London Colleges Athletics Series to join up with London Inter-Club Challenge

The newly-founded London Colleges Athletics Series will join forces with the established London Inter-Club Challenge for the latter’s opening meeting of the season on April 19.

The graded meeting at Lee Valley, which has electronic timing and electronic distance measurement, is expected to attract more than 350 athletes.

Both series are supported by England Athletics’ London region, the chairman of which, Tony Shiret, said: “Many organisations throughout the UK have talked about bridging the gap between college sport and the traditional athletics clubs, so we are very proud that here in London we have taken the initiative of actually doing something rather than simply talking about it. We wish the organisers and the athletes the best of luck in a day of track and field athletics at one of London’s leading venues.”

The first meeting of the LCAS took place at Tooting Bec Athletics Track on March 21. One hundred students from universities across London took part in the inaugural event to open the unique competition series for London university students. The match started with a 10,000m championship event, which saw Johnny Cornish (Roehampton) and Olivia Mulligan (Royal Holloway) leave with gold. Athletes in the other 18 track and field events picked up points in a “diamond league” format with points also contributing to their university’s total.

University College London are currently top of the league with 152 points. King’s College London and Imperial College London are a close second and third with 144 and 133 respectively.

Founder and event organiser James Findon from King’s, said: “LCAS has been set up to encourage the development of athletics at universities in London. This new competition is a great way to inspire more people to take up athletics and represent their university.”

Bob Smith, manager of London Athletics, who are supporting the competition said: “This is a great initiative to open up athletics to students in London. There’s been a lot of hard work by the student team in setting this up and the first meeting has gone well”.

London has played host to a wealth of athletics talent, including GB internationals Dina Asha-Smith and Laviai Neilson (KCL), Mo Farah (St Mary’s) and Adam Gemili (UEL). Findon has high hopes that LCAS will showcase London’s elite athletes as well as promote participation.

“We want a competition that attracts performance athletes but is also accessible enough for students new to the sport,” he said.

The next match is at Lee Valley. For more information, see london-athletics.com.