City of Hull & Kingston Athletic Club

Early in the new millennium proposals were mooted to form a new large club out of all the existing clubs. The idea was to focus talent within one organisation. However, as plans progressed it became evident that a number of Hull clubs, including East Hull Harriers and Hull Achilles were unlikely to join. The issue proved particularly traumatic for City of Hull members. 

Although the track and field section seemed strongly in favour of joining the new set up the road and country section was much more split on the issue. The end result was a split: a substantial group of the road and country section elected to join the new club along with the track and field section whilst the remainder of their former running mates decided to continue with the old club. At the end of March 2001 both went their separate ways. Those electing to stay with City of Hull drew up a new constitution thus ensuring the continuity of its competitions and trophies. The reconstituted club also decided to move from Costello where it was felt the new Kingston Club was likely to be given preferential treatment and moved base to Haltemprice Sports Centre this severing a connection with the Anlaby Park stadium that had lasted since its inception.

At first, prospects for City of Hull looked less than rosy. Many of the best and country runners had joined the new set up at Costello and the club found itself finishing third or fourth in local events. Moreover, one of the club’s most effective veterans during the 1990s, John Bobzuc, collapsed and died during the Champagne League Race at Sancton in April 2002. Yet slowly but surely the club pulled back. Arthur Nendick came back as President to steer the club into the new millennium and the untiring efforts of Peter Jarvis, Bob Dennison, Gordon Jibson and the committee brought the situation round. By the spring of 2003 the club had more members than before the split – including a number who have rejoined from Kingston - and now has the largest number of women road and country runners – including Tanya Wardell and Helen Sampson - it has ever known. New front runners have emerged. Initially, Wilf McSherry made the running for the reconstituted club and lately he has been joined by Colin Langley who has blazed his way through the club competitions over the last year.

Outside of the Champagne League season, the club meets every Tuesday at Haltemprice Sports Centre but a large number of runners of all sorts of age ability and background join Peter Jarvis’s Monday night training session which in winter are held on the Humber Bridge Car Park and in the summer on the playing fields in Willerby. Runs are also held from Haltemprice on a Thursday and also on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

And so the unique story of our club and its members continues. Perhaps this is an appropriate point, as we move forward in the New Millenium, to take a moment to remember and thank those who, in the words of the former club President, Stan Pleasants, "laid the trail".