On Tuesday 4 February Chris Jones visited Lincoln Wellington Athletics Club, alongside Club Support Manager, Heidi Bradley, and Regional Council Chair, Dave Lodwick.
Chris visits a number of our member clubs throughout the year, to find out more about their work, their history, what they do well, the challenges they face and to talk more about programmes and services available to support our clubs to develop and thrive. With a recently refurbished track, and a Club Forum for Lincolnshire clubs soon to be set-up, there was lots to be seen and discussed – another superb visit.
Lincoln Wellington Athletics Club is one of the leading track & field clubs in the East Midlands.
Founded in 1911, Lincoln Wellington AC (LWAC) is the primary focus for athletics in the city of Lincoln. Named after the Duke of Wellington (public house in Broadgate), where the very first meeting took place and the club was established. It’s a club that’s steeped in history and outstanding local successes, dating back to the First World War – read more about their history here.
Based at the athletics track at Yarborough Leisure Centre, the club is one of the largest in the East Midlands, with members competing at events all around the country. A club that is open to people aged 8 and over from all groups in the community. They pride themselves on offering quality training on their club nights, on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, which Chris, Heidi and Dave were pleased to be part of, and also offer sessions over the weekend when there are no competitions.
The club offers a variety of training groups catering for all disciplines – from sprinting, middle and long distance, to jumping and throwing, as well as specific training sessions for their junior athletes. All of which are delivered by their highly qualified and experienced coaches, ensuring their athletes achieve their athletic aspirations.
A club that is run solely by a team of passionate and inspiring volunteers, which was only too clear from the visit.
Speaking about the visit, Chris said: ‘I was aware of the great work that the club does in what is a large and rural county, with very few track and field clubs offering such activities for people to run, jump and throw. The work that the club does is invaluable, and we were able to see youngsters and adults enjoy our sport with varied activities being provided by the club volunteers throughout the evening.
‘The facility is excellent and has hosted a number of county competitions and championships down the years and it is clear that the club enjoys a strong working relationship with the host leisure centre partner and nearby schools. These partnerships are so important in this day and age, where resources are often too stretched at a local level and collaboration to make things happen is fundamental to sustaining activity. It’s a good working model that is replicated elsewhere in the country by likeminded clubs. It was good to hear more about the club’s history; its successes and challenges and I would like to thank the club for making us feel so welcome and for all the work they do for our sport.’
Club Support Manager, Heidi Bradley, added: ‘It was great to spend the evening with Lincoln Wellington AC and see the breadth of opportunities they offer to such a wide range of members. It was particularly rewarding to see the 515 group in action on the track, a group which has received Satellite Club funding from England Athletics recently. Meeting a range of members and hearing their stories showed what a value this club is to the local community. I also had some great discussions with committee members who have asked for my support with some priorities and new ideas. I look forward to working with them over the next few months to progress this work further.’
Chairperson, Sprints Coach and Track & Field Team Manager, Denise Timmis, said: ‘It was great night for Lincoln Wellington AC to have a visit from Chris Jones, CEO of England Athletics. Chris was very keen to meet as many people as possible and to chat about everything athletics and a bit of cricket too! I had the pleasure of showing Chris around our newly re-furbished track and introducing him to members of the Club. Chris was quick to put everyone at ease and mingle amongst the different training groups, have a chat with our members about their experiences and aspirations for the future.
‘Like so many clubs, Lincoln Wellington relies on it's dedicated and loyal volunteers who give so much of their time to help make the club run smoothly and be the best we can be. We would like to thank Chris, Heidi and Dave for bringing some excitement to our club on a very cold Tuesday evening.’
If you are local to the club and would like to find out more about all the ways you can join and get involved, visit the club website: lwac.org.uk