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Club Future Presentation

History


The club was formed in 1951 to continue the activities of the Athletic and Grass Track Cycle Racing Meeting which had been held under the auspices of the old Biggleswade Horticultural Society from the early 1900s.  One of the founder members was Des Ball who still lives in Biggleswade and who worked tirelessly for the club for 50 years - without Des’s hard work, loyalty and commitment the club would have probably not survived through the 1970s and 80s.

A brick clubhouse was built at Fairfield Sports Ground, in Biggleswade, on land belonging to Wells & Winch (subsequently Greene King brewery and now Asda), which was part of the garden of the old Royal Oak pub in Sun Street.  Sadly the building became unsafe and had to be demolished in 2000, and the club moved to Stratton Upper School in Biggleswade, where there were plans to build a new all-weather track on the Stratton Upper School site.  This, however, proved unfeasible when the planned expansion of Biggleswade on land to the east of the town meant that Stratton Upper School wished to preserve playing space in case of future school expansion.

In September 2003 the club was the first of it’s kind in the UK to be awarded the Sport England Clubmark accreditation.  This means the club can demonstrate its ability to offer young athletes a safe, effective and child-friendly environment in which to train, along with a high level of coaching competence. This was a major landmark in the history of the club since its inception in 1950. 

In April 2004 the club moved its headquarters from Stratton to Sandy Sports Centre in readiness of the new track.  The all-weather track was formally opened on 22 September 2005 by Olympic marathon runner Liz Yelling, and it provides excellent training facilities for all club members, especially the junior section of the club which has grown enormously since the track was built.

March 2009 brought one of the more significant achievements in the club’s history when the ladies cross country team won the Three Counties Cross Country league.  Since then the successes have come flooding in with young athletes, such as Euan Dickson-Earle, currently the under 20 60m hurdles National Champion, and notable high placings for many senior athletes in road races, track and field, and cross-country events nationwide.

In April 2011, following the threatened closure of the Sandy Sports Centre and local government cutbacks, the club took on the management and maintenance of the athletics track facility.

The club currently has almost 300 members made up of over 200 seniors, and a thriving junior section of about 100 who train and compete in track and field events, cross-country, Junior parkrun and sportshall competitions.  

The club prides itself in being a friendly, lively and supportive club that caters for juniors and seniors of all standards living in the local area.  The club organises the popular Sandy 10 road race, the Schools’ Cross Country Relays, the Schools’ Track Relays and the end of season Track & Field Open Meeting, in addition to many other events.  

Biggleswade Athletic Club continues to grow from strength to strength and enormous thanks are due to all its members for their commitment and support of the club.