Chorley athletics merger

John Payn of Chorley AC and Daryl Peter of Chorley Harriers and Tri
John Payn of Chorley AC and Daryl Peter of Chorley Harriers and Tri

Members of two Chorley athletics clubs are set to vote on a proposed merger to provide better opportunities for youngsters to take up sport.

Rivalries between the Chorley Harriers and Triathlon Club and Chorley AC could end after officials discussed making one ‘super’ athletics club.

The Harriers have been running since the two clubs split in 1985.

Meanwhile, AC were born in 1980, and have been competing and nurturing talented individuals such as javelin star Eloise Manger, paralympian Graeme Ballard, and international race walking champion John Payn.

Chairman of the Chorley Harriers and Triathalon Club, Daryl Peter, believes it is a big step forward for sport in the area.

She said: “We are always looking to the future of athletics in the area and how best to bring the juniors on.

“Talks have started whether we should have a new club which would provide all disciplines of both clubs under one roof.

“The discussions have been productive, and if we get 75 per cent in agreement with the proposals, then it will go ahead.

“Smaller clubs like ours and Chorley AC often lose people to the bigger clubs, such as Preston Harriers or Salford.

“However, if we join both our clubs, then we could keep them and bring together our coaches and help young athletes to progress.

“It is not just about bringing our top athletes on, we offer opportunities for everyone to enjoy taking part.”

Mrs Peter believes they can also attract new blood to the club.

She said: “We will be offering greater opportunities to engage young people.”

Chorley AC chairman John Payn said: “This is something I wanted to do for the past five years.

“The Harriers have a new committee and are looking to helping the young ones.

“It will improve the sport and strengthen the clubs.

“We can concentrate money on one team instead of two that are doing the same thing.”