Welcome to Southport Waterloo AC. (SWAC)
No matter what your favourite event or what level of ability you bring we welcome you to our club and hope we have a long and successful association.
SWAC caters for a wide range of different athletics disciplines: Track and Field, Road Running, Cross Country, Sports Hall Athletics and also has members who compete in Fell Running and Triathlons. We welcome members of both sexes, of all ages and abilities.
The purpose of this page is to give you as much information as possible about the club and the sort of things that a new member will want to know; the competitions the club competes in, the races we organise ourselves, where we train, how to keep informed and who to contact for specific information.
Track and Field training sessions are held from 6.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout April to the end of September at the following locations:-
Monthly Sunday morning special training sessions for track and field events are also held at a variety of venues throughout the winter.
In addition, the following weekly sessions are available throughout October to the end of March:-
|Track & Field|
The club has representative teams at all age levels from under 13 boys and girls through to senior men and women. Summer competitions comprise of the following:
For most League meetings, Team Managers select two athletes per event to cover the complete track and field programme, with each athlete usually able to compete in a maximum of four events. More athletes are able to compete in the Mid Lancs League making these fixtures an ideal opportunity to improve performances and experiment with new events.
In addition, many of our young athletes compete in both the English Schools and Merseyside schools competitions.
Open graded meetings are also held regularly throughout the summer at venues such as Stretford, Bebington, Wigan, Blackpool and Warrington. These events are well publicised in athletics press and are usually well attended by SWAC members.
Traditionally ,cross country running has been the backbone of athletic participation during the winter months. It provides regular competition for all age groups from 9 upwards and the races always generate an atmosphere of friendly competition combined with a great team spirit.
There is no maximum number for club participants per race, anyone can run.
SWAC compete in the following cross country leagues:-
Distances vary per age group, ranging from 1.5 miles for the youngest girls to 7 miles for senior men.
The ground conditions vary from course to course, with most providing a range of flat grass, hills, muddy ditches, playing fields and even ploughed fields!
Weather conditions can also make a difference so a good pair of spikes and some warm gear are advisable during the winter. Cross Country running may be bad news for the washing machine but its always heartening for the soul!
In addition to League races there are also a number of championship races throughout the winter:
Merseyside Championships for men and women.
Merseyside and English Schools Championships
Northern Counties Championships (individual entry)
National Championships (team selection)
|Sports Hall Athletics|
As an alternative to cross country running, The North West Sports Hall League provides competition for under 11, under 13 and under 15 boys and girls, with running, jumping and throwing events.
Originating on Merseyside, Sports Hall Athletics are now well established with area, regional and national competition throughout Britain and with leagues now springing up in many other countries.
Road Running has now become a major part of the club's activities providing an outlet for all from the elite runner to the happy jogger!
Events of various distances are well publicised in the athletics press, but you can contact the Road Running Secretary and find out which races other members are entering and which are Grand Prix events. Although most open events cater primarily for senior runners, many also have fun runs.
SWAC teams compete in the following autumn Road Relay Races:-
The club organises an annual Grand Prix series within the Central Lancs Grand Prix series of races. There are 7 races and the best 5 from 7 decide the winners. There are prizes for the first male, first female, first male veteran and first female veteran awarded at the annual presentations get-together immediately following the Christmas Handicap.
|Club Organised Races|
The club organises and promotes the following major events, with each race firmly established on the regional road / multi-terrain racing calendar. See also our own road races page.
The Good Friday 10K Race and 5K Fun Run
An increasingly popular race around Victoria Park in Southport, a fast flat road course, great for PBs.
The McDonald’s Waterloo 15K and 5K Fun Run
This May Bank holiday race was awarded 6th place in the Runners World multi-terrain events section of the 50 Best Races in the British Isles for 1999. It is the only U.K.A. approved 15K race in the North West.
Starting and finishing at the Waterloo Rugby club, the main race includes the Hightown nature trail and the Crosby coastal promenade.
The Southport Town Centre 5K Races
Two evening midweek road races traditionally held on the third Tuesday in August. Five and a half laps of a Chapel Street / Lord Street course with one race for elite athletes and one for the rest of us.
The Southport Half Marathon
Held usually on the last Sunday in September, this fast flat road course follows the coast road from the fairground to the end of the golf course, looping the golf course and back via Marine Drive to the sea front for a bracing three laps. A very popular event at what is increasingly becoming a very popular distance!
In addition to our range of high profile regional targeted races, the club also annually arranges a series of club level and local level races.
September Club Handicap races (10K & 5K)
Competitors complete either a one or two lap race around the Southport Marine Lake, depending on age and stamina. The Handicapping usually makes for some very close, near blanket finishes.
Christmas Club Handicap races (10K & 5K)
Similar to the September Handicap but with a scenic and challenging course over beach, sandhills and pinewood paths in Formby.
Kings Gardens races
A unique series of early evening races from 100 metres up to 3000 metres, around the Kings Garden paths alongside Southport Marine Lake. The event is usually held on the fourth Tuesday in August and has become a ‘must’ for all junior athletes and many seniors as well.
School Mile Races and Open Mile
These old fashioned mile races at Victoria Park Southport are held early on a Tuesday evening in mid May. The School races attract teams from many Sefton Schools with separate races for boys and girls in individual age groups from 9 to 17.
District School Cross Country Races
The club also organises an annual school cross country race in Bootle, Southport and also Waterloo to help introduce cross country to boys and girls who may not have experienced this form of sport before.
|Coaches and Officials|
The club currently has some 7 qualified Club Coaches at Level 3, 14 qualified Coaches at Level 2, and 6 Assistant Coaches at level 1, all of whom are supported by an active policy for furthering their coaching qualifications.
SWAC is very much a family club and it is always encouraging when parents take an interest and help out at training sessions and possibly seek Assistant Coach qualification themselves. Courses are organised by the UKA in regional locations throughout the year with the club funding course fees.
The club also has qualified Technical Officials. Opportunities exist for parents and others to assist our Field and Track Judges at league meetings, gaining a greater knowledge of events while enjoying a closer involvement in athletics.
See our contacts page for further information about coaches officials and team managers.
Transport to Fixtures
A coach is hired for each club track meeting that involves young athletes. For cross country and senior-only events, car sharing is arranged either at training sessions on the week of the competition, or by Team Managers when organising the teams.
To help keep Subscriptions down to probably the lowest in the North West, The club has a Saturday bonus ball lottery scheme which currently has one or two numbers available, the cost is £13 per quarter with an 80% return in prize money.
In addition members can order Christmas gifts and cards through the Webb Ivory catalogue, with the agent discount donated to SWAC.
Keeping You Informed
Each week in both the Crosby Herald and Southport Visitor the Club Chairman maintains an athletics column with informative club comment including race reports with results and details of forthcoming fixtures.
In addition, at the start of both the Summer and Winter seasons, a newsletter called SWAC Attack and a Junior SWAC Attack is distributed to all members together with the season's fixture list.
There is also the periodical ‘Toadrunner’ with light-hearted articles from members.
Finally on the second Sunday of each month join us from 8.30pm for a chat and a drink at the ‘Guest House’ Southport, and keep up to date with the club news.