The first Scottish club in our club night series is Midlothian club Lasswade AC
Lasswade AC was formed in 1981 to provide the population of South Edinburgh to the Borders with the opportunity not only to take part in athletics, but where possible to strive for excellence in performance. Based in Midlothian, they offer quality training for athletes of all ages.
The community club competes over cross country, track and field events and has endurance runners of all standards. They are the only club in Midlothian with an active junior section who compete in four specific leagues during the summer as well as cross country in the winter. Adult teams also participate on the national stage.
The Scottish club had two athletes competing at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, which out of a 12-man Scotland team was a pretty impressive statistic. Greg Louden (4x400m) and Guy Learmonth (800m) lit the touch paper to what has seen a surge of running interest in and around Edinburgh and Midlothian.
They have successfully joined forces with neighbouring teams to form Team Edinburgh, who went on to win the UK Youth Development League final in Birmingham last year. Club stalwart David Hand is keen to point out that the club has a vision to provide opportunities to all. “If we can assist, identify, nurture and support a few to reach the elite levels that Greg and Guy did in 2014, then we feel that it is all worthwhile,” he explains.
Nevertheless, others have excelled on the higher stage, including Freya Ross, a Scottish and GB international who has competed over 5000m and 10,000m as well as cross country and started off under David Hand’s tutelage. Ross represented Scotland in the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. She won the Great Ireland Run in 2010 and the Great Yorkshire Run in both 2009 and 2010, setting the course record in 2009.
Competition is not just the domain of youngsters though and senior athletes such as Linden Nicholson were selected and performed well at the British and Irish Masters International in November last year in Nottingham.
The club, although proud of its past successes, wants to look to the future with a development plan. As Scottish Athletics’ “Impact Club 2013” they plan to double their membership to nearly 500 in the next few years. They are already looking at the support and infrastructure that such growth will need in the form of coaches, volunteers and a desire to develop club multi-purpose facilities that will attract and retain members for many years.
Hand says: “Midlothian is embarking on a 20-year growth plan for housing and businesses. That creates opportunities for us to grow and offer community facilities to more and more people.
“What we want to do is get these people on board now, and that includes partnerships with Midlothian local authority, Scottish Athletics, Sports Scotland and many local key partners.”
With the undoubted drive and determination, it’s clear to see that Lasswade AC are going and growing in the right direction.
The club continues to run training programmes throughout the winter for sprints, endurance, jumps and throws. The winter sessions are a mixture of grass and indoor, while the indoor facilities at their Dalkeith campus are also used.
» Typical session for endurance: Warm-up drills, including stretching
Track: 8x400m with 2min recovery
Grass: 3min reps x 5
These are varied depending on age and ability
» Typical session for sprints:
Outside: 3×3 sets of 25m hill reps
A weekly rota: (3x250m or 4x200m or 5x150m or 6x100m) tempo runs, increasing the speed as the next four-weekly cycle comes around
Indoor: Core exercises
Indoor: Cool down
Outside: Hurdle mobility drills 6×10 stride bounds 4x120m tempo runs, increasing speed as season progresses
Indoor: Circuit training
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