City of Plymouth AC earn praise from England Athletics chief following visit

CITY of Plymouth AC recently had the pleasure of welcoming England Athletics’ chief executive Chris Jones to their club.

Jones visited Brickfields along with the governing body’s facilities and planning manager and club support manager Richard Ayling.

A key part of their trip was to talk about the club’s facilities and how best to ensure they are suitable for their needs.

They also met with Plymouth City councillor Glenn Jordan, who is lead on culture and sport, and former Premiership rugby referee David Rose, who is head of sport for Plymouth University. Both the council and the university have a strong interest in ensuring there are good provision of sports facilities in the city.

The trip also allowed the England Athletics bosses the chance to see City of Plymouth AC in action. They watched younger athletes doing sessions in the Brickfields Sports Centre with Steve Endacott and Paul Crutchley before going to see older athletes training on the track.

Among those there to talk through the club’s activities and the current situation with facilities and ambitions for athletics in Plymouth were club chairman Graham Edmonds, club secretary Jeff Walsh, Chairman of the Armada Athletics Network Paul Ross and Keith Reed, who is the club’s schools’ liaison officer and Armada Athletics Network coordinator (as well as being England Athletics National Council member for the South West and chairman of the South West Regional Council).

After his visit Jones said: “We know that our clubs face a range of challenges around facilities and we will continue to work to support them so that the efforts of the volunteers in making provision for their club members can be as effective as possible.

“It was good for Jonathan and I to go to Plymouth with Richard and have that balance of speaking with people at the club, as well as others, about some of the real practicalities of the facilities situation there, and to then see the activities of the club.

“The volunteers at Plymouth are doing a very good job of making the most of the opportunities and facilities available to them. It was very clear to see the enjoyment of the faces not just of the athletes but also of the coaches involved in providing the sessions.

“I wish the club continued success in all of their activities.”

City of Plymouth AC has its origins in Devonport YMCA Harriers which is believed to have originated from a much older club called Plymouth Harriers (not the current Plymouth Harriers, who used to be called Keyham Plodders). Devonport YMCA Harriers then separated from the YMCA organisation and was re-established as Devonport AC in the 1950s, before being renamed City of Plymouth AC in the late 1960s.

The club offers a range of activities for all age groups. As well as training sessions the club also competes in the Southern Athletics League, Youth Development League, South West League, Westward Cross Country League, Devon Open Series, Devon Sportshall League and championship competitions.

City of Plymouth have enjoyed plenty of success recently with the likes of David King, James Arnott, Victoria Weir, Jonathan Edwards and Poppy Tank all impressing at an elite level.

Last year, City of Plymouth saw 20 of their club records broken and had 15 athletes ranked in the top 10 nationally for their events in their respective age groups.

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