We train at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford, Kent. The Stadium was built in 1997 in memory of a local middle-distance runner, Julie Rose, who was killed in an air crash in November 1985. The track offers 400m all weather running track (international standard), long jump, high jump, pole vault, hurdles, hammer, discus and shot put, indoor training area, 60m sprint track, long jump and an indoor netted throws cage. The site also has a gym, and Pod+ (an injury clinic and sports shop). The stadium is 2 miles from Ashford International station on the outskirts of Ashford.
The club was formed on 24th March 1965 after two Ashford public school’s physical education teachers realised that they had enough talented youngsters between the schools who required extra training the schools could not provide. The club’s first training night on 13th April 1965 was attended by more than 23 people at the South Secondary Girls School.
Within the first year the club had won county medals in discus and 4 man relay and won three inter-club Kent meeting. By the end of 1970 the club membership consisted of 103 boys and 43 girls. By 1980 the club was regularly winning county medals and national medals.
The club were now training in the grounds of the Stour Center but desperately needed track facilities. There were no track facilities in Kent with the nearest being at Crystal Palace in London which was overused. In September 1979 talks began with the council for more athletics facilities in the Ashford area. The nearest facility with competition type surfaces were at Crystal Palace.
The first Julie Rose 10k Memorial Road Race took place in 1986 with Steve Cram starting the race. The race attracted more than 2000 entries and has taken place yearly ever since. Funding for the Julie Rose Stadium came from the proceeds of the 10K races, Ashford Borough Council and the National Lottery. In 1994, Cliff Temple (Julie Rose’s coach and Chairman of the Julie Rose Memorial Fund) suddenly died, just as negotiations for the location and plans for the stadium had been finalised.
The stadium started construction in 1995 and the Ashford Athletics Club eventually moved to their new facilities in March 1997. After moving to their new premises, membership rose to over 300 in the first year and has flourished ever since with successes in Sportshall Athletics through to Olympians and Paralympians.
Some of the original members and coaches of the club are still involved: Ted Hawkins (only remaining active founder member), Mr. Mrs. Gilbert & Mary Bird and Derek & Muriel Seamon who are Life Vice Presidents; Dave Fox (won medals at the age of 16 for the club and is now Honorary Secretary); and athletes Jenny Brown and Jennie Matthews.
The club is one of only three Kent clubs to have achieved Sport England Clubmark accreditation that rewards clubs for providing a high standard of care for its members.
The Club colours consist of a gold vest with one black vertical stripe from front left shoulder to waist and black shorts.
Please click here for the club’s mission statement, code of practice and track & field rules.