England Athletics CEO Chris Jones, and Club Support Manager Chris Mallender visited Northwood Stadium, the home of City of Stoke AC in the latest of the CEO visits to clubs around the country.
The club has a rich heritage and a strong track record of producing outstanding athletes across a number of disciplines such as Jaz Sawyers, Ben Williams, Emma Jackson, Ashleigh and Alex Nelson and Steve Lewis and of course a number of outstanding coaches during its history such as Alan Morris and John Crottee. The club has also hosted numerous national championships down the years including the England Athletics Combined Events Championships and the English Schools Track and Field Championships. The club stadium is situated in Hanley and is a multi-purpose site with the athletics track being adjacent to a leisure centre and non turf artificial football pitches. The stadium also boasts an impressive seated stand which was opened in 1986 by the legendary coach and athletics pundit Ron Pickering and there is also an outdoor throwing area which of course is particularly useful when hosting major championships with the club being a recent host for the Staffordshire County Championships.
Chris Jones commented, "It was a pleasure to visit City of Stoke AC, and to watch the numerous coaches put their athletes through their paces on what was a glorious late spring evening. I was joined by my colleague Chris Mallender and it was a prime opportunity to update ourselves with developments at the club and to find out more about aspirations for the coming summer season."
Bill Dixon, Club Chair said “It was great that Chris came to visit the club as it gave us a chance to show both him and our England Athletics Club support Manager the facilities we have access to at Northwood. We were also able to share with them what it feels like for volunteers working at a grass-roots club like City of Stoke AC and to see our athletes putting in the training on a club night."
Chris continued, "It was great to witness such a diverse range of ages, genders and abilities enjoying the sport and being introduced to a wide range of events. The club benefits from the support of a brilliant group of volunteers and coaches who I was fortunate enough to talk with whilst we were there and without whom clubs such as Stoke would struggle to operate as they currently do. This is of course the same for all our member clubs who keep our sport going across England”
Local England Athletics Club Support Manager Chris Mallender added, "Visiting such a thriving and friendly club on a sunny evening is always a fantastic spectacle and it was great to see so many coaches and athletes enjoying their sport. This is testament to all the hard work that the volunteers over at the club put in day in day out, and it’s been a pleasure to work closely with them over the last few months."