Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

On Their Marks!

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

On Their Marks!

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill McGuirk

Durham City Harriers and Birtley Athletics Club have struck gold ( by being awarded gold medal status Clubmark accreditation by the Amateur Athletics Association and English Athletics.

Working closely with Durham Sport the clubs were assessed on strict criteria ( including coaching and competition, duty of care and child protection, sports equity and ethics and club management.

The award is a massive boost to the two clubs, who hope to attract and encourage new members on the back of this achievement and hopefully the British Olympic team's achievements at next month's Athens Games.

Sport England Clubmark is a cross-sport recognition programme of sports clubs which are committed to providing a safe, effective and child-friendly environment.

David Lowes, athletics development officer for Durham Sport, has worked closely with both Durham City and Birtley over the past year to put the club procedures in place and is delighted with the club's achievements.

He said: "The two clubs have worked extremely hard to achieve Clubmark.

"The clubs' officials have been on courses to support their learning and put in numerous hours behind the scenes.

"I am sure once parents realise the value of the accreditation the clubs will have plenty of new members banging on the door wanting to participate in athletics."

To date only one other club has achieved the standard in the region, Durham City Harriers and Birtley being the first and second respectively in County Durham.

Richard Hunter, the AAA's regional development manager, presented the clubs with their awards.

The clubs' hard work behind the scenes has also produced success on the track with Samantha Coleby from Durham City Harriers a finalist in the 75m hurdles at the English Schools Championship at Gateshead.

Gateshead Harriers retained their Northern Premier Junior League title with surprising ease when they travelled to Mansfield for the final fixture of the season, writes Bill McGuirk.

The Tyneside outfit were expecting a tougher contest with closest rivals Liverpool, just one point behind, but they easily fought off the Merseyside challenge and at the end of the match 44 points separated the two teams. …

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