A pole vault group has got off the ground at the National Sports Centre for the first time.
It was made possible thanks to a £500 donation to the Sports Development Unit from former pole vaulter Alan Croll.
Athletics development officer Trevor Christian said they desperately needed fibreglass poles as their aluminium poles can’t be used in competition and are only a training aid, but cost was a barrier.
Mr Croll, who was a pole vaulter at Loughborough University in the late 1950s, said: ‘I am so pleased to be able to give back to a sport which I had enjoyed so much during my days at university.
‘It is fantastic to be able to help break down financial barriers to participation in this exhilarating event.’
Eleven athletes attended the group, led by level two coaches from Manx Harriers and Western AC. After a warm up the athletes got swinging into the long jump pit.
Mr Christian said: ‘It was a great start to what will hopefully be a thriving group going into the future and help produce more vaulters like Olivia Curran who hopes to compete in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games next year.’
He added: ‘We owe a big thanks to Alan for his support as poles are not cheap and are specialised pieces of kit that come in different specifications based on the size and speed of the athlete.’
‘We need about 10 poles to cater for a wide range of athletes which will cost in the region of £3,000. So if any other sponsors are out there who can help, please get in touch.’
Sessions are for athletes aged 11 and over, on Tuesdays from 5.50pm. To take part or to sponsor the poles, call Trevor on 688576 or email email@example.com