End of the track?

End of the track?

End of the track?

First published in News

NEGLECTED for years, Canvey’s running track first opened to the public in the early Nineties and was hired out by schools and running clubs for sports events.

But slowly over the years it has fallen by the wayside, and now it’s in a sorry state, with tufts of grass poking through the track.

Although it is still used, £1million is needed to get it back up to scratch – an amount Castle Point Council cannot justify spending.

Ian Pike, head coach at Benfleet Running Club, believes the reason the track got in such a state was simply down to its design.

He said: “It’s a real shame.

When it was originally opened the problems began because it is actually too short by about a foot – it isn’t quite 400m.

“Had they made it a 400m track, it would have had more people using it in the early days. Then maybe it wouldn’t be in the state it is now.”

Castle Point Council recently carried out £2,500 of work to patch it up and deputy leader Bill Sharp argues the track is in a “perfectly acceptable condition”.

Yet others disagree.

Canvey running sensation Jess Judd, 19, no longer uses her home track, blaming the worn-out surface for giving her blisters.

Instead, she commutes to Basildon and Chelmsford to train there.

For years, athletes have also moaned the long jump pit is unusable, while the track surface is in a bad state and the line markings have faded.

However, you still see keen runners there training most days.

The track is not recognised by the England Athletics Association and Castle Point Council estimates it would need to spend £1.1million to replace it.

That would pay for a sixlane track with lighting, a 110m straight on both sides, a grass infield, artificial throwing areas and other vital equipment.

But with the council unable to meet the cost, many running enthusiasts have been forced to travel outside the borough to use Basildon Sporting Village and Garon Park in Southend. Waterside Leisure Centre was reopened in 2013 following a £5.4million revamp, but a track was not included in the plans.

Campaigns have been launched over the past 10 years to sort out the unloved Waterside track, although some diehard runners believe it still has a use.

Former decathlete Dean Macey said the track is still a decent community facility – but is angry it has not been maintained.

The Commonwealth gold medallist added: “The track has been a big part of my life.

“It’s not been looked after over the years. It’s been so mistreated and it wouldn’t need £1m spent on it if it had been maintained over the past few years.

“As long as the grass is cut, it’s a lovely place to be, and gives the kids something to do.

“But it’s unrealistic to have to spend £1million on it when the damage has already been done – there is no comeback.

“It’s gone past the point of a small investment and it is never going to be used for competition.”

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:05am Thu 4 Sep 14

The King of Southend says...

Why do we need sports facilities?

It's not like the region is full of obese people who do F-all exercise is it?
Why do we need sports facilities? It's not like the region is full of obese people who do F-all exercise is it? The King of Southend
  • Score: 1

10:01am Thu 4 Sep 14

thecoat says...

Would it really cost £1million? We all know that these contractors that do work for the council love to inflate the price as they know it will get paid.

Either way I hope it gets sorted. Its a good facility that people could put to good use. Also gets kids off their bums from playing Playstation / X-Box.
Would it really cost £1million? We all know that these contractors that do work for the council love to inflate the price as they know it will get paid. Either way I hope it gets sorted. Its a good facility that people could put to good use. Also gets kids off their bums from playing Playstation / X-Box. thecoat
  • Score: 6

10:19am Thu 4 Sep 14

Howard Cháse says...

You should see the running track in The Basildon Upper Academy's grounds in what was Chalvedon School


Four foot high weeds all over it. It hasn't been used for years.

Would seem that athletics just isn't that popular.
You should see the running track in The Basildon Upper Academy's grounds in what was Chalvedon School Four foot high weeds all over it. It hasn't been used for years. Would seem that athletics just isn't that popular. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 2

10:22am Thu 4 Sep 14

Leighdweller says...

thecoat wrote:
Would it really cost £1million? We all know that these contractors that do work for the council love to inflate the price as they know it will get paid.

Either way I hope it gets sorted. Its a good facility that people could put to good use. Also gets kids off their bums from playing Playstation / X-Box.
Maybe we could get some of the travelers in the area to do it. I reckon it's £500 - £1000 tops.
[quote][p][bold]thecoat[/bold] wrote: Would it really cost £1million? We all know that these contractors that do work for the council love to inflate the price as they know it will get paid. Either way I hope it gets sorted. Its a good facility that people could put to good use. Also gets kids off their bums from playing Playstation / X-Box.[/p][/quote]Maybe we could get some of the travelers in the area to do it. I reckon it's £500 - £1000 tops. Leighdweller
  • Score: 7

12:14pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

The King of Southend wrote:
Why do we need sports facilities? It's not like the region is full of obese people who do F-all exercise is it?
So true lol
[quote][p][bold]The King of Southend[/bold] wrote: Why do we need sports facilities? It's not like the region is full of obese people who do F-all exercise is it?[/p][/quote]So true lol Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Bernard Fatsack says...

Get together and fund raise and get some realistic estimates for its repair, real shame it has been neglected, you could build a new sports centre for a million quid !
Get together and fund raise and get some realistic estimates for its repair, real shame it has been neglected, you could build a new sports centre for a million quid ! Bernard Fatsack
  • Score: 3

1:03pm Thu 4 Sep 14

onorris24 says...

i understand how important exercise is, but £1 million is just an extortionate amount to pay, I think it would be better spent elsewhere, especially if it is taxpayers who'll be paying for it.
i understand how important exercise is, but £1 million is just an extortionate amount to pay, I think it would be better spent elsewhere, especially if it is taxpayers who'll be paying for it. onorris24
  • Score: -1

1:28pm Thu 4 Sep 14

FapFappington says...

Calm down macey, you cant headbutt your way out of this 1
Calm down macey, you cant headbutt your way out of this 1 FapFappington
  • Score: 2

6:20pm Thu 4 Sep 14

J Arthur Rank says...

Leighdweller wrote:
thecoat wrote:
Would it really cost £1million? We all know that these contractors that do work for the council love to inflate the price as they know it will get paid.

Either way I hope it gets sorted. Its a good facility that people could put to good use. Also gets kids off their bums from playing Playstation / X-Box.
Maybe we could get some of the travelers in the area to do it. I reckon it's £500 - £1000 tops.
Maybe we could even have the cost deducted from their debts to society at large. The council pay nothing, the travellers get paid nothing and the job gets done.
[quote][p][bold]Leighdweller[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]thecoat[/bold] wrote: Would it really cost £1million? We all know that these contractors that do work for the council love to inflate the price as they know it will get paid. Either way I hope it gets sorted. Its a good facility that people could put to good use. Also gets kids off their bums from playing Playstation / X-Box.[/p][/quote]Maybe we could get some of the travelers in the area to do it. I reckon it's £500 - £1000 tops.[/p][/quote]Maybe we could even have the cost deducted from their debts to society at large. The council pay nothing, the travellers get paid nothing and the job gets done. J Arthur Rank
  • Score: 0

8:10am Fri 5 Sep 14

VeteranOfMany says...

Let them use the sea wall path, as the over 60's keep fit club do, its flat 4 miles long and already built.
Let them use the sea wall path, as the over 60's keep fit club do, its flat 4 miles long and already built. VeteranOfMany
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree