New athletics club launched for youngsters in north Norfolk

North Norfolk Harriers Athletics Club is a new name for youth athletics in the region.

The running and athletics club, which bases its regular training sessions on Wednesday evenings at Sheringham High School, has been established to encourage and promote competition athletics and general fitness for young people throughout the region.

With the coaching team headed by Tim and Pauline Ash, youngsters who join the Harriers can look forward to the very highest level of instruction.

Their CVs are impressive, having coached and inspired a number of youngsters to international standard in sprint, middle-distance and cross-country disciplines, as well as having established an excellent reputation previously as head-coaches at City of Norwich Athletics Club. Coaching will also come in the shape of Chicago Marathon winner and former Olympian, Paul Evans.

“We are thrilled to have Tim and Pauline on board,” said Harriers’ spokesman Paul O’Malley, “Their knowledge of athletics is second-to-none, boasting as they do, vast experience in coaching kids of all abilities. Parents can rest assured that their children will be in very capable hands.

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“And in Paul Evans, we have an individual with a world-class athletics pedigree and a genuine star of distance running – someone who will truly inspire the kids. I’d like to thank Sheringham High School too, for allowing access to its running track and school facilities, and to North Norfolk District Council for helping us get up-and-running.”

The Harriers has been set-up and will be managed by a group of like-minded parents, many regular runners themselves, who noticed that there is a large number of talented young athletes in North Norfolk with no access to qualified coaching without travelling the considerable distances to either Norwich, Dereham or King’s Lynn.

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“The Harriers is set-up specifically for children of eight years and over,” continued O’Malley, “We will provide a flexible approach to training sessions – fully taking into account age and ability. With Tim’s and Pauline’s guidance, we’re introducing new, qualified coaches all the time, all able to provide help and advice on athletics and children’s fitness in general.”

“We’re just getting started,” he added, “so, initial training sessions are limited to running disciplines, but, in time, we will be introducing field events too, thus providing a full after-school athletics programme for local children.”

North Norfolk Harriers Athletics Club is supported by North Norfolk District Council, and is in the process of becoming affiliated to England Athletics. Karl Read, Sports & Leisure Services Manager at the District Council, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting The Harriers. We identified the need for a children’s athletics club some time ago, but, likewise, we’ve needed a group of volunteers to get it started. That’s now in place, and we can now provide support in developing what hopefully will become a high-calibre athletics club providing local kids with a platform to launch a career in sport, or at the very least, engender a fit and healthy lifestyle ahead of adulthood.”

One-hour summer training sessions are now under way on Wednesday evenings at Sheringham High School. Sessions start at 6pm – children should plan to arrive from 5.45pm.

Annual membership is £25 while a £2 coaching fee is charged per session attended.

The first two weeks is offered free-of-charge to allow for a settling-in period.

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