Photo: Warwick Athletics and Cross Country

Charity Success for the Athletics & Cross Country Club!

Term two is packed with excitement for the Athletics & Cross Country Club, as they seek to build on the success of last term.

This included a 24-hour charity relay, which took place from noon on Wednesday 12 right through until Thursday 13 November.

Fifty members of the club took turns on shifts, ranging from 30 minutes to two hours. They ran a series of loops around the piazza, Rootes accommodation and Health Centre Road.

This was all to raise money for Sport 4 Life, a charity which helps disadvantaged children and young people in and around Birmingham to escape poverty and avoid returning to crime through the use of sport.

The charity was only founded in 2006, but has already grown into a leading youth and sports charity. Well known sports personalities such as Alison Nicholas MBE, Paddy Doyle, Brian Steel and Will
Clarke sit on the organisation’s board of trustees.

After a generous donation from Santander, the club raised a total of £1344.54 for Sport 4 Life.

The 50-strong team did a fantastic job and raised £1138.21. On top of this already impressive total, £206.33 was then generously donated from the campus-based Santander branch, raising a total of £1344.54 for Sport 4 Life.

On December 2 2014, Women’s Jogging Captain Sophie Dunne and Athletics & Cross Country President Georges Vacharopoulos presented the cheque to Sports 4 Life in Birmingham.

Georges said: “Sophie did a fantastic job in organising the event and it was amazing to see such a large number of members that were willing to support and help out with the relay.

“It was also satisfying to see how many people would happily donate –people became particularly generous after their night out at POP!”

The women’s team also worked strongly, with a particularly great performance from Sophie Foreman.

Alongside fundraising success, the Athletics & Cross Country Club have been striving for promotion back into Division 1 of the Birmingham and District Cross Country League. Saturday 8 November saw competitors take to the roads in Leamington and the Men’s A team finished top of Division 2 with the B team adding a win too.

On the day, the club had four runners in the fastest 15- Georges Vacharopoulos in 7th, Oliver Poulain in 10th, Tony Hagan in 13th and Jonathan Escalante-Phillips in 15th.

The women’s team also worked strongly, with a particularly great performance from Sophie Foreman. A week later, the League went to Leicester where both the men’s and women’s teams won in the relays.
This term holds the potential for the Athletics & Cross Country Club to add to their success. As well as continuing the Birmingham and District Cross Country League, they will compete in the Birmingham Indoor Games and Varsity.

On Saturday 31 January, the team will travel to Brighton for the BUCS Cross Country competition. Georges said: “I’m fairly confident our men and women teams can both improve on last year’s performance– potentially one of our strongest ever cross country squads”

The BUCS Indoor Athletics Competition will take place from Friday 20th to Sunday 22 February and the team will send out a strong squad. The President is hopeful of medals from the likes of 800m runner David Banwell-Clode and multi-eventer Charlie Roe.


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