September saw the opening of the brand-new athletics facility in Scarborough. The residents of this Yorkshire coastal town were previously needing to travel over one hour to the closest tracks in Middlesbrough or York, making this development crucial to the local community.
The grand opening
Supported by Scarborough College and Broadband Properties, the Bramcote Athletics Track was officially opened by none other than athletics legend, Steve Cram.
Celebrating the local community and the town of Scarborough were very much at the heart of the grand opening. The day started with a ‘have a go’ morning for the local community for those aged seven to 70+. People were invited to take part together before welcoming Steve Cram in the afternoon to set off the Scarborough Mile; a race for all abilities to try out the new track and aim for a personal best.
The facility is a fantastic example of how an athletics hub can bring together the whole community as Zach Harrop, Scarborough College’s Athletics Development Offer explained:
“The highlight of the opening day for me was the community open morning. I really enjoyed seeing young people with their parents being enthused about the sport I love and sharing with them how track and field can develop a feeling of community in a small seaside town like Scarborough.”
It wasn’t only the town’s residents who took part, as clubs and athletes travelled from York and neighbouring towns to take part in the launch day party. We caught up with Yorkshire and Humber Regional Council Chair and Vale of York Athletic Community’s Chair Ian Martin to find out more:
“Vale of York Athletic Community found the day a perfect opportunity for new and returning athletes of all ages to try a wide variety of track and field events in a fun and relaxed environment. The octathlons, heptathlons, and inaugural Scarborough Mile, made full use of the new track and field facility.
"It was a fantastic chance for the host school, the local community, and clubs from further afield in Yorkshire to come together in a day of celebration."
"We are looking forward to returning in the future for a dedicated morning of training followed by the beach in the afternoon."
The impact of the new facility
Speaking on the impact of the new development, Zach explained:
“The college will now be able to run a year-round athletics programme to support its students. The facility can also attract talent from around the UK and really push forward athletics in this region. It’s an exciting for the local community as they can benefit from specialise coaching throughout the week in brand-new facilities.
Regional Councillor Ian added:
“The purpose-built facility was seven years in the making and will now surely provide a fantastic opportunity for more people from the local community to get involved in athletics and running. The college are keen to develop the facility as a community resource and have an online booking system up and running with the track priced at very reasonable rates.”
England Athletics Facilities and Planning Manager, Ed Hunt, said:
“This is brilliant news for not just the residents of Scarborough but for the whole of the surrounding area. Prior to the installation of the new 400m track and field facility at Scarborough College, athletes had to travel over an hour to the nearest facilities - located in York and Middlesborough.
"Our sincere thanks go out to Richard Guthrie from Broadband properties and Scarborough College for making the dream of an athletics facility for Scarborough a reality.”
Photos by Richard Ponter