Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club are getting in the spirit of the London Olympics this summer by staging a Try Athletics Day at their Wimbledon Park athletics track headquarters next month to mark 100 days to go.
The event, which has the backing of the sport's governing body, England Athletics, is aimed at encouraging more people to both participate in track and field athletics and to secure more volunteers to help run clubs like Hercules Wimbledon.
Full details of the celebratory event which will be staged on the evening of Thursday, April 19th, have yet to be worked out and will be announced later. England Athletics National Club Development Officer Alex Copeland said: "Athletics is a fantastic sport and all the excitement of it will be brought home to people when the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games come to London this year. Clubs such as Hercules Wimbledon give people a great opportunity to get involved in the sport."
Meanwhile, Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club president David Littlewood, MBE, one of Britain's top athletics officials, who will be officiating at the London Olympics, flew out to the IAAF World indoor athletics championships in Istanbul, Turkey, this week, where he will oversee the photofinish team. He has been appointed the international delegate by the International Association of Athletic Federations.
In his capacity as honorary secretary of the English Schools Athletic Association, he will be off again later in the month to Malta for the schools international cross country championships on that island and returns just in time to officiate as track referee at Hercules Wimbledon's young athletes open meeting which is being staged for the 31st time at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on Sunday, April 1st.
The meeting is one of the top young athletes events of its kind and there will be an international flavour to this year's event with a group of club athletes from the Czech Republic taking part. Details of the event can be found on the Hercules Wimbledon website www.herculeswimbledonac.org.uk.
One Hercules Wimbledon youngster, Max Mondelli, who is expected to be competing at the Crystal Palace meeting, boosted his Olympic year racing programme with a medal winning performance at the Surrey indoor championships at Sutton Arena on Saturday. Mondelli, 16, who made a superb start in athletics by winning both the Surrey schools and county under 15 boys 100m titles in 2010 as well as finishing second in the South of England event and fifth in both the England and English schools championships in his inaugural year, 2010, suffered a major setback when he broke his leg in two places playing rugby that winter. He returned after just one training session to win the Merton schools intermediate boys 100m title.
He then went on to take the silver medal in the Surrey schools intermediate boys 100m championship. He then concentrated on improving his fitness until his appearance on the indoor circuit this year. He just failed to make the final of the South of England indoor men's under 17 60m indoor championship at Lee Valley Athletics Centre in January where he was runenr-up in his semi-final in 7.19 seconds on his indoor debut.
He showed much improved form at Sutton where he clocked a fine 7.06 in taking the bronze medal, a time which ranks him ninth in the country this year. He showed improvement throughout the rounds winning his heat in 7.18 and taking second spot in his semi-final in 7.10.
Another Hercules Wimbledon athlete, Emily Martin, showed winning form by taking the senior women's long jump with 5.57m. There were several other Hercules Wimbledon athletes in action at Sutton. Jimmy Serachura narrowly missed out on a medal in the senior men's triple jump where he was fourth with 12.30m, Richard Agyapong reached the semi-final of the senior men's 60m while Joel Lorenzo just failed to reach the boys under 13 60m final.
Hercules Wimbledon's Ruth Clifton is in the Surrey senior women's team competing in the UK Inter-Counties cross country championships at Cofton Park, Birmingham, on Saturday. She warmed up by winning the women's event in the Wimbledon Common parkrun last Saturday in a personal best time of 17:54. She posted the top age-graded performance in dipping inside 18 minutes for the first time by taking 21 seconds off her previous best time. Teenagers Emma Headley and Cassian Hyde just failed to gain selection being named as reserves for the girls and boys under 15 squads.
Hercules Wimbledon's track and field training sessions take place at Wimbledon Park athletics stadium on Tuesday and Thursday evenings starting at 6.30pm and Sunday morning at 10.30am. Further details from coaching coordinator Maurice Sharp on 020 8337 8707.
Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club hold mid-week road running training sessions for marathon, cross country and road runners from Lauriston Cottage, 6a Southside, Wimbledon Common, at the junction with Lauriston Road.