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Training nights:  Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:00 until approximately 8:30. If not racing, distance runners train at Swanshurst Park on Sundays from 10:30 to approximately 11:30.

Training fees:  First training evening is free and, thereafter, you pay £1.00 per session.

Membership subscription (from 1st October for full year - those joining later pay an appropriate amount):  We suggest that you try up to four sessions first before committing to becoming a member. When you decide to join, it costs £20.00 for each child per year, for the first two children in a family; £10 per child thereafter. Application forms are available on this website as well as at the Club.
Membership entitles you to train and - at no extra charge (except for some additional track and field meetings) - take part in club-organized events and compete for the Club at cross-country and track and field meetings.

Competition:  During the winter season, our junior athletes compete in the West Midland Young Athletes Cross-Country League (, while, during the summer season, they compete in the Heart of England Athletics League (
Juniors can also take part in the Warwickshire, Midland and National Cross-Country Championships as well as the Midland and National Cross-Country relays. In addition, they are encouraged to take part in other track and field meetings during the summer season.
In December, Sparkhill Harriers’ junior and senior runners take part in the “Christmas Handicap” - an informal and fun cross-country event organized by the Club - and, during the summer, a fun evening is arranged on the track for juniors and seniors.

Age groupings:  For cross-country events, the age groups are as at midnight on 31st August prior to the season. For track and field events, U15s shall be confined to competitors who are ages 13 or 14 on 31st August, within the competition year; U11s, U13s and U17s follow the same pattern.                                                                                                                                                                            

Awards Evening: Awards for Sparkhill Harriers’ athletes are presented at the end of the cross-country season, along with the previous year’s track and field awards.

Contacts:  Dave Reed for inquiries relating to coaching; Nick Stringer regarding cross-country events; Hilary Mann for membership inquiries; and Rob Mills for matters concerning safeguarding and welfare.

First league race, 14. October 2018: Hatton Country World, Warwick. Print
At the first West Midland Young Athletes’ Cross-Country League ( 2018-2019 meeting, Sparkhill’s junior harriers raced around the new course and in the persistent rain at Hatton. Those nine young athletes, who ran on Sunday, all performed well and we had at least one athlete in every race.


Total appearances this season




Approximate distance



Zac Minchin


U17 Men




Dylan Sudworth




Emma Stringer


U17 Women




Alice Stewart


U15 Girls







Ben Frost


U15 Boys



Lola-May Smeulders


U13 Girls






James Phillips


U13 Boys



Tom Manzotti


U11 Boys




Aoife Gallagher


U11 Girls

Full race results can be found at – including team points; please remember that results received on the day may be altered.
It was a solid start for those running in another cross-country season for Sparkhill, but a special mention needs to be made for Lola for her dramatically improved finishing position. Also, Aoife and Tom ran their debut league race for the Club, while Emma Stringer made her first appearance since running as an U15.
The second league-race meeting will take place at Warley Woods on Sunday, 18. November.

2018-2019 Cross-Country League for Junior Athletes Print

2018-2019 Cross-Country League for Junior Athletes

West Midland Young Athletes Cross-Country League ( is one of the strongest cross-country leagues for younger-age-group athletes in the UK and races will be taking place between October 2018 and February 2019.


About the League

Five venues around the West Midlands provide athletes - of all abilities - an opportunity to compete in a high-quality competition during the autumn and winter.

Sparkhill Harriers is one of twenty teams in the league, founded in 1975, and, last season, Rugby and Northampton A.C. was the highest-scoring team overall in the league.

Entry for the five cross-country races is included in your membership subscription and awards for Sparkhill Harriers’ athletes will be presented at the end of the season along with this year’s track and field awards.

 “Cross-country has produced some of Great Britain’s finest athletes”

Cross-country is one of a huge variety of activities that athletics has to offer and is a discipline that has produced some of Great Britain’s finest athletes. Stamina and endurance are very important, but you also need a willingness to get splattered in mud! You race on grass or woodland courses to score points for the Club as well as enjoying fellow runners clapping you in.

