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Monday, 22 September 2014

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New track would be ‘massive’ for town, claims Barrow Paralympian

BARROW’S Paralympic hero Dean Miller says the town is in desperate need of the new athletics track which is being proposed.

Furness Academy is working with Barrow and Furness Striders Athletics Club, Barrow Borough Council and others on plans to build a 400m synthetic surfaced track and field event facilities at the academy.

The county-standard, six-lane track would be used by the academy, the Striders and the wider community.

Sport England has awarded £150,000 from the Inspired Facilities Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Fund, but the partners are waiting to hear from the tenders to see if the project is affordable.

Barrow Borough Council was set to put £56,290 into the project and the Striders want to contribute £20,000. Furness Academy plans to contribute the gap funding.

London 2012 Paralympian, Mr Miller, is the son of Striders coach Pat Miller. The Great Britain 1,500m runner is aiming to compete in the Paralympic European Championships this summer.

He trained with Barrow Striders on the rundown Park Vale track on Walney.

The 24-year-old said: “This new track would be massive for Barrow. “My dad keeps me up-to-date with the plans and I really hope this happens because the town really needs it. Barrow is such a big town not to have a proper running track.

“I grew up using Park Vale which can’t be used for competitions, it’s not great or inspiring. I was lucky with my dad being a coach and I knew I was going to stick at running, but so many kids drop out of athletics.

“New track and field facilities would get more kids involved in athletics and encourage them to stick at it. It would definitely make a big impact. It’s an ideal setting at a school where it could be well maintained. This would be great for the students, Striders and the whole community. I can’t wait to see this happen.”

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