passed the BCS Practitioner Certificate in Modelling Business Processes. BCS is the British Computer Society – The Chartered Institute for IT

Mon 19th – Wed 21st – Personal Development. Attended the BCS (British Computer Society) training course – Practitioner Certificate in Modelling Business Processes. This is to expand my Business Analysis knowledge and is something that I want to be able to branch out more so into in the future.

Sat 17th – Worked with Pontefract Collieries FC on their presentation bid for the Buildbase Community Award. The presentation is part of the pitch for the award of £25,000 of building materials that will make a massive difference to their ability to provide services for the local community as well as for football.  

Tested the new PA system at the Pontefract Collieries FC ground. Impressive sound quality. This will be great for the club when they are able to communicate better with their match-day crowds in this way. 

Fri 16th – Completed the Inspiring Positive Behaviour in Sport online e-learning course through UK Coaching. Leading sessions is one thing, and when everything goes well and everyone does what is expected it is great. When there are behavioural changes though, it is up to the leader or coach to work with that person to inspire change. This useful course gave some good instruction on this aspect. 

Fri 16th – Confirmation has come through along with a certificate to say that I have passed my exam last week. I can now say that I have passed the BCS Practitioner Certificate in Requirements Engineering. BCS is the British Computer Society – The Chartered Institute for IT

Thurs 15th – My first short run in three months! Woohoo! I ran 2km and whilst my breathing needs to get used to the demands I am putting on myself again, I did ok. Much better on the downhill bits than the uphill bits, so that is something for me to consider route-wise in the next few weeks. Glad to be back.

Wed 14th – Meeting with Pontefract Civic Society Futures Group postponed a week to Wed 21st April. 

Tues 13th – Given the all clear by my sports therapist Katie Lodge at Smart Sports Therapy to resume running after a three month break. Due to my gain in weight over the last year, my body has had significantly more strain on it and it can’t be expected to perform as well. Changes are needed. My IT band is loosened enough now away from the muscle and I can now resume short distances as I ease myself gradually back into running. I have been walking and cycling over those three months but I would really love to be able to run once again. 

Sat 10th – Met with Pontefract Collieries FC to plan their bid application for the Buildbase competition. One of three clubs will win £25,000 of materials to develop their facilities. I have been working with the club’s executive on getting the right message across – highlighting benefits to the community, what the materials will enable them to provide for others, and what they’re going to be able to do that sets them apart from other competing clubs.  

Tues 6th – Met briefly with Pontefract Collieries FC to discuss the new club badge that they are having installed on an exterior wall at the club. This will be sourced based on a quote I got from a local company. It will enable the club to have a better identity in the local community. People know there is a football ground but it isn’t currently abundantly clear who they are. This new sign will improve their visibility and inform people. 

Tues 6th to Thurs 8th – Personal Development. Attended the BCS (British Computer Society) training course – Practitioner Certificate in Requirements Engineering. This is to expand my Business Analysis knowledge and is something that I want to be able to branch out more so into in the future. 

5th April – Did some work for Pontefract Athletics Club on membership and recruitment. We are able to take on new members now that we are out of lockdown and it is through the initial engagement that we can inform potential new members what the club is like and whether we can meet their needs. I feel it is important to remember that community groups exist to meet the needs of their members and not just their own desires. This is something that we try to ensure we do at Pontefract Athletics Club. 

4th April – Designed some new social media images for Pontefract Athletics Club to let the local community know about us, what we do, and where to find more information. Working on the first two pillars of community engagement – INFORM, ENGAGE, and then once joined up, to ENTERTAIN. 

Provided feedback to Pontefract Civic Society on the successful Community Showcase event that they ran 27th to 31st March where 29 videos were featured form community group members in the area. As a representative of Pontefract Athletics Club and Pontefract Collieries FC, I was able to pass on the thanks to Pontefract Civic Society and especially to Phil Cook for the hard work they put in to publicise the good work that community groups do in the town and surrounding area.  

3rd April – Pontefract Athletics Club ran the first Saturday session since lockdown. This is a social informal session that is in place for runners who miss their usual Saturday morning parkrun. This session is running until parkrun starts up once again. 

Went to talk with the Chair and Vice-Chair of Pontefract Collieries to talk about progress of a couple of projects we are jointly working on together. The U15s were playing a fixture that afternoon too so it was nice to see organised sport get back under way once again after lockdown. 

1st April – Pontefract Athletics Club ran five different groups at our first Thursday session since lockdown. Our juniors ran a road running session, we ran two different levels of interval training, and two groups did our social 5k run. It was great to have 30 runners all running safely together in their separate groups. 

