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|Name:||DASH Athletics Club|
|Project leader:||Joe Frost|
|Category||Athletics and Innovation|
|Location||Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Stockport|
|Project status||ongoing since 6 years, 3 months|
|Project overview||"Commited to Developing Athletics" 2010 England Athletics NW Development Club of The Year 2006 UKA Awards Runners-Up for Club Innovation|
DASH AC is a family-friendly Athletics Club based in the Stockport and Macclesfield area. We are a relatively new Club, becoming affiliated in 2005. Despite having existed for just five years the Club has already had some considerable success. In 2006 we were runners up in the UK Athletics Club Awards for "Club Innovation" and Club Coach Geoff Barratt was named as UK Athletics Development Coach of The Year. The Club regularly produces quality athletes and the standard is rising and rising every year as the Club grows. Successes so far in 2010 include Jo Start (Under 17) finishing just 3cm of a medal in the Final of the English Schools Championships (known as the "Kids Olympics), Callum McLean reaching the semi-finals of the National Indoor Championships 60m, and the Club achieving the highest placed finish of the athletics Clubs in the local area in the Cheshire Track & Field League. This Autumn, Niall Brooks, who was introduced to the sport by Geoff Barratt at DASH Athletics Club, will represent England in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. We are an ambitious and fast-growing Club and our aim is to support all athletes and young people by providing a complete pathway from their first steps on a track to fulfilling their athletic potential at whatever level that may be. As a family-friendly Club we welcome new members of all ages and abilities, all year round. The Club is lucky enough to have a group of highly-motivated Senior Coaches who are supported by a great team of Junior and Assistant Coaches. This means that the Club has no waiting list and can take athletes from the age of 6+ straight away. Our team of UK Athletics-Qualified Coaches work hard to develop their skills and knowledge of the sport, in partnership with England Athletics. We hold a strong belief that there is always more to learn and that the day you stand still is the day you go backwards. The Club is growing upwards from a Junior background and as such we value the importance of laying the foundations for not just a good athletic career, but for an active and physical life. In many places the traditional approach to athletics has been to run and run, but our strongly-held belief is that all young athletes and children need to develop a broad base of agility, balance, coordination and speed skills and techniques in running, jumping and throwing and should not specialise in one event or event group until around 14 years of age. No parent would expect their child to take a spelling test or to read a book without first developing their literacy skills in the classroom. In the same way, we should not expect our children to take part in competitive events and training sessions designed for fully-mature athletes. Early specialisation results in injury and burnout, which is something we want to avoid. This belief is echoed by England Athletics, and put into practice in our multi-event approach to training for all our athletes from 6-15. We will be one of the first Clubs in the Country to use the new "Athletics 365" programme from England Athletics, which rewards skill development in a similar way to the martial arts "belt system". The Club trains at Woodbank Park in Stockport, which is owned by Stockport Council and used by a number of athletics Club and other sports teams. We also have a good partnership with Stockport Sports Trust and use the Sportshall at Hazel Grove Target Life Centre for Junior Sessions throughout the Winter. There are also weekly Circuit Training Sessions at Vernon Primary School in Poynton and from time to time we will make use of the fantastic indoor and outdoor athletics facilities at SportCity in Manchester. The Club offers opportunities for young athletes to train and compete for track and field athletics in the summer, and for sportshall athletics and cross country in the winter. Older athletes and adults train and compete in Track & Field and Cross Country, and the Club has recently set up an adult running group as well for anyone who wants to come and run on the track or in the park for fun, fitness or competition. During the year the Club hosts several Aviva UKA Academy Holiday Athletics Courses. We work closely with many schools in Stockport and Cheshire, running after-school clubs and organising the Stockport Primary Schools Sportshall Athletics Programme in the winter. We also organise one of the biggest junior multi-events competitions in the Country - The DASH Quadrathlon, which takes place at SportCity each summer. We hope that you will be inspired to take up athletics and to join us. As we approach London 2012 there is no better time to be involved in the number one and most exciting Olympic Sport. Athletics truly is a sport with something for everyone and we look forward to seeing you fulfil your potential and, most importantly have fun at DASH Athletics Club.