30 Apr

Historic Athletics Track Facing Closure

South London HarriersAn outdoor athletics track used by one of the oldest athletics clubs in the UK is at risk of closure. The future of the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre (CPNSC) is in doubt despite a recent audit which estimates 22,000 individual visits a year to the indoor and outdoor athletics tracks. 

Plans proposed by the Greater London Authority could see the indoor track demolished with no alternative facility being provided, and just the outside track remaining with no supporting stadium infrastructure. 
 
Over 300 athletes from South London Harriers (SLH), a club based at the centre for the last 24 years, took to the tracks during the audit, . The popular AgeUK 10K is also held at the centre. In spite of freezing temperatures in February over 1700 athletes accessed the track facilities, in the audit organised in partnership with ‘Better’ (Greenwich Leisure Limited) who manage the CPNSC.
 
Chairman of CPSP, John Powell, said: "I am really grateful to GLL for engaging in a second audit of athletics facility usage rates at Crystal Palace. It is very clear that usage figures, which increase substantially during the summer months, are far higher than indicated in the CSM Interim Report, that stated 10,134 individual uses in 2013, and 6,907 in 2012, which post London 2012 I would question.
 
"The stadium and indoor track area are very well used, and coaches based there are devastated at the possibility of not having any indoor area to train in. How on earth can you manage a decent speed/power event group in the British winter when they have to 'warm up' in minus temperatures? It would be a devastating blow to the sport, and the athletes and coaches concerned."