Harriers’ sweet taste of success

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HOUGHTON Harriers are having one of their best years for a long time on the track and over the country.

The Wearsiders gained promotion in the North of England Athletics League, their young athletes track and field team were also promoted and the senior men’s cross country team are heading for a higher division.

Club spokesman Peter Dodsworth said: “A dedicated band of coaches are behind the club’s success and the future is looking even brighter.

“The young athletes’ team are now in division one, while the senior track and field team have been promoted to Division Three North. On top of that, the senior men’s cross country team are currently lying second in the Third Division of the North East Harrier League behind Tyne Bridge Harriers,” he said

“Tom Grey has been leading the senior cross country team in their promotion campaign, while Calum Robson in the throws, sprinter Marcus Robson, middle distance runner Alex Brown and 800m runner Ben Mitchell are all under 15s that helped to spearhead the club’s young athletes team.

“There are also under-17s Laura Fenwick (300m, 400m and hurdles), sprinters Rachel Scott and Josh Peel, shot putter Owen Barrass and discus thrower Amy Welsh, who have all played important roles in the senior team success.

“There are also many other athletes that have contributed to our success and it is through them all that the club is continuing to move forward and looking forward to next year’s campaign.’’

The club’s successful transition to improving results is no doubt through the team of enthusiastic qualified coaches, all licensed by uk:athletics. The dedicated band consists of Gordon Mitchell, Lynn Harding, Pam Brewis, Gary Maughan, Liz Page, Lisa Clement, Linda Welsh, Dodsworth himself and his wife Maureen. They cover the following disciplines: Sprints – up to 400 metres, hurdles and relays, middle distance plus steeplechase, high jump, long jump and triple jump, shot putt, discus, hammer and javelin

The club meets for training every Monday and Wednesday evening between 7:00pm and 8:00pm. During the track and field season (April to August) athletes use the facilities at Silksworth Sports Complex.

For the road and cross country season (September to March) the young athletes meet at Houghton Kepier School. On Mondays an indoor training session is held in the school sports hall and Wednesdays is an outdoor session around the area.

The club encourages participation by organising, on one Wednesday each month, a series of one-mile handicap races. Trophies for the overall winner, fastest girl and boy, most improved from the previous year in each age group and athletes who complete six of the seven races are awarded at a special presentation evening in March.

The senior club members hold their own 4.2 mile handicap race every month, followed by a buffet in a local pub.

On both evenings, senior athletes together with some of the older, more experienced young athletes meet for more demanding training sessions.

Senior athletes organise some Saturday training runs at different venues including Silksworth Sports Complex. Small groups often run together on Sundays with those aiming for bigger events often training together on other days.

The club are reviving their Michael Page Memorial multi-terrain race next year on Sunday, 14th October at Hetton Lyons Country Park.

For further information contact club secretary Linda Welsh, 43 Meadow View, East Herrington, Sunderland SR3 3RE. Email: amy@hotmail.co.uk.