Belgrave Harriers’ men’s team withdraw from British Athletics League

Lack of volunteers forces home club of Dwain Chambers and Phillips Idowu to leave the BAL

Dwain Chambers (Mark Shearman)

Belgrave Harriers have today confirmed that they will be withdrawing their men’s team from the British Athletics League.

The London club, which was founded in 1887, has been incredibly successful, with the men’s team eleven-time winners of the Premier Division.

Manager Bill Laws, who has been at the helm of the men’s team for 33 years and is also chairman of the Association of British Athletics Clubs, has decided to step down from his position at Belgrave Harriers, and with no one to replace him, the club has decided to bow out of the league.

“Rather than face the season in Division One in a half-hearted manner, now is the time to bite the bullet,” read a statement on the club’s website.

The statement also included mention of a few additional factors which “don’t make life easy”.

“There are simply fewer top level athletes around these days, probably not enough to support all the clubs in the BAL,” it said.

“Teams are supported by Higher Claim Athletes (HCAs) who add their strength to a BAL team but don’t necessarily have the allegiance to a club in the long run.

“Coming out of the league will save thousands of pounds annually.”

The women’s team will still compete in the main UK Women’s Athletic League, and the club will continue participation in the Southern Athletics League for both men and women.

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