WEARSIDE Athletics Network won the club partnership of the year title at the England Athletics North East regional awards.
Athletics Networks are clusters of athletics clubs and running clubs working strategically with other local key partners to develop the sport of athletics in the area.
The clubs and groups include Sunderland Harriers and AC, Sunderland Strollers, Houghton Harriers and AC, Sunderland parkrun, the SeafRUNt Smilers, Coalfields Racing Team, Sun City Tri Club and the University of Sunderland.
They will seek to drive up the quality of coaching, links with community groups such as schools, competition in clubs and also endeavour to develop the all-round quality of athletics provision within clubs in the network.
Sunderland Harrier Dave Savage, who was at the presentation to collect the award along with Houghton Harrier Geoff Fenwick, said: “We are delighted to collect this award, we have not been up and running long so it has come at the perfect time for us. It will be great incentive for our further development.”
It was a busy night for Savage who collected two further awards at the presentation. He was awarded Run England leader of the year and his group SeafRUNt Smilers were the Run England group of the year.
Run England is the England Athletics recreational running project which aims to get the whole nation running. They help and encourage more people to run, and to run more often, whatever their standard.
The Smilers have over fifty people running on a regular basis from their base at Seaburn and they have also set up a junior section.
The group has established itself as a satellite club to other athletics clubs. Savage is also seeking the funding needed to set up a parkrun at Seaburn.
H Sunderland Strollers had 16 finishers in the York Marathon and were headed home by a good run from Malcolm Cox, who knocked almost 15 minutes off his previous best, finishing in 3.14.36.
The other leading Strollers were Kevin O’Neill in 3.17, Luke McCormack in (3.27), Rob Morris (3.32) and Phil Watson (3.38).
The Strollers club road race championship is drawing to a close.
Michael Edwards currently tops the table with 1192 points and Andy Duke is second (1144). Seventh-placed Jenna Maynard is first woman with 1071 points and ninth-placed Joy Champion (1048) is second.
The next championship race is Brampton to Carlisle on 16th November
H The winner of the first North Eastern Harrier League at Cramlington on Saturday has been disqualified.
Elswick Harrier Mark McLeod mistakenly ran from the slow pack instead of the medium pack in the handicap race.
H Sunderland Harriers will be well represented in the Northern Athletics Cross Country Relay Championships at Graves Park, Sheffield on Saturday.
The senior four-stage team will be bidding to beat their fifth place of last year. The team is Craig Isherwood, Kevin Jeffress, Michael Barker and Nathan Reed.
For the first time, two under-17 teams and one under-15 boys’ team are entered.
The under-17s will be selected from Mark Smith, Chris Bell, Jack Smith, Sam Harris, Alex Mitchell, Kyle Howard and Johnny Howe. The under-15 team is James Lloyd, Rowan James and Sean Mackie.