Refurbished athletics facilities get off to a great start in Mansfield
On the day of the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics, there was a ceremony of a different kind at Mansfield's Berry Hill Park.
Mayor Andy Abrahams unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of Mansfield Harriers' refurbished facilities on July 23, along with other guests.
The track has had state-of-the-art lighting installed thanks to funding from England Athletics, the Harriers, Mansfield District Council and the Radford Foundation, a charity set up by Mansfield Town Football Club owners John and Carolyn Radford.
The running track has been professionally cleaned and the changing rooms and clubhouse have also been refurbished.
Mayor Abrahams said: “The refurbishment of facilities is the next stage of the club’s long history, and it has all come about through working together.
"We have the same aspirations - to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities - and these fantastic facilities will help get more people involved in athletics and sport as well as put Mansfield on the map to be the centre of athletics regionally.”
The mayor joined the club's chairman Pat Carlan and past member Rob Newton, who is a former Olympic hurdler, to officially open the facilities.
Among others present were club committee members and coaches as well as Councillor Andy Burgin, the district council’s portfolio holder for leisure and environment, Mansfield MP Ben Bradley, Stags Manager Nigel Clough, Chief Executive of Mansfield Town Football Club David Sharpe and Nottinghamshire county councillors.
Ted Grey, Hurdles Coach, was also presented with a volunteer award by England Athletics East Midlands.
Mr Carlan thanked everyone who had been involved in the extensive project.
He said: “It is fantastic for the club to be back home and to see the children’s faces lit up.
"This is not just for the Harriers but also for track and field athletics and cross country events.
"The local community can use it as well, which is very important.
"Lots of people are getting more active as a result of the pandemic and we want to forge links with schools and other organisations, which will provide an opportunity for the club to develop.”