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Plans for new running track for Wharfedale athletes is taking shape
A project to create Wharfedale’s first athletics track is “up and running” following a public meeting in Otley.
Otley Athletic Club, which is driving the scheme forward as part of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics, invited other interested groups and individuals to the event at the Horse and Farrier pub last week.
Representatives from the Town Council, Old Otliensians Rugby Club, Prince Henry’s Grammar School and Club Energy were among those who joined the athletic club’s Legacy committee at the meeting.
The club, which currently has to train at Otley Cricket Club, believes building a dedicated, shared-use running track and clubhouse in Otley would help improve sporting standards across the area.
Legacy committee chairman, Simon Anderson, says several preferred track locations and potential partners have now been identified. Members are now looking into putting together a feasibility study and outline design.
He said: “Otley has a rich sporting heritage, yet it doesn’t have a dedicated sports centre.
“Although it has been discussed several times in the recent past, nothing has ever come to fruition, and we feel it is time someone picked up the baton to build a much-needed facility for the whole of the town.
“The meeting was very positive, out of which came some very good ideas and potential working partners, but we are under no illusion about the size of the task ahead and the amount of work involved.
“We are now in the process of putting together an outline feasibility study plus basic designs for our preferred locations, as well as investigating funding options, and we shall be meeting again in the middle of November.”
Mr Anderson launched the Back the Track campaign just after the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, in which local Olympians like Otley’s Lizzie Armitstead, Bramhope’s Alistair and Jonny Brownlee and David Stone, of Rawdon, excelled.