Friday, 3 January 2014


The flooding of Crystal Palace National Sports Centre's indoor track - both during Christmas week, and just after New Year, has not deterred Trackspeed1 UK athletes from soaring into 2014 with a determined resolve!

"It was a bit of a blow to say the least," said Head Coach John Powell, "to arrive for training after Christmas to find three quarters of the indoor facility under water.  Warming up outside is far from ideal, let alone at this time of year when we aim to be speeding up.

"For so many years now we have asked for the leaky roof to be fixed, but nothing happens.  The conditions this year were exceptional, and a lot of rain water came in under the shutters which can't be helped. 

"The whole scenario simply highlights the need to invest in Crystal Palace properly which, with the budget held by current tenants 'Better' isn't going to happen.  Luckily for us we arrived to train in the morning wen there were rare blue skies and sunshine, so it wasn't so bad."

Despite the issues at the Palace, the addition of England international sprinter Josh Swaray has already been an inspiration to some of the younger set in the squad, and he has already had a personal boost with a ninth-place ranking published in the 2013 100m merit rankings for the UK. 

Josh appears ahead of established British internationals Deji Tobais, Greg Cackett and former Trackspeed1 UK sprinter James Ellington, and it is the first year he has made the published top 12..

Among the younger athletes, Fred Afrifa spent Boxing Day and the ensuing days with the Italian national squad for their youth training camp.

"We're cautiously optimistic this year," said John.  "We didn't have a great 2013 which has been the sole blip in a sensational last few years for Trackspeed1 UK, and with the bunch of athletes we have now, I think there will be one or two dark horses emerge this summer!"

Crystal Palace indoor track was unusable last week
due to flooding following heavy rain.

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