Tank earns GB call-up for European Cross Country Champs, while Erme Valley officials are honoured

CITY of Plymouth’s Poppy Tank will pull on a senior Great Britain vest for the first time at next month’s 2022 European Cross Country Championships in Turin.

Tank has been named in the GB women’s team for the prestigious event in Italy after a strong run at the trials in Liverpool at the weekend.

The former Plymouth College pupil, who went to university in America, finished as fifth senior in the race at Sefton Park, which was won by Jessica Warner-Judd.

There was a strong combined senior and U23 women’s race, with the top nine finishers separated by just 35 seconds.

Tank did represent Great Britain at under-23 level at the 2018 and 2019 European Cross Country Championships, but she has not had a senior call-up before.

She said: “I’m so excited to be selected to run for Great Britain at the European Cross Country Championships. I have been working hard this autumn with my coaches and team-mates at Puma Elite Running, who I’m very grateful for, so to achieve this goal is a great feeling.

“Saturday’s muddy race in Liverpool was definitely a shock to the system, but I was reminded how much I’ve missed cross-country.”

The championships will take place on Sunday, December 11 and Devon will be well represented in the GB squad, with Exeter athletes Innes Fitzgerald, Johnny Livingstone and Sam Mills named in the U20 teams.

Meanwhile, three Erme Valley Harriers officials have been recognised by England Athletics by winning honours at the South West Regional Volunteer Awards.

Keith and Jayne Reed were named as winners in the inspiring official category.

In a citation, England Athletics said: “Devon and South West track and field, sportshall and cross country events are rarely seen without the high level officiating of our two winners Keith and Jayne Reed. Their driven and dedicated enthusiasm for these events sees that they are run to the highest standard allowing the athletes to gain the performances they require and deserve.

“The encouragement and support that they give to new and aspiring officials is invaluable in ensuring the next generations of events are officiated to the same high standard.

“Without their dedication, athletics in the area would have struggled to develop and give the athletes the very best in competition standards.”

Meanwhile, Erme Valley’s Sharon Terry was named South West club leader of the year.

England Athletic South West said: “Our club leader of the year assumes several roles at Erme Valley Harriers ranging from couch to 5k lead, official, coach and committee member. Sharon Terry is involved in every aspect of the club and does so with passion, dedication and encouragement.

“She has introduced a whole new group of runners to the club through the couch to 5k programme and plays a vital role in recruiting volunteers and session leaders to help continue this work.

“Sharon has tirelessly devoted herself to creating and delivering integrated sessions from the juniors she coaches right up to the new runners joining from the wider community.

“She has been truly influential in developing and driving the club forward; she is a true leader at Erme Valley Harriers.”

Plymouth Musketeers’ Jasmine Robinson was runner-up in the newcomer to volunteer category.

England Athletics said: “Jasmine Robinson’s enthusiasm, dedication and attention to detail are a huge credit to everything that she does for Plymouth Musketeers Running Club.

“From leading running groups, to updating the club’s social media pages and running herself, she is passionate about running and supporting all her club-mates.

“Jasmine is often the first there on club nights and at races will always support the members right up until the final finisher. The ability and confidence that she brings to her roles allows her to shine at a club that she loves and that loves her just as much.”

The awards ceremony took place in Exeter and Olympian Jo Pavey and England Athletics head of clubs and participation Emma Davenport were among the speakers.

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