Herringthorpe Stadium is still lagging behind others

PLEA: Peter Elliott trackside at Herringthorpe StadiumPLEA: Peter Elliott trackside at Herringthorpe Stadium
PLEA: Peter Elliott trackside at Herringthorpe Stadium
​​ROTHERHAM running hero Peter Elliott says Herringthorpe Stadium is still inferior to similar venues in neighbouring towns despite recent improvements.

A new 100-seater stand was unveiled last month paid for by private finance while the floodlights, PA system, cages and changing rooms were upgraded a couple of years ago funded by Rotherham Borough Council.

But Peter, who has a long association with the place going back to before his medal-winning running days, says it is still in need of some TLC.

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Herringthorpe has not been able to host athletics meetings this year due to holes in the track and the new floodlights have been failing over winter.

UPGRADE: Harriers and council officials two years agoUPGRADE: Harriers and council officials two years ago
UPGRADE: Harriers and council officials two years ago

“What we now need is for the council to step up,” said the 1988 Olympic Games 1500m silver medallist who is now president of Rotherham Harriers Athletics Club.

“We need them to cut the grass in the stadium on a weekly basis so it looks neat.

“We need them to fix the track.

“We need them to make sure that the lights don’t go out.

“We want the council, like us, to be proud of the stadium.”

Built in 1960, Herringthorpe is well used by athletes, footballers and members of the community but despite its enduring popularity, people in surrounding towns enjoy better facilities.

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Elliott said: “Don Valley Stadium has been raised to the ground and now there’s Woodburn Road but look at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster. It’s a fabulous facility.

“Look at the Dorothy Hyman Stadium in Barnsley. It’s a fantastic facility as well.

“We need some help now from Rotherham Council to make Herringthorpe Stadium something we can take pride in.”

He added: “First and foremost we need them to repair the track so we can hold athletics events here again and we need them to make sure the lights don’t go out in the winter when the athletes are tearing around the track.”

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Rotherham Harriers continue to call Herringthorpe Stadium their home and the club has a young and enthusiastic membership.

But, says Peter, that cannot be taken for granted.

“Look at the all the young kids who come along to training. They are the future and hopefully among them are future Olympians, but if we don’t have the facility to entice them here then we will lose them from the sport.

“There is a danger they could go to neighbouring clubs and, as I’ve said, neighbouring clubs have some lovely facilities.

“We want to create something here.”

Rotherham Council’s interim strategic director for regeneration and environment, Andrew Bramidge, said: “Herringthorpe Stadium provides residents from across the borough, such as groups and individuals, with a range of leisure facilities, including the athletics track. The council is currently working with contractors on reported issues with the surface of the track and the lighting to ensure the highest quality of service is available.

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“Overall, the facility has had its busiest year since before the pandemic. All groups booked to use the space have been able to use the track and we have not received any cancellations which cite the state of the track or the lighting as the reason.”