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UK Athletics

Packed summer of Norwich Union star:track

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Norwich Union star:track, the holiday programme that was launched by the Governing Body in 1992 to coincide with the Barcelona Olympic Games is set to break more records as thousands of children get their first taste of athletics this summer at schemes across the UK.


Jessica Ennis, now 20 started her athletics career at Norwich Union star:track in Sheffield and is now looking forward to her first senior European Championships in Gothenburg.


She recalled:



“My parents encouraged me to take part in star:track at Don Valley Stadium,
when I was 9. Me and my sister went for 2 or 3 years, we had a great time, then I joined my
athletics club.”

Her successful junior career culminated in Gold at the European Junior Championships last summer and then a surprise Bronze at the Commonwealth Games in March, she is now supported by the World Class Podium programme, funded from the lottery by UK Sport.


Scotland and Northern Ireland were the first home countries to hold Norwich Union star:track this summer, earlier in July and over fifty organisers across England are now preparing to host star:track this week, as far and wide as Gateshead, the Isle of Wight, Suffolk and the University of Bath.


The City of Derry in Northern Ireland has attracted young athletes to star:track for eight years and this year the new Athletics Development Officer Aileen Morrison has organised three schemes in Derry, Strabane and Omagh with links to the local athletics clubs City of Derry and Omagh Harriers.


She said:


“We organised a successful primary schools event this year and the main objective is to encourage the children to move on to star:track during the summer and hopefully join an athletics club in the area. I am planning to host a winter scheme later this year, involving some cross country and maybe Sportshall athletics.”


Last week, the first scheme in England got underway, organised by Pendle Leisure Trust in the North West. Laura Middleton explained:


“The children broke up earlier this year, they have a nine week holiday as the school year is being changed. Consequently Pendle Borough Council has decided to support the holiday programme this summer through grant funding. This has meant we can provide star:track to the children at a discounted rate.”


“The bookings for this summer have been excellent, there is a noticeable increase in numbers. We are holding four star:track schemes, we expect them all to be fully subscribed!”



To find details of your nearest Norwich Union star:track scheme, click here.