When it comes to clocking up miles for loyal service, an Eastbourne woman has spent more than 60 years with the same athletics club. Janis Long joined Eastbourne Rovers as a county under 15 athlete at the age of 15 in the 1950s and over the years has been club secretary, chairperson, treasurer, subs collector, coach, team manager and meeting organiser.
At a recent meeting she was praised for her dedication to the club, honoured and given a long service award by Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd.
Friend Angela Morgan, also a club member since 1970, said, “Janis used to compete in many disciplines. She was a talented jumper, hurdler and thrower. When she lived at home with her family in Seaside, she had her own high jump fan in the back garden.
“She landed on sand and this was long before the days of landing on a bed. She used to practise throwing her discus from her garden into Five Acre Field.
“Janis took over as secretary in 1965 and has held most of the positions on the committee at some stage or another. She used to go to all the men’s and women’s league matches, the latter did not start until 1972.
“I am not sure that the club would be here today if it was not for Janis as she held it together in the early seventies.
“She went on to compete at a very high level as an all round athlete nationally. Janis is now in her 70s but continues to be on the committee and runs and organises all club home matches and keeps all club records up to date.
“A few years ago Janis with Christine Dolan started a small East Sussex U15 league which has expanded to two divisions east and west and is now forms part of the Sussex AAA schedule. Janis is an extremely exceptional and dedicated club member who has served Eastbourne Rovers.”