Record numbers have already signed up for next month’s two big races in the area.
The Bradford 10K on Sunday, March 16, organised by Epilepsy Action, has received over 1,100 entries.
And the BigK 10K on Sunday, March 30 in Keighley, organised by Sue Ryder, also expects a record of more than 1,000 entrants.
Meanwhile, the development plan set up between Bradford Council and the Bradford Athletics Network has released substantial funds to continue successes from the previous five-year £100,000 scheme funded by England Athletics.
The funds for 2014 are split equally six ways. A series of infrastructure improvements will help the tracks at Horsfall and Keighley and jogging routes on towpaths and parks.
And a host of beginners’ groups are being set up in areas where no such established set-ups exist.
Holly Williams (former Keighley & Craven) is working alongside England Athletics county rep Lucy Archer to activate new groups in Menston and Burley-in-Wharfedale, Clayton and west Bradford, the city centre, as well as one recently formed at the Richard Dunn sports centre.
These will launch in early April, straight after the two big spring races. Funding is being provided to support the development of both events, plus the Bradford City Run on October 26.
The flourishing Enhanced Training programme retains its grant. It comprises strength and conditioning gym work on Monday evenings at Bradford Grammar School and drills and interval sessions on Wednesday evenings at the UAK track in Keighley. The programme has recently doubled its participation levels, with a huge influx after Christmas.
The successful new students club at the University of Bradford, and at Bradford College, is being expanded to local secondary schools, under the Club 1425 programme for 14 to 25-year-olds, in school or college, in or out of work.
The final award goes to the social enterprise arm of the Bradford Athletics Network, to continue strategic work and finding longer-term support for the sport in the area.
BAN representative John Dennis said, after the latest meeting with the council: “We are a beacon for the whole country and our successes are increasingly recognised by our being invited to speak at national meetings and advise on national policy.”