Photo by Emma Housham
The Gainsborough & Morton Striders
THE CLUB'S EARLY HISTORY
"Out of small acorns, large Oak trees grow", is a term most applicable to the development of Morton Striders Athletics Club.
On Tuesday 19th July 1983, the Club's first committee was formed with Dave Garner (proposed by Phil Kitchen) becoming Chairman. The Club's first official committee meeting was held on Tuesday 19th July 1983 at the Ship Inn, Morton, Gainsborough. Coun. Maurice French was to be approached to act as the first President of the Club with Phil Kitchen & Gordon Mckenzie as Vice-Presidents.
At this stage, the average club night attracted more 'fun-runners' and 'keep-fit' followers but increasingly, the number of serious athletes (and road runners) joined until we regularly had a dozen members training for the (2nd) Gainsborough Marathon.
The Club's first athletic championships had very humble beginnings. It was called the 'Morton Striders Open Invitation Race Meeting' and was held on Sunday 9th October 1983, again, on Morton Playing field.
Scenes reminiscent of 'Chariots of Fire' abounded (Paris Olympics 1924). For example, the outside of the track was marked out with iron stakes and rope! Hot pies and peas were on sale, white elephant stalls and tombola's proved popular amongst the spectators, but above all, it didn't rain during the event! However, those brave souls who marked out the track in the morning resembled 'drowned rats' when they returned to Morton Village Hall. Mandy Kitchen outshone everybody with a triple gold-medal hat-trick in the U-14's girls 400m, 800m & 1500m.
In March 1984, Ron Skett (ex-RAF & athletics coach) introduced a series of handicap races which proved to be highly successful and very popular. Each race was named after a street/road in Morton with a £2 book token being awarded to the winner of each race.
At present the club has over 100 members and is growing at an encouraging rate so please join us for social runs and use our club as a motivation to get fit.
We also have a London Marathon place available to a member every year.