ATHLETICS: Club looks to the future as members gather to mark half-a-century of success

Guests who attended the Hunts AC 50th anniversary bash.

Guests who attended the Hunts AC 50th anniversary bash. - Credit: Archant

Members of Hunts Athletics Club gathered in St Ives to mark the 50th anniversary of the club.

A dinner and celebration evening took place at the Slepe Hall Hotel and saw more than 70 members of the club attend.

Vice chairman, Wayne DuBose started the evening by welcoming veteran member Joe Welsh, who joined the club in 1968 and has acted as committee member, treasurer, secretary, chairman, team manager, coach, and athlete over the course of his 40-year association.

Mr DuBose then charted the history of the club, starting with the early attempts to launch in the early 1960s at St Peter’s School, in Huntingdon, only for the venture to prove unsuccessful.

A second attempt to revive the club in 1964 also ended in failure after only four weeks. On October 19, 1967, the remnants of previous attempts to institute a club in Huntingdon gathered for an annual general meeting at St Peter’s and the club as it exists today was born.

Mr DuBose then switched his focus to the modern day, delivering a ‘state of the union’ address and highlighting a successful year for the club.

Achievements included success in the Frostbite League, which saw the club claim victory in both cross country senior and junior leagues.

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The club claimed seven gold medals in county cross country championships and had 34 entries in the national top 100 rankings. There were 124 club records set in 2017 and 32 gold medals were won in the county track and field championships.

Members also scooped two silver medals in the English Schools track and field championships.

The club has almost 300 members, 22 qualified coaches, and 15 officials. In 2017, members set some 1,427 track and field personal bests, and 264 road personal bests.

The club also staged the successful 25th running of the annual St Ives 10k, which boasted record entries in 10k race and fun run.

Mr DuBose said: “The broad hopes of the club for the future are to continue to improve in quantity and quality of athletes, coaches, officials and let the results emerge from there.”