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Call goes out to athletic types

PUBLISHED: 13:40 12 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:55 03 March 2010

Athletics: COME and fill your Tuesday and Thursday evenings jumping into a sandpit, leaping over hurdles or hurling a hammer.

That's the message from Ipswich Harriers Athletic Club who run their sessions on these evenings from 6.

come and fill your Tuesday and Thursday evenings jumping into a sandpit, leaping over hurdles or hurling a hammer.

That's the message from Ipswich Harriers Athletic Club who run their sessions on these evenings from 6.15pm to 8pm at Northgate Stadium with the help of many high-quality ex-international coaches.

With the Suffolk Schools athletics season soon to start the club are calling on youngsters to get a head start and try out some of the many different events.

The cost is £5 for four sessions, in a two week period. What better way to spend a fiver!

All age groups are more than welcome, however under 18's must bring a parent or guardian to sign in on the first visit.

One leading Harrier, 18-year-old Tom Sharland, has recently run the fastest time in Britain and set a new PB for the 3000 metres middle-distance event, in the Under-20 age group.

He said: "The club has a good spirit, a well-organised set-up and a lot of good experience. I have learnt many motivational skills as well."

His coach Steve Benson stressed this by stating: "The club has a strong tradition in attracting quality athletes who have the potential to become internationals one day."

It is clear to see the coaches are extremely dedicated and good at what they do, having produced many top class internationals through the years.

Youngsters such as Jermaine Bernard, who holds the British record for long jump in the Under-17 age category and Chris McManus, also 17, who has been selected to represent Northern Ireland in the javelin have been members of Ipswich Harriers since they first started competing at the age of 11.

Ron Jones, who has coached at the club since the Northgate Sports Centre opened in 1981, said: "Ipswich Harriers are one of the top athletics clubs in Suffolk."

Chief coach and organiser, Ann Negus, who has 45 years of coaching experience behind her, added: "Only enthusiasm is necessary, as our coaches will bring the best out in most youngsters. Whether they are ten years of age or 40 plus the club deals with any enthusiast and any standard."

Chairman Iris Leigh, who has been with the club for 26 years, continues to underline the quality of the club:

"There is no doubt that there is remarkable potential in the club, and a friendly atmosphere. We have competitive leagues which cater for all standards.

"The club wants to stress to any children or adults who are interested in running, jumping or throwing, to come down to the Northgate Sports Centre and have a go," she said.


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