Havant Athletic Club has been in existence for at least 87 years, off and on, and is still without proper facilities. The Club was certainly in existence in 1889, possibly earlier, until 1914, stopped by the first World War, and also between 1930 and 1955. This later Club was run almost entirely by Frank Stockley of Elm Lane, Havant, and his reknowned athletic daughters, all training was in Havant Park. One of these daughters, Daphne ( Hart), was still competing and coaching until her late 70’s, a few years ago.
The current club phase began in 1978, with much fanfare, dreaming even then of having our own all weather all year round track. Back then training was at Hayling and Warblington Schools, then just Warblingotn, when there was talk of a proper track there. In 2009 we moved for economic reasons, to Cowplain School. Even without this record breaking exceptionately wet weather, a grass track naturally becomes too soft to train on at all different times of the year, and not just the winter.
Havant Borough Council commenced creating a track by the old incinerator in Harts Farm Way in the late 1980’s. In the 1990’s there was even a scaled model of the Campdown project to the south of South Downs College involving proper facilities for athletics, rugby and football, involving the private sector; plans were for either an £8m or £12m scenario.
However Oaklands Catholic School and Sixth Form College, in Stakes Hill Road, Waterlooville, have now agreed to accept a J track on their premises where Havant AC will be based. So called because it is half an oval 400m track. The aim is to find the £142k funding for this, and HAC are hoping to raise £50k of this as soon as possible, asking it’s members to engage in whatever activities it takes to chip in and realise that total. The eventual aim is to realise a full 400m track one day.
There must be thousands of people over the past 37 years that were once a member of the new Havant Athletic Club, and a few prior to 1955, so if you can help us provide better facilities that will attract ever more athletes to discover their full potential in the Borough please make contact: Pete Spencer, Vice Chair, Havant AC 22 Queen Anne’s Drive, Bedhampton, PO9 3PG - 023 9248 2521