It’s au revoir as Highgate Harriers coach Ben Pochee departs

Highgate Harriers’ young athletes bade farewell to coach and club stalwart Ben Pochee with a ceremonial lap of honour at Parliament Hill Fields.

Pochee, who is moving to Cornwall for a year with his wife, completed a lap of the track surrounded by the youngsters he trains before Highgate president Henry Dodwell presented him with a certificate of honorary life membership.

Having competed for the Harriers for more than 30 years, Pochee has also been a driving force behind the resurgence of their men’s cross-country and road teams.

Under his guidance, the team won successive Metropolitan League titles and were crowned South of England cross-country champions.

Pochee also coached Highgate’s Young Athletes squad to their first ever age group championship last season and played a major role in organising the club’s successful Night Of The 10,000m PBs event, which is now held annually.

Theo Machin-Paley was Highgate’s sole winner in the first North West London League match of the season at Greenford.

Machin-Paley won the Under-11 boys’ 2,000m in a time of six minutes 34 seconds to help the Harriers claim second place in that age group.

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The club also finished second in the Under-11 girls’ and Under-13 girls’ sections, with the Under-13 boys and Under-15 boys both taking third place in their respective events.

Highgate’s Jonathan Deane finished eighth in the Middlesex 10k road championships at Victoria Park, clocking 30:28. Oliver Kean (34:35) was 24th, while Emma Burgess (40:21) was the fourth fastest woman.