Charlotte Payne and Youcef Zatat have been announced as the first recipients of the National Athletics League’s David Jeacock Memorial Bursary.
The league is to make annual awards of £500 to one male and one female athlete who are members of an NAL club and have competed in at least two fixtures during the season.
Reading AC hammer thrower Payne and Woodford Green with Essex Ladies shot-putter Youcef Zatat will receive their awards at the NAL Awards Luncheon in Coventry on November 20.
The bursary was created in memory of David Jeacock, a longstanding secretary of the British Athletics League, who died in 2019. He had been solicitor to England Athletics, legal officer of the BAL and a member of Swindon AC. He played a crucial role in effecting changes to the governance of the sport in the 1980s. After taking over as NAL general secretary in 1997, he worked alongside chairman Mike Heath to develop the league’s rules, constitution and overall administration.
After excellent seasons, Payne and Zatat were chosen by an adjudicating panel comprising of three NAL life members.
Payne competed eight times in various events in the NAL for Reading in 2022, winning her main discipline on both appearances in the hammer circle. At the Bournemouth fixture in July, she set her PB of 70.52m, which ranks her third on the UK all-time list and is awaiting ratification as a world deaf record. She also won the UK title this summer. She will also receive the divisional athlete of the year award (Championship) at the luncheon.
Zatat threw for Woodford in three NAL meetings, also featuring in the javelin and discus. In the shot, he set PBs in both Eton and Bedford of 18.67m and 18.73m to rank second in the UK this year. He will also in Coventry be awarded with the divisional athlete of the year award (Premiership).
City of Portsmouth shot-putter Serena Vincent will receive the divisional athlete of the year for National 1.
The luncheon, which coincides with the league’s AGM, will also include presentations for the various team trophies claimed this year: Thames Valley Harriers were Premiership champions, while Crawley won the Championship and Yeovil Olympiads took the National 1 division. Thames Valley and City of Sheffield and Dearne won the Cup and Plate trophies respectively at the Premiership grand final in Bedford, while Sale Harriers and Bedford & Country took the Cup and Plate honours in the Championship division. The chair’s trophy and officials trophy will also be presented.