Athletes’ Chichester College link up and running

College officials and Chi Runners representatives celebrate their new partnership   Picture by Sara Ellis
College officials and Chi Runners representatives celebrate their new partnership Picture by Sara Ellis

CHICHESTER Runners and Chichester College have entered into an exciting new partnership.

The athletics club were approached by Colin Hunwick, Chichester College sports maker and Mark Forder, the college sports centre manager, with an exciting proposal of forming a partnership.

It is, in many ways, the perfect partnership; the college have fantastic facilities and grounds and the club have a large membership with more than 350 junior and senior members. So, the thinking behind it is that it will benefit both parties if the runners have a base at the college.

This partnership is now a reality with the running club using the college sports pavilion next to the sports hall as a base for all groups training on weekday nights. This means the runners have somewhere to meet and socialise before and after training.

The club have storage facilities in the pavilion for equipment, including exercise mats so they can do some flexibility work in the dry and warm after intense training, which previously did not happen.

However, the move into the pavilion and the forming of an official partnership is just the next step in what is a strong association. For many seasons now the running club have have been able to use the open areas around the college for training sessions.

Especially in the winter, it is a problem to find safe and secure areas, particularly for the juniors to train. Without the help and support of the college there would be no suitable place for the youngest members to train on the dark nights during winter.

The college have also arranged for club members who wish to obtain corporate membership concessions for use of the college’s BodyWorks fitness suite. Added to this has been BodyWorks’ offer to organise runners’ core stability and flexibility classes at special rates.

The funding from the scheme came from Active Sussex, which aims to promote physical sport and activity across the county. One of their biggest initiatives is to help young people take the step into community sport, which is at the heart of Sport England’s 2012-2017 Youth and Community Strategy.

Sports maker Hunwick was able to secure funding through Active Sussex’s Satellite Club scheme, part of a much wider initiative by Sport England to get more young people involved in sport and physical activity.

Satellite clubs, which are a huge part of this process, aims to help bridge the gaps between school, college and community sport and provide new opportunities for young people to create lifelong sporting habits.

By 2017, Sport England will have invested up to £49m into satellite clubs, with every secondary school in England being offered a satellite community sports club on its site.