Telford’s main athletics track in Oakengates has been improved ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, following a £200,000 investment from Telford & Wrekin Council.
Improvements included resurfacing and respraying the existing track using a new rubber crumb coating, a new hammer cage and a 110 seating stand for spectators installed.
The council-owned athletics track is home to Telford Athletics Club and is just over 30 miles from Birmingham, which will welcome around 6,500 athletes and officials for the Games in the summer of 2022.
The Club hosted its first UK Athletics licensed track and field open event over the weekend where athletes were provided their first opportunity to compete locally this year.
The track is also next to Oakengates Leisure Centre complete with a fitness suite and a 25m swimming pool, an added attraction for Games athletes.
Councillor Eileen Callear, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Libraries and Culture, said: “This investment in a popular facility amongst local athletes, which was wonderful to see being utilised again since the improvements have been completed.
“We want to put Telford on the map as place as we get to the 2022 Games and we want Telford to play a full part in the 2022 Games. The investment is key in ensuring we are in the best position to do so.
“The new track and spectator stand demonstrates that we are creating a better borough to attract more visitors and investment.”
Paul Sanderson, Secretary of Telford Athletics Club said: “We are delighted with the substantial investment by Telford and Wrekin Council into the Telford Athletics Stadium. At a time when many local authorities are withdrawing from supporting their local sporting facilities, Telford and Wrekin Council are leading the way in providing sporting facility opportunities within the borough.
“The investment in the stadium is a massive boost for athletics in Telford, Shropshire and the West Midlands. It gives Telford facilities that many towns across the West Midlands do not have, especially to such a high standard.
“Telford and Wrekin Council should be congratulated in the re-opening of the athletics stadium after the Covid-19 lockdown. They were one of the first in the country to do so by quickly setting up an on-line booking system so athletes could use the facility and operate training sessions in a Covid safe environment, when even now many local athletics facilities are not yet fully open.”