SUNDERLAND Harriers have been awarded their Clubmark certificate after more than 18 months of work to secure the England Athletics accredition.
Clubmark is the kite mark endorsed by all the main sporting, youth and education agencies involved in delivery of sporting opportunity for young people.
It is built around a number of standards which ensure that accredited clubs operate to a set of minimum operating standards to make it a welcoming environment for all athletes.
Sunderland club membership secretary Paul Redman, the man who steered the club through the Clubmark process, said: “Clubmark is proving a vital development for the Harriers. It was vital that we had to get endorsed with this qualification for the club to move forward.
“We had to be seen to be a safe and friendly club that had appropriate procedures in place for child protection, risk assessment and checking of coaches. Without Clubmark, we could have lost many young members.”
Emma Williams, England Athletics Club and Coach Support Officer, said: “It is fantastic that Sunderland Harriers has achieved the Clubmark accreditation. It was down to the hard work of Paul and the club committee that they have secured it.
“It was a pleasure in working alongside the committee and attending the club to help them in securing this award. This will be a real asset to the club as it sends out all the right signals to everyone connected with the sport of athletics.’’
In another first for the Harriers, they have been shortlisted for this year’s awards at the England Athletics regional presentation evening at Durham County Cricket Club next Wednesday. This year, England Athletics have received a record number of nominations across the region to recognise those who give their time and efforts voluntarily in a number of roles within the sport.
Before then, Sunderland Harriers hold their annual meeting and presentation evening in the Board Room, Monkwearmouth Hospital next Monday at 7.15pm. All members are invited to attend.
H A Sunderland Harriers’ club grand prix, established to increase participation, will be launched at the first Harrier League of the season at East Cramlington on Saturday, October 8.
The grand prix will cover both men’s and women’s events for the full cross country season and will cover North East, northern and national events. The higher the competition, the more points are scored with championship events the top points earners.
H It will be the second anniversary of the Sunderland Parkrun a week on Saturday and prizes for the overall male and female points winners from the last 12 months will be awarded.
Current standing in the men’s annual points competition: 1 Andrew Hughes (Unatt) 3,553 pts. 2 Dean Phillips (Sun Harr) 3,509, 3 David Savage (Sun Harr) 3,216.
Women: 1 Michelle Mustard (Unatt) 4,025pts, 2 Jane Niven (Unatt) 2,947, 3 Emma Robson (Sun Stroll) 2,894.