A celebration of running was staged to mark the official reopening of Tavistock Athletic Club’s refurbished running track.

The track was ceremonially reopened on Saturday (May 18) with VIPs guests and coincided with the with the return of the club’s popular monthly Tavy 5km race. Part of the track was also repaired after it was set fire to by vandals last year.

Tavistock Town Councillor Anne Johnson ceremonially cut a ribbon with Alistair Kinsey (past-chairman of the Club) across the track in front of one hundred runners assembled from clubs right across the region.

Tavistock Athletics Club - Tavy 5k race start.
Tavistock Athletics Club - Tavy 5k race start. (Tavistock Athletics Club)

The club has built up reserves in order to be in a position to support the track refurbishment. However, the Section 106 grant contribution of just over £36,000 from West Devon County Council has also made a big difference, and TAC very much appreciates the support and helpful advice from WDBC officers, especially the local representatives in Tavistock. The club would also like to thank Joe Hess and his fellow trustees of the Maristow Charity for their contribution of £5,000.

Tavistock Athletics Club track aerial view.
Tavistock Athletics Club track aerial view. (Tavistock Athletics Club )

While other track and field facilities around the country are struggling to survive, it is a real testament to Tavistock and West Devon that there is a great facility for use in the town. The club has a very special ethos, placing as much emphasis on participation and connection as on achievements, performance improvements and finishing on a race podium. TAC looks forward to hosting further events over the summer for both runners, and also a wide range of field activities such as throwing and jumping events.

Also central to the club's ethos is to attract new would-be runners to a more active way of life - enabling their initiation to the sport through their well-established Couch-to-5k programmes, following by support to maintain such a lifestyle change through ability-graded runs within the club supported by England Athletics trained coaches and run leaders. Those wishing to join the club, or to take part in some of the trial/tester sessions available, should not hesitate to reach out. Further details are available on the TAC website.

Tavistock Athletic Club will soon be celebrating its 40th anniversary, with the success and longevity of the club built on a wide range of partnerships and benefiting from a vision set out many years ago between TAC, Tavistock College (at that time lead by Colin Eves), Kelly College (now Mount Kelly) and many other organisations.

The club works closely with Tavistock Lions and also with Nick Henderson and colleagues at Mansbridge Balment which has been long-term supporters of their events and races - including the Tavy 13 / Primary Schools Challenge and the Tavy 7 (which for a number of years has hosted the long-standing Ross Shield - effectively the Devon County Road Race Championships).