Like most athletics clubs this time of year S Factor have recently been celebrating the achievements of its athletes, members and volunteers but not all club’s can enjoy the splendor of City Hall and beautiful lights on show along the river banks of the Thames. S Factor did indeed hold their 2013 annual club awards evening in London’s landmark City Hall, home of the Greater London Authority and London Athletics was invited to gain an insight on how this Lewisham based club works and how its developing so fast.

Out of the box thinking has always been a major part of S Factor’s approach during its rapid growth as one of London’s fairly new clubs. It offers a bit of a twist with elite coaching delivered to all participants from all walks of life and abilities by ex top GB International and Olympic Athletes. It was obvious to see the link S Factor has with sporting heroes and great role models alike while in attendance at the 2013 annual club awards evening on a late February evening as the new track & field season is about to commence. Linford Christie, Phillips Idowu, Christine Ohuruogu and Samson Oni to name just a few of the great athletes presenting awards and supporting the process that the Lewisham based club has provided over the past 3 years, but in addition there were some highly respected coaches also taking part in the evening and support from the crowd of over 200 people. England athletics National coach mentor (100m/200m) Clarence Callender showed his support to the services S Factor provided from a coaching stand point and as well as a London club working in the boroughs. Clarence is also a member of the England Athletics London regional council.
On stage and the master of ceremonies was somebody no stranger to success at the top level of international athletics; with Olympic relay silver to his name from Seoul 1988 Mike McFarlane demonstrated just how much the coaching staff of this fledgling club can offer. A coaching team some national teams would be proud of you might say. McFarlane who is well known for his coaching role at Lee Valley, made the point in his public address very early on in the evening that the club, its progress and success is largely down to another former London based international athlete Lisa Miller. Lisa is the director of S Factor and strives to develop the club as a competitive force as well as developing the athlete’s academic skills. The Founder of S Factor knows exactly what is required to qualify and win medals at a major championship with Gold in the world juniors in Santiago Chile in 2000 over the women’s 4x400m relay followed European and commonwealth glory for England and Great Britain in 2002.

The founder of the S Factor expresses the importance of pushing on from this point and continuing to build on the good work already undertaken with the members, volunteers and coaches in Lewisham.
“It’s all about helping young people to experience the positive aspects that sport can bring and the doors it can open to change lives”

The 2002 Commonwealth games 4x400m medalists continues:
“We have had some great experiences as a club over the past 12 months. It shows the process works and makes a difference, of course any outside support would be greatly appreciated as it would allow us to reach even more young people and help provide them the opportunities in sport and life“

S Factor has a modern feel too the way it conducts itself with a strong brand and venue’s like the City Hall for its awards evening make it a very approachable but with a modern feel helping to make the connection with younger people easier and due to this they seem to engage with their coaches and piers. What’s encouraging to see from an outside prospective is the importance put on academic success with awards presented in the ‘Academy’ section of the club to achievements with school results and grades. The local schools seem to be a priority to S Factor with representatives from local school Prendergast Ladywell Fields College speaking at the event as well as presenting awards.

2012 was a special year for many at S Factor with the club taking part in a special Olympic test event at the London 2012 Olympic stadium. The special 3 hour timetable saw athletes from S Factor compete with other London clubs in an effort to support and help LOCOG test officials and equipment just days before the start of the track & field events. S Factor also enjoyed English Schools championship success at Gateshead with Mahmood Khaisto winning the junior boys 400m in a time of 50.39 seconds and going the whole of 2012 unbeaten over the distance.
The entertainment on the evening made the awards even more special. Performers on the evening included: IYT theatre group, Cameron SVB (artist), Lanre Suola (motivational poet), Kyle Lettman ‘Dionne Reid’ closed the show.

Images from the evening’s event can found on the Academy/Club’s Facebook page or the gallery on this web site (click here).
You can follow S Factor on twitter here.

If you are interested in supporting S Factor please contact the director (Lisa Miller) on lisamiller@wordpress-768913-2617161.cloudwaysapps.com

For more of the latest news from S Factor click here