Club Improvement Fund testimonials: Birmingham Running Athletics and Triathlon club (BRAT)

Junior athletes with hammers

The Birmingham Running Athletics and Triathlon Club (BRAT) shares how they have taken advantage of the England Athletics Club Improvement Fund to invest in new throwing equipment for young athletes.

BRAT club are based at the University of Birmingham track. In 2014 the University decided to re-site the track, but unfortunately changes to planning and other delays resulted in a period of four years without a facility until the new track was opened in late 2018.

The new track was a great new facility but was lacking some equipment – particularly heavy throws – and the existing equipment needed a complete overhaul and update. As the University of Birmingham is more biased towards U20/Senior athletes, some of the junior equipment had become outdated such as 3.2kg and 6.25kg shots. Other equipment was old and damaged beyond even training use, and some was virtually non-existent (3kg weights for example).

BRAT had stagnated in the years without a track but has grown the junior section significantly in the last three years.

Track athletes have nice new track, jump athletes have nice new beds and pits. But the problem for us was that throws athletes have old or no equipment.

The £500 England Athletes Club Improvement Fund grant combined with matched funding from BRAT has enabled us to update the throws equipment and bring this back to “full strength” not only for club training but also for competition. Birmingham University AC (BUAC) are now regularly hosting high quality open meetings for all age groups and additionally schools use when they use the track as part of their games/PE lessons. Significantly, “BRAT junior throws athletes no longer feel like second class athletes with poor quality or no kit.”

Additionally, all of the old equipment was sorted and anything that was unusable was scrapped adding a small amount of additional cash to the fighting fund (something out of the ordinary at the scrap yard!).

Junior athletes with shotputs

Throws athlete Ruby Smith (2nd from right) said:

“The new shots and hammers are great because some of our old equipment was quite worn out. It’s great to have shiny new equipment, it makes you want to improve your throwing.”

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