Ambitious athletics club Rotherham Harriers has 100 reasons to say thanks to its new sponsor.
SS Systems Limited, a fire and security company based in Rotherham, is backing the club’s 11-14 and 15-19 teams in the Youth Development League with 100 athletes given t-shirts to compete in. The club has been running since 1887 and stages the third oldest race in the world, the Christmas Challenge Cup. The club relies on members’ subscriptions to help pay for running costs and event fees at its Herringthorpe track, owned by Rotherham Council . Membership keeps growing but there is little surplus to improve facilities. SS Systems’ Andrew Stokes has a son who has been a Harrier since 2012 and when he heard that the club needed a sponsor, he was only too pleased to help. Andy said: “I’ve been involved in the club for five years and it’s opened my eyes to how well it serves the local community. It’s a great facility where kids cannot only learn and partake in a sport, but where they can also learn valuable life skills. Kids come from a variety of backgrounds and they come together as a team, learning to respect each other. If more kids could be introduced to the club, the community would be a better place for it.” The club plans to build new facilities and hopes the wider business community can also help. Harriers secretary Steve Gaines said: “It’s great that local businesses are coming forward to support us in our fund raising activities. We are hoping to build a stand where young people and their families can shelter from the rain, because if the weather is really bad, events have to be cancelled.” They ask businesses who would like to know how they can help to email firstname.lastname@example.org.