Updated: Oct 22, 2021
Legendary running coach Arch Jelley joined Owairaka in 1959, and started his coaching journey at the club the next year in 1960. Arch has been dipping into his archives recently, and has kindly given us permission to share stories and pictures from some fantastic times in the club's history...starting with the 1960 Auckland Cross Country Champs. Keep an eye on our socials for some great pics too.
Arthur Lydiard was the selector and for some reason he put me in the A team and Bruce Stuart, a guy that I coached, in the B team
Bruce was the first person Arch coached in Auckland, and came in at 8th overall - definitely A grade material.
I was getting a bit long in the tooth then and was almost 38. I finished 10th but was only the 7th man home for Owai. I was running about 50 miles a week while all the others in the top 20 would have been on about 100 and far stronger than I. I could run the occasional good race but they could churn out a good race just about every week.
So seven out of the top ten senior A grade men's finishers were Owairaka athletes - Jeff Julian and Peter Snell in 2nd/3rd and the others not far behind - total domination, and 18 points clear of any other team.
A year or so after this Arthur asked me to look after the selecting until he got back. He never returned so I was the selector for about umpteen years!
The late Bruce Stuart, the first person Arch coached at Owairaka.