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Spanish Athletes visit Rotherham Harriers

A group of 17 young athletes from the Club de Atletismo Vino de Toro Caja Rural, in the Zamora region of Spain, came to Rotherham for the first of a planned series of exchange visits between the two clubs.

The 17 young athletes who were aged between 9 & 17 were accompanied by some parents and coaches / club volunteers.

The exchange was initiated by a former Rotherham resident - Nicola Thornton, who attended Wickersley school. Nicola moved to live in Spain some 20 years ago, and her two daughters are now members of the athletics club in Toro. Nicola contacted Rotherham Harriers late in 2018 to suggest the visit, and the party eventually arrived in South Yorkshire on the 8th of August, returning on the 12th August.

The trip was a great success, with the 17 athletes staying with families of club athletes, coaches or volunteers.

The interary included an inter club competition at the Institute of Sport Indoor Athletivs arena, on Friday the 9th, A trip to visit Chatsworth House and Bakewell on the Saturday, followed by an evening Barbecue (including an impromptu England v Spain football 27- a -side match) at Herringthorpe Stadium.

On Sunday South Yorkshire County Athletics Association had kindly agreed to let the 17 young athletes compete in the SYCAA Track & Field Championships, held at Cudworth, as guests. The guest athletes performed very well, with 5 winning their age group events and several athletes registering performances which exceeded the defined UK standards of performance.

It is planned that the Harriers athletes will return to Toro sometime in Spring 2020, to again meet the friends they made on the inaugural trip, and to enjoy some athletics in Spain.

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