World and Commonwealth athletics champion Steve Cram described a stunning new running track in Scarborough as “phenomenal” at the official opening.
The new six-lane 400m track has been built on the former Bramcote School playing field, which is owned and run by independent school Scarborough College. It includes an eight-lane finishing straight, also suitable for 100m races and will have floodlights. The Bramcote Athletics Track is located between Filey Road and South Cliff. It is shared between the college, on whose land it sits, and the community. It has been funded by well-established Broadland Properties, a major sport-supporting Scarborough business, to the tune of £1m.
Director Richard Guthrie said: “In 10 years’ time, Steve Cram is going to be talking about the North Riding on the BBC about all the young athletes who have started out on the Yorkshire coast.” Scarborough College students will use the superb new facility during school hours in term-time, and there will be a timetable for community use at evenings and at weekends.There will also be a shot-putt and discus area, a 75m long/triple jump facility and grassed area within the track will eventually be set out as a rugby pitch.
More than 140 runners took part in a ‘Scarborough Mile’ as part of the sun-kissed opening day of sport and celebrations. Cram, the first man to run 1500m under 3mins and 30 secs, won the 1500m at the 1983 World Championships and was a silver medallist at the Olympic Games, as well as 1500m gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games. He cut a ribbon to declare the track open before firing the starting gun for the first wave of mile-runners against the backdrop of the refurbished sports pavilion and cheered by a crowd of 200. “I’ve been blown away to see everyone taking part,” he said. “This was only the second track I’ve ever opened – it’s more usual to see tracks closing than opening. “The story I’ve learned of how the track came to be built is phenomenal.”
On the opening day, members Scarborough Athletic Club, Vale of York Club, Bridlington Road Harriers and City of York Harriers took part. Students from Scarborough College and other schools in the area joined in a community team heptathlon event which featured jumping, throwing and running. The facility will be managed by athletics development officer Zach Harrop. He said: “Scarborough Athletic Club has booked for a Thursday evening session and our Bramcote Athletics Academy – which is open to all – runs four evenings a week, with each one-hour session costing £5. “For local schools, we are looking to host a summer league and specific events. Different groups can use the track at the same time. The training circles for shot put and discus have now arrived as well as the high jump landing area.” His co-coach Julian Reid is a long jump and triple jump athlete, coach and four-time British champion, based at the University of Birmingham. “Many big names in sport have come from Yorkshire and now there is an opportunity for more young athletes,” Julian said.
Yorkshire-based sports consultant Andy Pope worked on the project. He said: “To have this community facility in a town the size of Scarborough is unique.”At least 30 of the opening-day runners were from Scarborough Athletic Club and chairman David Field hopes it will galvanise junior membership. The track is certified by UK Athletics which means it can hold licensed competitions and any records will stand. It was built by S&C Slatter, creator of the Commonwealth Games track in Birmingham. The all-weather surface reduces fatigue and risks of injury.
For more information or to book sessions in the evening for individuals, club or groups, contact Zach Harrop email@example.com
By Zoe Harrison courtesy of TopicUK