Renfrewshire Amateur Athletic Association: 1979


Why pick on one year and not another?   Because not all events organised and carried through successfully by any organisation are reported faithfully in the Press, many of them are not reported at all.   This can be for many reasons – some events are of a purely local interest, some are so low key that they are not known of at all, there may be too much sport for any paper to write up in its entirety on any given Monday.    Mind you, there might well be a case for a purely multi-sport results sheet to be produced on Mondays.   Remember that ‘The Scottish Referee’ was only published on a Monday to start with before it became a twice-weekly production.   It covered all sports and even reported on most of them.   Perhaps a simple results supplement on a Monday would help sell more papers?   

Renfrewshire, as a member of the SAAA, had to have a permit to hold any real meeting and so we could check out the official roster of events for any year.   The SAAA produced a Handbook every year which covered every aspect of the sport in Scotland for that year as well as having the Constitution in its entirety, the Rules for Competition, lists of coaches, of officials, etc, etc.   The etc, etc includes the fixture list for the year.    Why choose 1979?    It was a time when the various county associations were doing really well – the ‘running boom’ was in full swing, Scottish athletes were performing well and so the grass-roots aspect of the sport involving clubs and schools were also very involved in the sport.   Any year around the end of the 70’s and the 80’s would have done.   

The complete list of Renfrewshire AAA activities that year was listed as follows.

Month Date Fixture Venue
April 15th Renfrewshire 10 Miles Road Race Kilbarchan
  24th Renfrewshire Track League Greenock
May 8th Renfrewshire Track League Nethercraigs
  20th Renfrewshire Track League Scotstoun
June 5th Renfrewshire T&F Champs – Pt 1 Nethercraigs
  19th Renfrewshire T&F Champs – Pt 2 Greenock
October 13th Renfrewshire CC Relays Johnstone

And you can probably add in the County Cross-Country Championships in December.   There were other events held in the county throughout the year by member clubs and usually assisted by the RAAA as well as events not needing a permit from the SAAA such as schools championships and inter-county youth services sports.    

Be that as it may, the coverage of the above events was all but non-existant.   Of course, that may have been down to the local organiser not sending in the results of the track events but road race results are usually sent in immediately after the race.

Graham Getty helped in the quest for results with the “Athletics Weekly” report on the road championships and detailed results.   Note that the date has been altered.

The County Relay result was published in the “Glasgow Herald” and was rather short.   Run on 13th October it clashed with the Glasgow Marathon but the only result given was the Senior race, no age groups results and only the bare bones of the senior event.

The obvious conclusion is that the county association was doing its job well, the number of clubs was growing – note who won the team race in the relay, note too the name Pentastar – and clubs such as Kilbarchan were getting stronger.   The coverage in 1979 was not what it had been but fortunately it would pick up and Doug Gillon’s name would be welcome by all club and international athletes in the country.   Pentastar, by the way, was a club connected with the car manufacturers at Linwood whose symbol was a five pointed star.