Athletes can show vaulting ambition

Some of the young Morpeth Harriers who have taken up pole vaulting at the club.

Some of the young Morpeth Harriers who have taken up pole vaulting at the club.

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A GROUP of young athletes in Morpeth have the opportunity to clear new heights thanks to a grant from a North East business.

After a long wait for support from organisations and authorities, a new synthetic 400m athletics track was built and associated field event facilities were put in place for Morpeth Harriers at the town’s King Edward VI High School last year.

As part of the club’s development, it has now introduced new pole vault stands and a landing area after receiving £5,000 from Banks Mining via the firm’s Community Fund.

The new equipment will enable the Harriers to host inter-club competitions, as well as give their young members the chance to try pole vaulting with the help of a specialist coach who is already part of the club.

Club secretary Mike Bateman said: “The installation of the new track has been a real landmark for us and has given us the impetus to widen the range of athletic disciplines that we offer as far as we can.

“The pole vault equipment was the most costly item on our shopping list, but it’s already garnered a lot of interest from our younger members – one of them has already taken the sport up competitively and we’re hoping that more will follow this example as more of our younger members give it a go.

“The competitions that we host involve quite significant costs, which means that affording capital purchases like this can be a real challenge, so we’re very grateful to Banks for helping us introduce equipment that we know is going to be well-used for many seasons to come.”

The Harriers has around 350 junior and senior members and as well as Morpeth, a number of members come from south east and north Northumberland.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at Banks Group, said: “We’re very pleased to be able to support the latest stage of the club’s development.”