Grant helps athletes try out a new sport

Pole Vault Equipment
Pole Vault Equipment

Young north east athletes are getting their first chance to try their hand at a new sport thanks to the support of a local employer.

Morpeth Harriers and Athletic Club completed work last year on the installation of a new synthetic 400m athletics track and associated field event facilities at the town’s King Edward VI High School.

The club has now introduced new pole vault stands and landing area after receiving a £5,000 grant from Banks Mining’s Community Fund.

The new equipment will enable the Harriers to host inter-club competitions, as well as giving members the chance to give pole vaulting a try with the help of a specialist coach who is already part of the club.

Club secretary Mike Bateman said: “The installation of the new track has been a real landmark for us, and has given us the impetus to widen the range of athletic disciplines that we offer as far as we can.

“The pole vault equipment was the most costly item on our shopping list, but it’s already garnered a lot of interest from our younger members – one has already taken the sport up competitively, and we’re hoping more will follow this example as more of our younger members give it a go.

“The competitions that we host involve quite significant costs, which means that affording capital purchases like this can be a real challenge, so we’re very grateful to Banks for helping us introduce equipment that we know is going to be well-used for many seasons to come.”

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at Banks Group, added: “Morpeth Harriers has long had a fantastic reputation for supporting and encouraging community-based sport, and we’re very pleased to be able to support the latest stage of their development.”