Marathon legends set to clash
ATHLETES BENEFIT FROM TRACK & FIELD TOURS PRIZE WITH TRIP OF A LIFETIME
AMONG the thousands of spectators at the IAAF World Championships were a group of young athletes from Stockport Harriers with their coaches.
They were the lucky winners of a prize for 25 people provided by Track & Field Tours at the 2016 England Athletics hall of fame dinner to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the athletics event tour operator starting business in 1991.
The prize was won at the dinner event by long-term Stockport Harrier member Stephen Fowler, who donated it to the club’s team management. They then decided to select from the various young athlete training squads at the club and the group that went to London for the championships was split across all athletics disciplines with a mix of boys and girls.
With great excitement the group of mostly 11-15-year-old athletes set off on the train from Stockport to London. Staying close to St Pauls, they were able to combine sightseeing with two days at the stadium.
As St Pauls was close to where some of the teams were staying it was a good location to meet athletes too and Allyson Felix and other USA athletes were soon spotted within a short time of arrival in London in anticipation of attending the stadium for the first time.
The Olympic Park was an even better location to get in amongst the athletics stars of the past and present. The Polish winner of the men’s hammer, Pawel Fajdek, met Daisy Keigher, Esther Hully, Amy West and Molly Cook. Hurdles great and BBC pundit Colin Jackson also took time to have a chat, sign autographs and have photos with the group.
There was even the chance to see Usain Bolt up close in the heats of the 4x100m.
With the group sitting adjacent to the final change-over, the Stockport fans were fortunate to see him on a sunny morning run his last competitive fully completed 100m with a victory as he anchored the Jamaica team to a heat win. For some of the youngsters this was the highlight of their trip. “Seeing the last race Usain Bolt won was amazing,” said 12-year-old Adam Pennington.
Stockport Harriers group organiser Mike Kennedy on behalf of his fellow coaches thought that the trip was a great success, saying: “The experience of the World Championships will I am sure inspire the athletes who attended and we hope will encourage their ongoing participation in the sport for years to come.”
Similarly, David Barnett of Track & Field Tours was pleased with this outcome and said: “Seeing the excitement amongst the Stockport Harriers group was very rewarding.
“Track & Field Tours assisted several clubs with young athlete groups in securing tickets for individual sessions during the event. However, assisting a club from further afield for a longer stay to take in the whole event experience was what we wanted to be involved with as a legacy of the event for these youngsters.
“That the group saw vintage Usain in the magnificent London Stadium in splendid full flight too was a real bonus too. Thanks are especially due to the London 2017 organisers who were very helpful in allowing us to offer this opportunity.”
Youngsters from Stockport Harriers enjoy the atmosphere in the London Stadium
Prize guys: Stockport
Harriers hit London
Pawel Fadjek: world hammer gold medallist meets Stockport athletes