Jim Garland of Chichester Runners & AC takes up the story...
Chichester Runners & Athletic Club, in partnership with Chichester College, is building an all weather training track to serve the needs of the community in Chichester and surrounding areas.
It is to be built in the grounds of Chichester College, for the use not only of the club members and the staff and students of the College, but also individuals, local schools, clubs, businesses, and other organisations.
We hope to complete the track in time for our 40th anniversary in 2024, and almost have the funds required to start construction.
The club is perhaps best known locally for the 3 race Corporate Challenge and Schools races its hosts every March. This event attracts almost 1000 runners, many of whom are newcomers, and for youngsters it provides the first taste of competition.
The club has a record of nurturing aspiring athletes and has seen several ex junior members develop into full blown international athletes competing for Team GB. Currently our athletes have to travel to either Portsmouth or Worthing for track sessions, which severely limits the training we are able to offer.
The proposed training track will be 300m circuit with an all-weather polymeric surface marked out for three 900mm wide lanes. It will include a separate 75m 3 x 1.2m sprint straight as well as an all weather warm up area suitable for high jump. There is scope for further development of the site for long jump and throws areas to be built (training only).
The design and layout of the proposed track, which unusually incorporates a couple of banked bends, has been reviewed by England Athletics technical experts and has been enthusiastically welcomed as an innovative solution to the site constraints.
The track will cost in the region £310k and the club is able to contribute just over a third of the total sum. We are delighted to have received grants from a range of local organisations and charities such that we now have over three quarters of the money required.
As part of our further fundraising we are today launching our “Over the line” appeal, whereby club members, parents and the general public can sponsor a defined metre (or more) of track for £100 per metre.
In return, as well as our eternal thanks, you will receive a certificate with the plan of the track showing the section you have sponsored, and your name added to a permanent display board within the pavilion showing the track and everyone who has contributed, unless you wish to contribute anonymously.
The first and last metre segments either side of the start/finish line are reserved and will be offered to whoever sponsors the most number of metres. Likewise the first and last metre of the 60m sprint track.
A further incentive is that if we manage to raise £20K though this initiative then Sport England will add a further £10K to the total. To access this funding we need as many people as possible to sponsor a metre.
If for whatever reason the the track is not built, your sponsorship will be refunded in full – see www.chichester-runners.org.uk/metre to get involved