ATHLETICS: Bicester Athletics Club is now a Clubmark accredited sports club. They received their award from UK Athletics last week at a ceremony at Bicester and Ploughley Sports Centre with club chairman Steve Flynn collecting the award on the club’s behalf.
This represents two years of hard work put in by many members of the club. Bicester AC is primarily a junior athletics club that competes all the year round in track and field, cross country and sportshall indoor athletics.
The award means that the club is recognised nationally as being a beacon of quality in terms of the quality of coaching that the club provides.
All its coaches hold appropriate UK Athletics qualifications and are CRB checked.
The award is also an indication that the club has a good depth of volunteers to support its many activities including training sessions and the partnership arrangements that it has in place with other organisations such as schools and colleges.
Steve Flynn said that getting the clubmark award was “another example of the further development of the club without support from local authorities which demonstrates its self sufficiency”.
In recent years the club has been successful in obtaining national lottery support for funding new run-ups at Bicester Community College, which benefit the wider community as they are used by both club and local schools, with further projects in the pipeline.
These have also helped the club achieve an unprecedented number of quality athletes in recent years to be ranked in the end of year national rankings, particularly in jumping and throwing events and also winning medals at the national schools championships.
He said: “The club also has long established partnerships with other local clubs and schools and stages a number of very successful well established annual events. For example the local district cross country championships, jointly organised with Bicester Community College, has introduced a number of youngsters to the sport, with many going on to successfully compete for Bicester AC.
“Also the Andy Reading 10km road race, organised in conjunction with Alchester Running Club, which attracts runners from all over the South of England to the area and has, over the years, raised thousands of pounds for national and local charities. “
As part of gaining the award the club has had to produce a robust three-year development plan that has received the support of UK Athletics.
Steve Flynn added: “The main objective of this plan is for the club to be able to have access to an all weather running track facility in Bicester.
“There will no doubt be an increase in the need for more local sporting facilities following the ongoing expansion of Bicester and after the staging of the summer 2012 Olympics in London.”