Will Stanley, Chair of the Newcastle Athletics Development Association, writes about their plans to create a new running track on the City Stadium.

The City Stadium in Ouseburn – on top of the Ouseburn Culvert itself - is a delightful greenspace to have for sports and leisure.  I’m sure most of you know it – the grassy bowl between Warwick Street and Newington Road, next door to the Hotspur Primary School and Ouseburn Community Centre.  Some people still call it The Tip, recalling its history – it’s made land, like so much in Ouseburn.

There’s an old, dilapidated gravel running track there, the outline of which can still be seen.  Prominent erstwhile-Councillor T. Dan Smith (“Mr. Newcastle” to some) wanted to build a proper stadium there for use during the 1966 Empire Games but, while the name stuck, the plan never came to fruition.  Some folks who use the place for running today thought it would be a nice idea to get a new, 21st century, running track put in place.

And so NADA was born – the Newcastle Athletics Development Association.  We’re a not-for-profit community interest group.  We’re interested in improving the standard of athletics facilities in Newcastle upon Tyne and making them as widely accessible as possible.  Athletic sports have so many health and social benefits and we’d like to get more people engaged with them.

We’ve been talking to Newcastle City Council, Sport England and England Athletics.  We believe there may be a way to get a new high quality 400m running track (with sandpits for jumping and facilities for throwing events) on the City Stadium.

We don’t intend to do this in a way that would interfere with current use of the City Stadium – actually we want to improve the state of the ground for sport and leisure use.  We’d need to flatten the land, which is good for running, kick-arounds, rounders and more.  We’d make facilities available to the whole Newcastle upon Tyne community – from individual residents to groups with specific interests (e.g. schools and running clubs) - and the track wouldn’t be locked up.  

That’s what we’re thinking.  Please do tell us what you think!  We’ve put together a survey, a website and social media channels (details below) – you can talk to us through those.  If you’d like us to come and talk to a group you belong to, please drop us an email and we’ll find a time.

NADA logo

Survey – closes on 18th December!  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NADA-CS

NADA website: www.newcastle-athletics.org

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1756059474629712/

Twitter:  @nclathletics

Email:  [email protected]