BRACKNELL MP Phillip Lee recently paid a visit to the nationally-recognised Bracknell Athletics Club.

Dr Lee visited the John Nike Stadium to meet some members of the club, which was founded back in 1953, just four years after Bracknell was designated as a new town.

The club is currently thriving, with about 300 active members and a waiting list of more than 100 - 60 of whom have been made offers for next term.

The club boasts 40 coaches and coaching assistants, including two national list coaches, whilst some national level officials have been part of recent Olympic Games and World Championships.

They have also introduced an innovative coach development programme where 16 to 18-year olds are taught to coach and, in turn, teach the younger members themselves.

This won an England Athletics National Award and is now being replicated across the country.

Dr Lee said: "Bracknell Athletics has a national reputation.

"That is well-deserved, and I have nothing but admiration for everyone involved – not just the athletes themselves but also the coaches and volunteers, many of whom give up large amounts of their time to make the club such a success.

"I am sure that we will be hearing a lot more of these athletes as they represent our country at future Olympic Games and international championships."

The dividends are also being seen by success on the track.

Josh Zeller recently became European Junior Champion at 110m Hurdles, whilst Zak Seddon ran the fastest 3000m Steeplechase by a Briton for 25 years in June, and Amelia Quirk represented Great Britain at the world Cross Country Championships, having previously won a European team Gold.

The club also coaches para athletesm and Molly Kingsbury competed for England in the T38 category at the 2018 Commonwealth Game in the long jump.

Club chairman, Julian Starkey, added: "It was great to talk to Phillip about the contribution sport makes to building communities and providing opportunities in many different ways to enhance lives, through competing, volunteering, coaching and officiating.

"The next challenge that we face is to be able to find funds from the local community and businesses to help us replace the track, which is now approaching the end of its 20-year life."