Royal Sutton Coldfield
In 1973 the newly opened local leisure centre had athletics facilities but no athletics club. Myself and a number of parents with an athletics background formed a group which was registered with he governing body 'England Athletics' as Royal Sutton Coldfield AC the aim to promote grass roots athletics in the local community. Initially we had a membership of about 20 with 4 coaches. As you can see from above information the club has grown considerably. But unfortunately due to 'EA rules' children under 9 years of age are excluded from joining athletics clubs.
After talks with schools and parents it became clear that children 7 to 9 years of age did very little exercise or organised sport in school but were keen to join an athletics club. In 2010 the committee of RSCAC decided to address the problem by forming an after school group run by club coaches for these younger children. We call it a 'Taster Session' with the intention to introduce the children to regular exercise and sport with their peers within the local community. These sessions are for 1 hour after school on a Thursday at the local athletics track. Unfortunately, due to available coaches and time we can only cope with a group of 40 children at a time. So popular is the programme and children wishing to join we have a waiting list of approximately 50. The spin off is that on reaching their 9th birthday they can then join RSCAC as full members so there is a continuous movement of places available from the waiting list.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
The group, as is the athletics club, is run and managed entirely by volunteers, we have no paid employees, thus all funding goes towards improving and promoting athletics for anyone of any ability to come along and enjoy the sport from grass roots upwards.
Athletics equipment is quite expensive and for the 'taster sessions' of the younger children the needs are different. We would ideally spend any funds on such items as required by these children. Example, bean bags, standing long jump mats, standing high jump board, low training hurdles, training javelins etc.
The object is that the children when they progress to proper competition equipment they have the technical ability to use it correctly.
As stated we are an athletics club devoted to providing athletics to anyone who is interested. Our aim is to see athletes progress from grass roots to possibly international standard.
"A club is what its members make it. At RSCAC we have a record of being a very happy club such that children who joined in the early years, now married, travel long distances to bring their children to enjoy the experience of being a member of this very happy and welcoming club.
Ernie Eames founder member, coach, technical official and treasurer of this great club."