Alternative Club Vest – Chairman’s Statement

At its meeting on 12th August the committee voted to recommend to the Annual General Meeting that the design of vest, as presented and discussed in the meeting, should be adopted by the club as an alternative club uniform. Picture here.The vote was not unanimous (10-3) and during the meeting members of the committee expressed their dissatisfaction with the way the issue had been originally brought to committee and how the process had developed subsequently.

I take full responsibility for any mistakes that were made in the process. However, the most important point to stress is that there is no intention to change the traditional hooped vest. 

The idea of adopting an alternative vest is not being proposed on a whim. Many of our newer, younger members (not juniors) have noticed that other clubs have updated their vest to a more modern design with a better look and feel than the traditional one. They find our current vest unfashionable and uncomfortable, to the point that a considerable number decline to wear it for races. At first I had little sympathy with complaints about the vest, but conversations with some of these members persuaded me that it is a real issue. The club is trying to attract and retain new members in a very competitive environment. 20-30 years ago there were relatively few clubs in NE Lancashire. Now runners and prospective runners have lots of choice. Rightly or wrongly, as a long-established club, Clayton Harriers is seen as elitist and old fashioned – top heavy with vet runners; not the best attributes for attracting new young members! Therefore, I feel that it is not just desirable, but absolutely essential to ‘move with the times’ and make the alternative vest available if we are to have a thriving, successful club as we approach our century in 2022.

The proposal means that we can retain the traditional vest and have an alternative for those who wish to wear it. Many older and long-standing members I have spoken to can see no problem with the alternative vest, although some would not choose to wear it!

So that’s it. The committee’s recommendation to add the alternative vest to the constitution will be proposed, discussed and voted on at the AGM. Whatever your feelings on the matter please come the AGM and have your say (and vote). If you’re not there and the decision does not go your way, you’re in no position to complain.

The Annual General Meeting is at 8.00pm on Thursday 29th August at Nelson CC, Surrey Road, Nelson, BB9 7TY. If Thursday is normally a training night for you, come and take part in the club’s 5000m track race at 7.00pm.

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