New gear for athletics club

Oliver-Tane Knowles tries out the new high jump gear. Photo – Michael Jeans.

As the Cambridge Athletics Club gets ready to kick off their junior season at the end of the month, club members can enjoy the use of new high jump gear made possible thanks to a donation from the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund.

The club’s old gear had become rather worse for wear last year, and so the charity organisation donated $3,300 for a new high jump mat, a new pole and stand, and a new cover.

“Basically, it was falling apart,” said Andrew Longman, chairperson of the Cambridge Athletics Club, describing the old mat. “We’ve got 300 kids each year, about 150 of them doing high jump, times that by how ever many times they’re jumping every Wednesday night, so the mat takes a bit of a hammering,” he explained. “The stitching of the canvas was starting to come apart, and whenever they landed on it they were landing on that particular part. No one was going to hurt themselves badly, but it was one of those things where you do it often enough it can start to hurt.

“So, we thought ‘who can we go to ask for help?’ and looked up on the internet and found the Grassroots Fund and thought they might be able to help.”

“It was becoming a safety issue for the club, so they were awesome in coming forward to help us out,” added Robin Knowles, from the club.

“We were ecstatic, it’s just amazing,” added Langman.

“We do need to replace the other two mats (which sit underneath the new mat), so we could do with community help on these,” said Knowles.

The club’s next big aim is to build a concrete pad to utilize some second-hand all-weather running track they have obtained.

“We just need a concrete pad to put it down on,” explained Langman. “The whole idea behind that is so that the senior athletes and the other kids in general can practice on what they would be competing on at a stadium venue. And because we have an athlete in a wheelchair, it would be good to have a smoother section of track, rather than grass, that we can do some work with them on.”

Langman said anyone from the community who wished to help donate, sponsor or support the club could contact them through their website,

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