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Athletics coach pushing for new running track

Diss, Norfolk. Head coach of Diss Athlectics Club Barry Plamer who is pushing for a �150,000 grant to replace the sports track at the club.  Diss, Norfolk. Head coach of Diss Athlectics Club Barry Plamer who is pushing for a �150,000 grant to replace the sports track at the club.

Diss, Norfolk. Head coach of Diss Athlectics Club Barry Plamer who is pushing for a �150,000 grant to replace the sports track at the club. Diss, Norfolk. Head coach of Diss Athlectics Club Barry Plamer who is pushing for a �150,000 grant to replace the sports track at the club.

A Diss athletics coach fears some of his up and coming athletes could move on to other clubs should their athletics track not be upgraded.

Diss and District Athletics Club, which hires the sports ground in Shelfanger Road, Diss, from Diss Town Council, was established in 1952 and today has almost 90 members.

But Barry Palmer, who joined the club as head coach ten years ago, says the athletics track needs to be upgraded, and has been pushing for the improvements for the past year.

A 170-metre length J-track, plus improved facilities for javelin throwers and long jumpers, would cost an estimated £150,000.

“The track is at the end of its life. That’s why we need a new track,” he said. “We have to get on with it this year.

“It has got a lot of potential. There are some good people there now and youngsters coming through. It would be a shame if it all ended because we could not get the track.

“By not having the facility up to date we could end up losing a lot of our good athletes to other clubs. We want them to stay here because it makes a good name for the town.”

Mr Palmer says the athletics track, which has a shelf life of 25 years, is currently 26 years old, and believes it will not last beyond 2016.

He added: “The track is a major part for sprinters. Without that it would be very difficult. We have been going for 60 odd years and we want to try and hold on to the name for the whole town really.”

The club was hopeful of putting in a request to the town council to act as the applicant for funding from the Inspired Facilities Fund, although Mr Palmer confirmed the council were yet to receive a report of the potential development from the club.

A spokesperson for the town council said the item, which appeared on the agenda for the December 4 Amenities and Properties Committee meeting, has been deferred to the February 5 meeting.

Diss town councillor and chairman of the amenities and properties committee Keith Kiddie said little can be done until the council receives the report.

“We need a report from the athletics club to give us a clue to what you want to do, when it wants to be done by and how much is it going to cost?” he said.

 

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