UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Friday 19 July 2024
 14.2°C   S Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Sport / Athletics club issues plea for new volunteers as group reaches ‘critical juncture’

An EGM will be held in Lerwick on 1 March

THE SHETLAND Amateur Athletics Club (AAC) faces an uncertain future as it looks to recruit new volunteers to its committee and coaching team.

The club is nearly 30 years old, but it is now at a “critical juncture”, according to chairperson Elaine Park.

An EGM has been called for 1 March at the Sandveien Neighbourhood Centre in Lerwick from 6.15pm in the hope of filling vacancies on its committee.

“If we cannot get enough help at this meeting, the committee will be forced to call a further EGM, the sole purpose of which will be to dissolve the club and athletics provision in Shetland will cease,” Park said.

She said anyone interested in helping is welcome to attend, even if they do not have experience of athletics as people can undergo induction into the sport.

Scottish Athletics is on hand to support with coaching courses, while the council’s sports development team is offering support.

“I sincerely hope folk will get behind the club,” Park said. “It’s sometimes difficult I think for folk to appreciate the value of something until it’s maybe not here, so we’re kind of hoping we don’t get to that point.”

It is felt that the Covid pandemic has affected the running of the club.

Coaching numbers are said to be unsustainable, and there are so few remaining committee members that ongoing operation of the club’s business is being impacted.

Park said some coaches are doing five or six sessions a week whilst also doing two or three jobs on the committee.

“We can’t ask that of people for an extended period of time,” she said.

The AAC is the most northerly club of its kind in the UK, and it has overseen success among Shetland athletes.

More than 100 athletes are currently training with the club, from age seven up to the master’s category. However, there were more than 200 on the books around a year before the Covid pandemic.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


Park herself joined the club when it started, and more latterly she won an Islands Games silver medal in hammer throwing in 2015.

“I got a huge amount out of athletics when I was younger,” she said.

“Some of my most lasting friendships have been folk I’ve met through the club. I just want to make sure everyone’s got the opportunity to experience that.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.