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Lord Lawson of Beamish

by leem

August 19, 2010


Birtley Athletics Club along with the 4 other Network clubs in Gateshead are beginning to feel the impact of being supported by England Athletics through their Network plan. Since the successful application for funding was agreed by England Athletics in November last year Birtley A C now have 3 development coaches working across the Borough delivering a whole range of athletic activities to hundreds of school children.  Katy Wilson, Steph Hopkinson and Ed Lown have all been involved in a busy programme working in Primary and Comprehensive schools delivering a host of activities involving: mini athletics – a new concept involving 5-7 year olds, 1 hour sessions “in house” during curriculum time (usually 6 week blocks), organising and helping at school sports days, running star track schemes (3 day athletics camps for 8-15 year olds) and have also hosted Birtley AC’s Junior Challenge – an annual sports hall event involving over 150 young people from local schools and athletics clubs in the area.   The benefits of being supported by the Network are immense for any club and in Birtley’s case has resulted in stronger links with local primaries and a subsequent increase in membership particularly in the younger age groups. Links with external partners such as the Local Authority and School Sports Partnership have been strengthened through the aims and objectives of the business plan.  The fact that the Gateshead clubs were already Networking through the Gateshead Athletics Development Group meant that a lot of the development work was already happening but the endorsement from England Athletics means that the Network is now funded directly and clubs can benefit financially to improve structures to cope with the increase in demands in terms of coaching, volunteering and administration.  In the last few months Birtley have benefitted directly with help towards things such as courses (coaching, first aid etc.), tickets for the Aviva Grand Prix at Gateshead, equipment and rent. This has allowed the club to run it’s finances effectively whilst at the same time increase it’s development fund allocated for improved training facilities at their base at Lord Lawson School.  Birtley Ac have long been at the forefront of recognising and appreciating the benefits of being supported by the governing bodies of the sport – they were one of the first clubs to achieve club mark status in the country as well as fully participating in programmes such as “Clubs Futures”. The Club is now looking forward to a full winters programme of delivery and also to joint training sessions and “Flying Coach” visits which will benefit all of the clubs and athletes in the area.  Ed Lown Coach co-ordinator

Posted in development»events 7 years ago Permalink


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