East End athletics club gets boost from the Games

A GLASGOW running club has seen numbers rocket after the its success at the Commonwealth Games.

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Mark Dry with his bronze medal from the hammer and, below, Angus McInroy who set a Scots record in the discus
Mark Dry with his bronze medal from the hammer and, below, Angus McInroy who set a Scots record in the discus

Having earned one bronze medal, one native record set and getting three members in Games' finals, Shettleston Harriers has had an influx of inspired new members signing up.

Set up 110 years ago in the East End of Glasgow, the athletics club has reported a particular spike in people in their 20s and 30s joining after the success of Scots at the Games.

Alex McKay, the club's development officer, said: "We have noticed a rise in the number of adults coming along and that's really unusual.

"England's Steven Way, who came 10th in the Games marathon, was obese and a smoker before her turned to athletics - that sort of story has maybe encouraged some of the adults.

"Also Jo Pavey, the 40-year-old woman who won a medal recently at the European Championships helped make many people think'I can do that'."

Many of the club's new recruits took part in athletics when they were younger and wanted to get back in training. Others wanted to try something completely new, from long jumping to hurdles.

Alex said: "Since the start of August we've had new people joining every night - up to about 20 children and the same number of adults."

Working closely with local schools in the East End, the club has seen a 218% rise in the number of under 13s attending and in the last year a 30-40% increase in kids who come to the club on any night.

Alex added: "We are lucky. Unlike a lot of clubs in Glasgow we haven't got a waiting list as we have also increased the amount of coaches.

"We'll see the big figure for new members in the next few weeks once the schools are back.

"The club is also starting run, jump and throw clubs for five to eight-year-olds and more than 40 kids have said already they're going to come along.

"I'm getting several inquiries from parents daily, when normally at this time of year we would get one a week."

The highlights of the Games for the club was Mark Dry's bronze medal at Hampden in the men's hammer.

And Angus McInroy was in great form in qualifying when he threw a native discus record to get to the final.

Visit www.shettlestonharriers.org.uk.

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