The Committee

The Birmingham Swifts are organised by a committee, who meet regularly. They are voted for by members each year at the AGM. Any full member of the group can put themselves forward for nomination.

At this year’s AGM the members voted for (almost) and entirely new committee. Please keep your eyes pealed for information about the new committee members in due course!


Chair – Chris Pratt

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I first started running with the Swifts 3 years ago after losing a lot of weight and looking for a fresh challenge and to supplement the other aspects of my fitness regime. I came along to a Thursday night session with my friend and enjoyed the small, but perfectly formed, social run group. Going from strength to strength, I went on to run 4 half marathons with the Swifts, even in Berlin once!

Two years ago I was elected to the position of Social and Welfare Secretary in the inaugural committee and continued to serve in this capacity for the next committee. Coming up to AGM this year I decided that I was keen to coordinate the committee and bring us back to basics and do the things that matter well and make a great foundation for us to build our club upon.

I’m lucky to take over from a great outgoing chair and be supported by a fresh, enthusiastic and forward-thinking committee. I’m looking forward to doing my best for you all over the next year!
Chris.

Contact Chris at chair@birminghamswifts.co.uk


Treasurer – Geoffrey Frost

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In 2005 I was sat in a wine bar with an old university friend, reminiscing about our time at university in Newcastle and how we regretted we never took part in the Great North Run whilst we were up there.  As we opened our third bottle of wine, we decided to seize the bull by the horns and made a pact that we would each sign up for a charity place the very next morning, and complete the run in a little over six weeks.  Nursing my hangover and regretting ever going out, I stayed true to my word and signed away to run with Crime Stoppers.  I called my friend.  She was more realistic in the cold light of day and informed me she would not be running.  My first training run was a complete flop.  I managed about 200 yards and had to stop.  Somehow I managed to find my pace over the six weeks and successfully ran my first half marathon.  I still remember that buzz and wave of emotion as I crossed the finish line.  Me!  I managed to go from the chubby kid that got picked last in PE to managing to run 13.1 miles.  I had to do it again…and so here I am.  Over a decade later, still running (when I can).

I joined the Swifts in May 2015, the month in which we got our club kit and proudly displayed them in the Birmingham pride march.  I have watched it grow to what it is today and am pleased to be able to do my bit to help the continuation of the club.

At home I live in Moseley with my husband and fellow Swift,  James, and our five year old son.   As well as running, I enjoy climbing and skiing.  I am an IT consultant by trade.  Working with the SAP financials modules.  A lot of my career has been spent in the public sector and tailoring the IT systems to work with managing grants, funds and budgets rather than focusing on generating a profit.

Contact Geoffrey at treasurer@birminghamswifts.co.uk


Secretary – Christine Strathie

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Running had always appealed to me, from watching people running in the streets, the local park and on the treadmill in the gym, I watched them and thought to myself I wish I could run like that. I started running on the treadmill, finding it difficult to control my breathing, I couldn’t run further than 3km without stopping. Since childhood I had always been good at most sports, I was in the girls football team at school and college, got quite far in martial arts, I cycled for Solihull Cycling Club and I regularly played hockey continuing into adulthood. I always thought I could never be a runner, I saw runners as people who ran marathons without stopping and the furthest I had ever run was 3 or 5 km. I searched running clubs online, came across the Birmingham Swifts, I kept meaning to go but something was holding me back. I began a relationship with a beautiful woman who happened to be a runner, my interest in running grew further and I decided to go along to the Birmingham Swifts Thursday evening social run.

The first Thursday run I went to was in April 2016. I was incredibly shy, nervously coming out of my shell as the Swifts all welcomed me and gave lots of encouragement. I found the positive atmosphere vibrant and captivating. On my first run I had to walk most the way, I kept coming every Thursday each time being able to walk less, run more. Eventually I could run four and a half miles without stopping. I kept running more and more. I signed up to my first half marathon in Oxford in October 2016, I completed this with other members of Birmingham Swifts, I then went on to complete Brighton Half Marathon in February 2017 and Coventry Half Marathon in March 2017. As someone who never thought they could be a runner, I’ve completed three half marathons, I’m doing my fourth half marathon in Chester in May 2017 and the Birmingham International Marathon in October 2017.

Joining Birmingham Swifts helped me achieve my running goals, from the encouragement other members gave me, being part of a positive group and advice I received on how to train. There are still improvements I would like to make on my speed and technique. I am learning all the time, gaining confidence. When I saw an opportunity to put myself forward for a committee role, I grabbed it. I thought being a Secretary for Birmingham Swifts would be awesome, a chance to give something back, foster the skills I already have, improve myself and provide a woman’s voice in the committee. I’ve been in my role for one month, I’ve created a FAQ sheet for affiliation, began registering members to England Athletics, arranged my first meeting which was a success, took minutes in the meeting and formulated reports. I would like to see an increase in members, especially more female members, more affiliated members, and for everyone to have an enjoyable running experience. Sit back, relax, and see what 2017 will bring.

Contact Christine at secretary@birminghamswifts.co.uk


Social and Welfare Secretary – Josh Webb

Contact Josh at social@birminghamswifts.co.uk


Race Secretary – Pete “TP” Davis

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Hello my name is TP i started with the Swifts June 2016 when i completed their couch to 5K programme.  In the last year i have achieved so much with the Birmingham swifts. I went from running 5k then 10k and then completed my first half marathon in October 2016. I have always been keen and enthusiastic with my ability to achieve my goals and so this year im going for the Birmingham Marathon and looking to help others achieve their personal goals.

As race sec its my plan to choose exciting, accessible and affordable races that everyone can enjoy.

Contact TP on race@birminghamswifts.co.uk


Promotional Secretary – Connor Kingsley

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The reason i Joined the Birmingham Swifts was because i was new to the area and as a shy person i wanted to broaden my horizons and meet new people. The Swifts are like a family and we encourage new people to join us.

The best thing i ever did was contact the Swifts. As Promo Sec i am keen to achieve greater reach to the gay community.

Contact Connor on promo@birminghamswifts.co.uk

 

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