£156,000 track for town athletics club

A new synthetic track is set to be laid at Daventry Athletics Club’s ground after the group received £156,000 as part of a major improvement project.

The club, based at the Stefen Hill Sports Ground, has received grants from the Sita Trust, Sport England and Daventry District Council to pay for a new “J” track.

Club secretary Barry Fenn said: “The grant from Sports England follows on from the Olympics and Paralympics. It’s about giving Daventry 
and the surrounding area 
an Olympic legacy.

“At the moment we have a Redgra track – it’s effectively sand. It requires constant maintenance to keep it level and weed free, and you have to keep repainting all the marks.

“We moved to Stefen Hill in 1980 and it was the foremost track in the county. Since then we’ve been overtaken by everywhere else. At the moment the South Northants Athletics Championship is held in Rugby because there’s nowhere suitable.

“The last meeting we held here was in 2000.

“The J-track will be for training and we’ll be able to hold races for anything 200 metres and shorter.

“It will help our athletes fulfil their potential. They won’t be worrying about the state of the surface and their safety, and they’ll be training on the same type of surface they compete on elsewhere. It also means it can be used by athletes in wheelchairs or with prosthetic limbs.

“But it’s not just for us, schools can use it and other community groups as well. It’s an Olympic legacy for everyone.”