Tuesday evening, I was very fortunate to see sporting legacy in full effect. I was along at Meadowbank Stadium to present Edinburgh Athletics Club with a trophy, on behalf of Lindsay’s Solicitors, for their Cross-Country achievements. They had the highest number of finishers at the National Championships, with Edinburgh AC becoming the first club to be engraved on the newly established trophy! Historically, there were a number of athletic clubs across Edinburgh, serving different areas of the city. However, the current Edinburgh Athletic Club was assembled in 2007 through a union of Edinburgh’s two most successful clubs; The City of Edinburgh Athletics Club and Edinburgh Southern Harriers (Women). The City of Edinburgh Athletic Club was formed in 1996 through a preceding merger of Edinburgh Athletic Club and Edinburgh Southern Harriers (Men). The newly amalgamated club is evidently reaping the benefits.
It’s brilliant to see participant numbers increasing across the board, at several events hosted by Scottish Athletics. Although the legacy of 2014 may not have hit the heights expected, the athletics community is definitely still striving.
They track was amass with youngsters all aiming to be the next Jess Ennis or Mo Farah – which was terrific to see. It was nice to be back at the Edinburgh track. I have fond memories of competing in Meadowbank; it was once a hot spot for athletics competitions and leagues when I was growing up but unfortunately over the years, the stadium has become a little more vacant. Originally built for the 1970 Commonwealth Games at a cost of £2.8million, Meadowbank Stadium sits in the centre of Edinburgh with scenic views out towards Holyrood Park – home of the Edinburgh Great Cross International Cross Country. The stadium has witnessed some of the countries most reputable athletes compete throughout the years, with a capacity of 16,500 and it became the first venue to host the Commonwealth Games twice, when the championships returned in 1986. With rumours of a new refurbishment in the pipelines, my fingers are crossed to ensure that Meadowbank can return to it’s former glory.
With an array of former Olympians, Edinburgh AC remain one of the top clubs in Scotland with no less than 22 members having gone on to be Olympians. Heading that list is Alan Wells but with the emerging talents of athletes like Lynsey Sharp, Chris O’Hare and young sprint protégée Cameron Tindle – the club are continuing to produce the next generation of champions.
Congratulations to the Edinburgh AC Cross-Country team and all the best for the forthcoming season! Mud, sweat and tears.