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Photo gallery: Big turnout for Sheringham launch of new athletics club for youngsters

13:23 12 September 2014

Youngsters at the launch of the North Norfolk Harriers Athletics Club. Picture: CHRISTAYLORPHOTO.CO.UK

Youngsters at the launch of the North Norfolk Harriers Athletics Club. Picture: CHRISTAYLORPHOTO.CO.UK

(C) Chris Taylor Photo

The starting gun has sounded for an athletics club aiming to train the young track and field stars of tomorrow in north Norfolk.

Youngsters wanting to be the next Usain Bolt and Mo Farrah are signing up to the new North Norfolk Harriers Athletics Club.

It launched this week and organisers are thrilled that 76 keen young people aged eight to 17 turned up on opening night.

The club aims to provide top quality training and competition experience for young athletes.

It will focus mainly on running in the early days but is looking to expand to field sports later.

North Norfolk Harriers Athletics ClubNorth Norfolk Harriers Athletics Club

Chairman Paul O’Malley said the drive came from his own experience as a parent of two young boys keen to develop their running.

He is a member of the North Norfolk Beach Runners, but said there was nowhere in north Norfolk to provide top coaching for youngsters - so it potentially meant a round trip to Norwich, which many parents could not commit to.

“I knew of other parents who were not prepared to do that twice a week - so we decided to start a club to fill the void.”

The Harriers will meet at Sheringham High School on Wednesdays from 6-7pm.

North Norfolk Harriers Athletics ClubNorth Norfolk Harriers Athletics Club

Winter training will include sprints, relays and shuttles on the all-weather floodlit training area. In summer there is access to a 400m track on the school field.

“We are mainly focussed on running, but hope to do jumping an throwing later,” said Mr O’Malley from Briston.

“We are getting involvement through the schools and the new club has been welcomed as a great idea. We are going to be competing in local events, including cross country and Park Runs,” he added.

Usain Bolt was an idol for young runners, but the success of British runners at the Olympic and Commonwealth games had help boost interest in the sport.

Mo Farrah, along with up-and-coming sprinters Adam Gemili and James Dasaolu, from Norwich, were an inspiration said Mr O’Malley.

He added that the progress of his own youngsters Oliver, 11, and Innes, nine, was so good that “they beat me now”.

Contact the club at its website www.theharriers.com or email chair@theharriers.com or through its Facebook page North Norfolk Harrier Athletics Club .

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