Team Edinburgh made a bit of athletics history at Sport City Manchester on Sunday 27th July when they became the first Scottish club or team to win a Premier division in the National Junior Athletics League. Despite losing to Sale on the day by 20 points they finished top of the league after the 4 matches and will join Sale as the North representatives in the final at Derby on the 14th September.
George Sinclair, stalwart of athletics in Edinburgh for close to 60 years, should take great personal pride in Team Edinburgh’s achievement as it was George’s vision of the way forward for club athletics, which prompted him to apply for the Sportsmatch grant, which financed the then Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s first appearance in the Tyne Division 10 years ago. If proof if any were needed that he was ahead of his time it should be pointed out that there are now 5 Scottish regional teams, competing in the League – Team Edinburgh and Kingdom Athletics in the North Premier Division and Team Forth Valley, Team Glasgow and South Lanarkshire Athletics in the Tyne division.
However while Edinburgh Woollen Mill/Edinburgh Southern ladies section reached the final on several occasions finishing 3rd in the 2002 final, victory in the Premier Division always eluded them. Edinburgh has a proud tradition of club success at UK level but you have to go back a long way to find the male and female athletes of the capital competing under the same “name” and recording such a historical victory.
Team Edinburgh is a composite team and it is athletes from Edinburgh Athletic Club, Corstorphine Amateur Athletic Club and Lasswade Athletic club, who have combined to become a serious force to be reckoned with in junior athletics North and South of the border.
The final is on the 14th September and will provide an invaluable competitive opportunity on the road to Delhi for any of our Youth Commonwealth Games hopefuls, who gain their places in the Scottish team.
When we made our debut in that first match in York on the 19th April 1998 George had a daughter competing for EWM and his grandson competed in 3 events in Manchester for Team Edinburgh - so work that one out!