After eleven months of waiting, Wirral Athletic Club have finally been presented with England Athletics’ Club of the year award.
Although they won the honour officially back in November last year, the Bebington club were recognised at the England Athletics National Volunteer Award winners for 2021 evening, which was held alongside the Hall of Fame induction. President of the athletic club Margaret Milne and club treasurer Sharron Darroch were both there to pick up the prestigious award.
Speaking to MSL Mrs Milne said: “It’s an honour to win, it’s a testament to the hard work of the club and the team that we achieved it… we’re very proud.”
The pandemic changed the way the world works and for an athletic club that has been around for 111 years it meant coaches training methods had to change too; Milne explained: “We didn’t have access to our track for nearly a year whilst covid restrictions were being lifted… Our coaches did hurdle sessions in car parks that weren’t being used and the endurance coaches did a stone relay around the Wirral.”
All this effort paid off though as they were named 2021 Club of The Year. After only becoming President in August, Mrs Milne was quick to praise everyone at the club: “There was no individual who solely put us in contention for this honour, it was the whole coaching setup and club members that made it possible.”
Taking advantage of the national recognition is the next step for Wirral AC, whose numbers have been rising since the receiving the award according to Milne. The club are also looking to use the award to move forward in other ways too including, helping athletes gain coaching licenses and to compete nationally at higher age groups, whilst it will also benefit in applying for future funding.
Being apart of the local community is another reason for the club winning the award. Partnerships with local business’ such as Brackenwood golf club, used for cross country training, and having members volunteer at local events means the club keeps in touch with the people in the area.
The club were recognised for their inclusivity and trying to keep membership costs down.