19.Apr.12 100 Days To Go sees newcomers and stalwarts joining together for celebration
Macclesfield Harriers and AC have been one of 190 clubs who this week have been hosting a 100 Days to Go event. Theirs saw newcomers welcomed to the sport, local clubs coming together, and international athletes paying a visit to celebrate the landmark in the countdown to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
If your club is hosting a Try Athletics Event, don’t forget to let us know how it went by returning your feedback form, and maybe send usyour "100 Days To Go" event captured in 100 seconds of video film. To see what other events are taking place across the country, visit www.englandathletics.org/areyoureadyevents
At Macclesfield seven teams made up of athletes from a number of local clubs, and covering a wide range of ages took part in a 100 lap relay on the track and youngsters were invited to come along to ‘Try Athletics’ with events including 50m and 100m sprints and a mini trail/fell race being held. The track also saw different world records marked out – such as markers in the sandpit for the long jump, and high jump and polevault bars raised right up to where the men’s and women’s marks stand. As well as the youngsters (and older newcomers) getting a taste for the sport there were also displays of information about different aspects of the club. International pole vaulter Andy Sutcliffe was on hand to give the youngsters encouragement and dish out goody bags, and Sandra Wright was also on hand letting youngsters (and the young at heart) take a look at the Olympic Bronze medal she won in the 1992 Olympic Games.
You can hear what Andy and Sandra had to say about the event, the role of clubs and the buzz from the Olympic and Paralympic Games below:
Local mum Joanne Charles took the opportunity to take her 11-year-old daughter Katie along after seeing a poster in the local leisure centre. “We thought we would come down and have a look. We have just moved back to Macclesfield and she wants to take up a few things so we thought we would come down and see what there is here. The Olympics have inspired her a lot.”
Katie said that she was most interested in the jumps and throws but that after speaking to Paul Stockman, one of the clubs young athlete team managers, she wanted to come down on training nights to give running a go as well as the jumps and throws.
Joanne said, “I think it is a really good idea to let people have a look at what is on offer. Katie is going to give a few things a go and we have also found out about the week long [Startrack] course in the holidays.”
One of Jackie Newbold’s daughter’s is already involved with Macclesfield Harriers and AC, but the event gave her a good opportunity to bring another of her children, nine-year-old Tess, along to Try Athletics. She said, “It is a fabulous event. Tess loves running and loves sprinting, there aren’t enough opportunities at school so it is nice to join a club and be part of it.”
While the rain did start to pour down – giving an even more authentic feel to the mini fell/trail race the weather did not stop the youngsters joining in or many of those already part of local clubs getting involved in the 100 lap relay.
Young athletes team manager Paul Stockman said, “I’m delighted. I have to admit I feel surprised at the response we have had on a night like this. It has been really positive. The interest that we have had in people joining has mainly been from the younger ones. A couple have specifically said it is because of the Olympics. The Games are doing what we hoped they would do – they are generating that level of interest. For me it is about saying to them that if they join the club as a young person we are not expecting them to be here every single week or to do every single competition. You can come along and give it a go and there is then more and more you can do if you want to."
Paul said the event had brought together the different sections of the club – track and field, road running and off-road to make the event happen and celebrate the 100 days to go landmark. He had spoken to parents about bringing their children back to the club on a training night where the club can ensure they are put in with a suitable group to get a feel for the clubs activities, and that he had also been able to tell them about the club’s Startrack event so that following on from the 100 days to go event they were able to come back for more.
Chair of the club Bob Lynch was also encouraged by the way the club had come together for the event, including seeing other clubs joining in with the celebration.
Photos from the event
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