Chichester Runners and Chichester College are working together on an exciting project to build a new running track for the local community.
A substantial part of the funding is now in place and we will be proceeding with the construction of the track base (a high-spec tarmac path) in summer 2024, subject to Chichester District Council renewing the planning permission that was originally granted in Nov 2020.
We are optimistic that, by the time we are ready for it, we will have raised the rest of the money to add the plastic technical running surface too.
You can help to make that happen by sponsoring a section of track, for £100 per metre. Click here to see which metres are already taken and choose yours.
Companies interested in advertising and sponsorship opportunities please contact us
Why Build a Track?
A proper track will benefit runners of all ages and standards, whether they are just starting out or at an elite level.
Running on a track is a very different experience to running in the park or on the city streets. The smooth, continuous surface lets athletes focus entirely on their running and their performance, without having to worry about tripping on something, dodging traffic or bumping into passers by. And that focus accelerates improvements.
At the moment, runners in Chichester have to go to Portsmouth or Worthing to train on a track.
Chichester has a fantastic record of producing junior athletes that compete at a very high level, trained largely by running around Oaklands Park and the paths at Chichester College. Imagine what we could do with better facilities.
What’s The Plan?
Putting a full 400m track with 8 lanes in Chichester isn't a practical proposition - it would take too much land and money. And it isn't really necessary. Most of the benefits can be delivered on a smaller scale.
The track we are planning is a 300m training track with an all-weather polymeric surface, marked out for three 900mm wide lanes. Two of the corners will be banked like a standard 200m indoor track. The other corner will be the same as a standard 400m track. There will be a separate 60m 3 x 1.2m sprint straight and an all-weather warm up area, suitable for high jump. Our runners will be able to practise for all kinds of races.
The track’s unusual shape is a response to the parameters of the site at Chichester College but it has been enthusiastically received by the England Athletics Technical Committee. The Chichester design pre-empts a new “Short Track” outdoor format, from World Athletics.
Why Chichester College?
Adding a track to the sports facilities already at the College and the nearby Westgate Leisure Centre will create an even stronger community sports hub in that area.
For the club, working with a partner that already has the land, plenty of parking, changing rooms and a sports pavilion helps to keep the costs to an achievable level.
Did You Consider Alternative Locations?
Yes. Building a track has been a goal of the club for many years and we have talked to all the obvious potential partners. For the reasons above, Chichester College is far and away the best opportunity we have of building a track.
How Much Will It Cost?
We have a confirmed cost of £310k. About 35% of that will come from reserves built-up by the club over many years. We are actively fund-raising for the rest, and thus far have raised a total of £232K. A legal agreement has been reached with the College which will protect our investment for the foreseeable future and beyond.
With three quarters of the money raised, we are now offering members of the club and wider public the opportunity to sponsor a metre of track to help get us over the line. This will cost £100 per metre (less than most training shoes), and in return you will receive a certificate recording which metre (or metres) you have sponsored, which will also be on a large board within the Pavilion club rooms recording all sponsorships.