March 2021

For links to the groups mentioned, please visit my Socials and Links page. 

31st March – Footage that I filmed for Pontefract Athletics Club on 29th March was featured on the BBC Look North lunchtime edition today. Feedback from the BBC was that it was beautifully shot and that the filming really was great. It is nice to hear feedback like that from professionals. Thank you to them for that.

30th March – The video for Pontefract Athletics Club filmed by me, and edited by Pontefract Civic Society was featured as part of Pontefract Civic Society‘s Community Showcase programme. You can see the video here

29th March – The video for Pontefract Collieries filmed by me, and edited by Pontefract Civic Society was featured as part of Pontefract Civic Society‘s Community Showcase programme. You can see the video here

Went to Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre in Cudworth to film a series of videos of the junior track and field athletes of Pontefract Athletics Club in their first session back after the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. It was great to see them all enjoying training together. It is hoped that these videos will be picked up by local media as well as used in forthcoming social media publicity. 

27th March – Held a Community Engagement workshop for Pontefract Collieries. We explored who they are, what they do, what they can offer to the wider community, what they would like from the wider community, explored interaction opportunities, and looked at the initial steps of bridging the gaps and better promoting the good work they do so that a wider audience gets visibility and clearer calls to action. 

25th March – Sent out membership details and days of the new training sessions for Pontefract Athletics Club to existing members for the year ahead. Just need to work on my own fitness now! 🙂 

Planned the Community Engagement framework for Pontefract Collieries for a workshop this Saturday. 

24th March – Met as part of the Pontefract Civic Society Futures Group – an internal working group which shapes the way the society operates in all facets, with a focus on marketing and communication. 

22nd March – Set up new sessions on our club App for Pontefract Athletics Club. We are able to run sessions (under Covid restrictions) from 29th March which we are all very pleased about. Lots of work to be done though this week to ensure this is done safely and within the permitted England Athletics guidance. 

21st March – Conducted a video interview with Pontefract Athletics Club Chairman and Founder for the Pontefract Civic Society Community Showcase event next weekend. 

20th March – Met with Pontefract Collieries Chairman and Vice Chairman to discuss progress, prioritisation, and next steps for their improvement programmes. Discussed opportunities to link in with wider community and to publicise the work they are doing. Conducted a video interview with Vice Chairman and Club Secretary for the Pontefract Civic Society Community Showcase event next weekend.  

17th and 19th March – Liaison within Pontefract Athletics Club management committee about the procurement of new kit and use of new supplier. 

14-15th March – Planning communication for Pontefract Athletics Club members for annual membership renewals / latest newsletter. The membership year starts on 1st April so a busy two weeks ahead. 

13th March – Met with Pontefract Collieries Chairman and Assistant Chairman to discuss progress, prioritisation, and next steps for their improvement programmes. 

Also, worked on Pontefract Athletics Club membership renewal workstream. With the new year for athletics starting in April and our club sessions resuming on March 29th, this work is the preparation for the year ahead and to help answer any questions at the get-go.

Also, discussed potential new members for Pontefract Civic Society with the Chairman. By recruiting new members with specific skills, the society is at an advantage for meeting their aims for future growth.  

11-12th March – Made changes to my website to reflect a change from mostly being about running to being more of a personal blog – what I am involved with, what my interests are, and how I like to spend my time. As times change, as I change, then the changes will be reflected here for others to see and read. 

10th March – Met with Pontefract Civic Society Futures Group to discuss and plan a strategy to increase membership, widen the demographics of membership, and review how the Civic Society can move their digital offering forward to enable greater interaction with the people of Pontefract. 

6th March – Met with Pontefract Collieries FC management committee to map out their workstreams on the new Kanban board. The Colls committee is fully on-board with the new focus and clarity that this brings to them. Greater accountability, improved prioritisation, and the audit trail will be just some of the benefits that they can get from this. 

5th March – I have recruited Pontefract Athletics Club and Pontefract Collieries FC to become Community Group members of Pontefract Civic Society. They are both looking forward to working with the Civic Society and other community groups to bring great benefits to residents of the town and surrounding area that are interested in athletics, road running, or watching football. 

4th March – Met with Pontefract Collieries FC to demonstrate a Kanban board for them to help them stay organised with their off-field development and growth programmes. The Colls are doing great work transforming the Club and I am pleased to be able to help in a management consultant capacity to help them keep abreast of all the streams of work being delivered simultaneously.  

1st March – Met with the Chairman of Pontefract Civic Society and had a fact-finding discussion about where they are currently and where they would like to go and to see if I can help with their aims. 


More info…

For links to the groups mentioned, please visit my Socials and Links page.