Written by Bob Lynch, Hon President, in September 2009
Macclesfield Harriers & AC has been in existence for more than 100 years.
The history of the club is documented in hard copy format and is updated every 10yrs. Essentially the club is very diverse, with both a strong junior and senior sections for both male and females. We cover all T&F disciplines and train and compete in Fell, Road, XC and ultra-distance running.
In more detail we compete in three different T&F leagues spanning all the age groups.
We enter and host Fell races, relays and championships, including organising the Tegg’s Nose race, the Roaches, and the Forest Five. We have at least 35 people who have successfully completed the infamous Bob Graham round (running up and down 42 designated Lake District peaks in under 24 hours).
We compete across the NW in a variety of road races including the Cheshire grand prix. Again we organise annually two important road races, namely the Macclesfield Half Marathon and the Langley 7.
In the winter we compete in two main XC leagues – the Manchester Area and the North Staffs, as well as the county, northern and national championships.
For the last 14 years, we have organised and run the very popular Aviva Sponsored week long summer Startrack course. This teaches and assesses sixty 9-15 year olds in ten different T& F disciplines. The course is a partnership between the club, the leisure centre, and a senior teacher from a secondary school.
When we organise races on the road and fell, ALL the profits go to charities – [currently] East Cheshire Hospice and Macmillan nurses. Additionally from the half marathon, we put money into a third charity, namely – The Macclesfield Athletics Track Appeal. This was initially formed when we were lobbying for a track. Monies raised are for the good of athletics in the ‘old’ Macclesfield borough. The fund is not part of the Macclesfield H&AC accounts. The current aim is try to provide an indoor training facility (multisport) alongside the current track.
We are therefore a very strong, diverse club.
As a club we work with a lot of partners. At primary school level, we assist in organising a series of 7 XC events, some based around the leisure centre. In the summer we help host the primary schools T&F championships.
We provide coaching and know-how for the delivery of Indoor Sportshall athletics. As well as training primary teachers in the delivery of athletics, we also help them host cluster school competitions.
At secondary school level, we provide guidance and officials for local T&F athletic competitions organised by the SSCOs. Additionally we provide the course and marshals for the district schools XC championships.
We work as custodians of the T&F facility with the leisure centre management, providing them with annual maintenance priorities, and then working with them to carry out the work. On an annual basis, we provide leisure centre staff with basic training on ‘how to put on a meeting’, which includes H&S considerations.
The T&F facility being a full 8 lane track with regional standard throws and jumps facilities is used extensively to host a number of schools and Cheshire county AA events. We have a team of 12 officials who help support the county in putting on these events.
We are a broad-based club with coaches in T&F, road running group leaders, fell, and endurance.
We have good working relationships with other clubs in and around Cheshire, and in particular work on an occasional basis to help provide marshals for the Wilmslow Half Marathon organised by Wilmslow RC. While with Handforth, W&AE AC we assist in them putting on their annual junior multi-event competition which is held at Macclesfield. As already stated we work well with both primary and secondary schools.
We can demonstrate partnerships with others when they seek advice on event and race organising, and have been part of a 3 year junior Triathlon event with the local swimming club and Macc. Wheelers.
We are probably not good enough at marketing ourselves, but membership stands at >500, and we have an excellent club website and quarterly magazine.