Calls for Saffron Walden running track hits the fast lane

MESMERISED by the show stopping exploits of Mo Farah, Yohan Blake and the Brownlee brothers, one eight-year-old boy is throwing his support behind plans for a new athletics track in a bid to emulate his heroes and become an Olympic champion.

Clavering Primary School pupil Elliot Wood is bubbling with the kind of enthusiasm Lord Coe was talking about when he first spoke of the ethos of London 2012 being about inspiring a generation.

The keen runner is excited by the prospect of joining an athletics club but would be forced to travel to Harlow, Ware or north Cambridge to train on a proper track.

That is why he and his dad Nigel have voiced their support for plans to build a state-of-the-art running track around Saffron Walden Town Football Club’s pitch at Catons Lane – as exclusively revealed by the Reporter back in August.

Mr Wood, who lives in Arkesden Road, Clavering, with his wife Alison and two children Evie, 12, and Elliot, said it would be great to take advantage of the excitement London 2012 has generated.

“The Olympic and Paralympic Games were such compelling events which captivated the whole country and I think it’s important to keep that momentum going while it’s still fresh in everybody’s minds,” he explained.

“It would be great to have a running track in Saffron Walden and I would be happy to get involved so that Elliot, Evie, and other youngsters in the area can enjoy a first class facility and top coaching.”

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Elliot, who has been getting a few running tips from his dad, also likes to practice his starts and hone his technique with friends at school.

He was already a big fan of the Diamond League athletics meetings before the Olympic Games but British success during the summer has intensified his love of the sport.

“When Mo Farah won on Super Saturday it was amazing. I also got to see the Brownlee brothers win their medals – we ran from one part of the course to the other so we could see a bit of them swimming, cycling and then running,” Elliot said.

But he’s not a fan of the world’s most electrifying sportsman. “I think Usain Bolt is a bit of a show-off. I like Yohan Blake because he’s not rubbish at the start and he trains very hard. I’d like to try and be like him but I think my best event would probably be the 400m,” the youngster added.

Meanwhile, Saffron Walden Town Football Club’s committee issued a statement on the club’s website this week saying that it intends to find out more about the proposals over the coming weeks. The committee said it felt it was right to “at least consider any proposal which could help the club develop, could offer better facilities for club members and supporters, and could offer benefits to the local community” but added that it would not be appropriate to approve anything without the support of its members.

The town council’s recreation and playing fields committee will be discussing the issue at its meeting next Tuesday.