Town becoming hot-bed of sporting talent

The Advertiser Series: RUNNING TO VICTORY:  Darlington Harriers’ young athletes training at the Eastbourne Sports Complex, they have gone from strength to strength recently with many being highly ranked in their event on a regional and national level. Picture: TOM BANKS RUNNING TO VICTORY: Darlington Harriers’ young athletes training at the Eastbourne Sports Complex, they have gone from strength to strength recently with many being highly ranked in their event on a regional and national level. Picture: TOM BANKS

MEMBERS of a Darlington athletics club have gone from strength to strength in recent months, with many being highly-rated in their events on a regional and national level.

The success of Darlington Harriers is being credited not only to the members' hard work and talent, but the high standard of facilities available at Eastbourne Sports Complex.

Darlington Harriers was formed in 1891 and has produced numerous club representatives at all levels, including two athletes at the Olympics.

The club has members in both junior and senior sections, with the seniors running mainly on roads and cross country and competing at local and national level.

The club offers opportunities for young people aged nine to 17 train and compete in track, field and cross-country.

Robin Rutherford, from Darlington Harriers, said: "Darlington Harriers' success is due, in no small part, to the commitment that Darlington Borough Council - and Mike Crawshaw and his team in particular - put in to the maintenance and development of the facility at Eastbourne.

"We are particularly grateful for the recent investment the council has made. It shows that the council is committed to providing top-class facilities for the provision of sport in Darlington and we are thrilled to benefit from that commitment."

Local girl Stella Jones is the under-13 North-East cross-country champion and Mikayla Jordens is highly-rated in the under 15s category.

Both were selected to represent the region in the London mini-marathon.

Matthew McGuire, James Wood, Hannah Raw, Katie Noble, Stella Jones and Mikayla Jordens were all chosen to represent County Durham at the recent English Schools National cross country championships at Donnington Park.

Sam Griffin, Lucy-Erin Hunter and Layla Bell were all chosen to represent County Durham at the recent English Schools National Track & Field championships.

Team members, Lucy-Erin Hunter (under 15 girls 800m champion), Stella Jones (under 13 girls 1500m champion), Reece Forster (under 17 men’s discus champion) are all hoping to retain their titles this year.

Junior training sessions are held at Eastbourne on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 6.30pm to 8pm, with the seniors training from 6.15pm on the same nights.

The complex boasts an eight-lane, 400m running track along with high jump, pole vault, long jump and hammer/discus net, among other facilities.

For more information on Darlington Harriers, call 01325-252834 or call Eastbourne Sports Complex on 01325-243177.

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