Network supports Summer Holiday Athletics

Network supports Summer Holiday Athletics

Manchester Harriers & A.C. Summer Holiday Athletics celebrated their seventh year of staging the AVIVA ACADEMY STARTRACK Sessions and they are getting more popular every year. There were 45 youngsters aged 7-15 years taking part, all from the local area; this was an excellent turn out writes Debbie Beresford - Girls' Team Secretary and STARTRACK coordinator.

Each youngster on the scheme received a ‘Goodie Bag’ – a useful backpack containing T-Shirt, Cap, Water bottle, Sweat Bands and Athletics Activity pack - great value for money.  These sessions was funded with help from UK Athletics and the Manchester McCain Athletic Network supported by England Athletics.  The club managed to raise funds to enable basic maintenance work to be carried out at the track and also to allow everyone access to the sessions.

This year Monday through to the Wednesday was fine and sunny so Startrack were able to use the William Scholes Track at Gatley  and covered Javelin, Shot Put, Discus, hurdles, mini hurdles, triple jump, standing long jump, running over 60m, 75m, 80m, 100m, 200m, 400m 600m, 800m and the new vortex howler.  Thursday saw athletes on the track at William Scholes Playing Fields for the ‘Mile Challenge’ Event organised by UK Athletics to raise funds for the Athletic Foundation which helps support athletes competing in the 2012 Olympics. All the youngsters took part with the younger athletes completing the Mile in relays of four over 16 laps with a rest of 3 laps in every four - the older athletes completed the four laps in one go.  All the youngsters really enjoyed the challenge and raised in excess of £35 for the foundation.  After the main event the youngsters had enough energy to have a go at the Long Jump, Triple Jump and some more sprints and throws.

Manchester Harriers summer school

On the final day, Friday, the organisers were very fortunate to have the help of Tina Beresford, from QuadKids who came along to assist with the session, courtesy of QuadKids and England Athletics.  Tina came along to hold one of the new athletic competition formats for both schools and athletic club use, for youngsters from year 3 up to and including year 9s. Should you fancy looking at this please go to the website at and

The weather was great and everyone really had a great time. At the end of the session Steve Yates, Manchester Harriers and AC Club Chairman gave out all the STARTRACK Awards and the medals for QuadKids to the winning youngsters, to reward the effort and ability shown by everyone who attended the course.

Every youngster taking part was encouraged to come along and join Manchester Harriers & AC. They were given information on the club's activities and where and when to meet. The Club hopes to encourage more youngsters into the sport and help them achieve a healthier lifestyle.

The Club could not do this without their Coaches, Officials and Helpers - all of whom are unpaid volunteers who give up their time to help promote athletics within the Stockport and Manchester Boroughs.  So, a very big thank you to everyone who helped to put on this STARTRACK week, we could not do it without them.