Fixtures for the 2018-19 season


14. October:  Hatton Country Park, near Warwick

18. November:  Warley Woods, Smethwick, near Harborne

9. December:  Perry Park, Perry Barr, Birmingham


13. January:  Abington Park, Northampton

10. February: Aldersley Stadium, Wolverhampton

Timetable for all meetings:                               Maximum distances run:
11.00 Under 17 Women                                   4.0km
11.25 Under 11 Boys                                       1.6km
11.40 Under 17 Men                                         4.8km
12.05 Under 11 Girls                                        1.6km
12.20 Under 15 Boys                                       3.2km
12.40 Under 13 Girls                                        2.5km
13.00 Under 13 Boys                                       2.5km
13.20 Under 15 Girls                                        3.2km


If you are interested in taking part, please contact Dave Reed or Nick Stringer on training evenings.

Midland U13/15/17 5k Championship Park, Sat 17th March 2018, Sutton Park, Print
ImageSix U17 boys competed - the same number as last year - and senior Sparkhill runners, who were preparing for the start of the 12-stage relay, were pleased to cheer two of their young team mates over the line. Zac Minchin finished first with a time of 18.51 on a course with an uphill start and finish, while Dylan Sudworth responded to encouraging shouts near the finish and moved into second place with a time of 19.03. Other young athletes competing were from Tipton, Dudley and Stourbridge and Wolverhampton and Bilston.

1st place Zac (centre) and 2nd placed Dylan (Right)

Medalists with team manager Nick Stringer

Full results can be found here .

Fourth and final league race (race 3 cancelled), 11. February 2018: Aldersley Stadium, Wolverhampton Print

At the final West Midland Young Athletes Cross-Country League ( 2017-2018 meeting, Sparkhill’s junior harriers raced around the twists and turns, on the sticky mud and up the testing slopes of the course at Aldersley Stadium. This concludes the cross-country league racing for Sparkhill Harriers this season, the Senior Men’s and Ladies’ teams having run the day before. Those nine young athletes, who ran on Sunday, finished off the season admirably.








 26 5 (w)  Izabella Thompson 
 U17 Women 
 30 4 (w)  Zac Minchin 18.36 U17 Men 4800m
 35 3 (w) Dylan Sudworth
 67 5 (w/m)
 Alice Stewart
 15.59 U15 Girls 3200m
 58 1 Scarlet Murphy 14.45  
 42 2 Ben Frost 12.06
 U15 Boys 3200m
 - 2 Praveer Phull
 1 Harry Bull
 48 4 (w)
 Lola-May Smeulders 
 10.15  U13 Girls
 30 2 (w) Josh Murtagh 9.05  U13 Boys 2400m
 59 1 James Phillips 9.56  
 - 1 Josh Thompson -  
 - 2 Nancy O’Neill
  U11 Girls 1600m

Full race results can be found at – including team points.


Race 4: West Midland Young Athletes XC League, Northampton, 14th Jan 2018. Print

Third league race of (race 3 cancelled), 14. January  2018: Abington Park, Northampton.
Having passed the mid-point of the West Midland Young Athletes Cross-Country League 2017-2018 meetings with a cancelled meeting at Perry Park in December, Sparkhill’s junior harriers competed on Sunday around the undulating fields and tree-lined tracks of Abington Park; Sparkhill’s senior men last competed here during the 2011-2012 season when in Division II.

Well done to those athletes who raced on Sunday - with improvements in position across the board – and commiserations to Ben Frost who was unable to complete his race.

  Approx. distance
 Izabella Thompson  20.19 U17 Women     4000m
 Zac Minchin  21.11  U17 Men
 Alice Stewart
 18.13 U15 Girls 
 Lola-May Smeulders 12.27 U13 Girls    2400m
 Nancy O’Neill  
 10.45 U11 Girls  

Full race results can be found at – including team points – as well as at - if you have mobile data, you can usually receive your times and positions immediately as races finish.

Thanks to Rob Mills and Dave Reed for continually supporting the young athletes at each meeting.

The fourth and final race meeting will take place on Sunday, 11. February at Aldersley Stadium, Wolverhampton and, if everyone were to run who’d taken part this season, we’d have ten competitors.

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