Peter Elliott puts his energy back into the grassroots at Rotherham Harriers

Peter ElliottPeter Elliott
Peter Elliott
​ROTHERHAM’S former running champion Peter Elliott wants to help halt the decline in youngsters taking part in athletics.

The one-time Olympian and Commonwealth Games middle-distance ace recently took over as president of Rotherham Harriers AC and intends getting his hands dirty in the role. That includes driving the building of a new 100-seater stand at Herringthorpe Stadium to make visits more comfortable for current and potential young athletes and their families as the sport competes with the ever increasing counter-attractions available to young people these days.

Elliott explained: "When I used to run in the South Yorkshire Schools Championships and get to the English Schools event, there used to be two athletes from Rotherham, two from Barnsley, two from Doncaster and two from Sheffield in every event. When I later took on the presidency of South Yorkshire Schools Athletics I noticed numbers dwindling.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"A part of it is that there is more for kids to do these days. Whether it is athletics or whatever, we are trying to get them into a sport and away from their Xboxes and out of their bedrooms and into the fresh air.

"It starts with school teachers bringing their kids down to events like the recent South Yorkshire Schools Cross Country to find out if they have a talent. It is where the seed is planted, but they still need the right facilities and you are relying on parents as well.”

Peter said that while it was an honour to be asked to take up the presidency of his boyhood club, he took his time before committing.

He added: “I attended committee meetings just to get a feel of what goes on before I made the decision.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"If I do something, I’m fully in. It’s not just about being a figurehead. It’s about trying to make a difference.

"I recently stepped down as president of South Yorkshire Schools Athletic Association after 15-plus years. It’s a matter of coming back and giving something back to the grassroots. That’s what’s important because this is where I started, age 12, with Rotherham Harriers.”

Related topics: