North Down Athletic Club


North Down Athletic Club

North Down Athletic Club is an athletics clubs from Northern Ireland.

North Down AC was formed in 1974 and was based until 2001 in Ward Park, Bangor using the former cricket pavilion, now demolished. Somewhat ironically with the Sportsplex track closed for repairs, temporally we hope, a lot of track and field training is back in Ward Park but with no access to equipment. Many events were promoted, the most famous being a series of 10K Bangor Classics which included Zola Budd and many other famous runners.

In the early days there were two main areas where from the beginning the club dominated. Girls throwing was one, and the other was veteran athletics mostly after Billy Brannigan became a veteran athlete. Billy was the originator of cross country and road running in North Down AC and in fact most of the early training runs started and finished from his house in Somerset Avenue. In 1980 Billy became a vet along with teammates, ex boxer George Graham and Terry Mallon, father of Roma McConville the Belfast Marathon winner in 1983 and grandfather of decathlete Brendan. Alongside the slightly older vets, John Dawson, Vince Elliott and Ken Hawtin, the vets were never to lose a team race for at least ten years. Time moves on of course and other clubs caught up but the club still has a major veteran presence, especially in the older categories.

North Down AC is now based at Bangor Sportsplex, Ballykillaire, on the Old Belfast Road and since the move there in 2001, there has been a dramatic increase in its profile. The Senior Men's Track and Field Team is the most successful in Northern Ireland, winning both the Golden Four League and Team Trophy from 2001 to 2005, continuing in 2006 with the Team Trophy now the only team competition. The Northern Ireland Young Athletes Boys League was won in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 resulting in a place in the National Auxiliary Finals in Birmingham. The Women's team also won the Golden Four League in 2003 and 2004 and the Team Trophy in 2005, and the girls were marginally second in the Young Athletes League. The Men's Team in 2004 were runaway winners at the first attempt of the All Ireland Mazda League Division 1 and were promoted to the Premier Division, where they were second in 2005 by 4 points to Crusaders but winners in 2006 and with it European competition, becoming only the 6th team to ever win the Premier Division. The men's team will look to defend that title in August 2007.

in 2008 the under 14 boys team went dow to Ireland and came 6th over all and glen willis was 8th in all of Ireland and 3rd in ulster.it was also great runs from harry spears rodger daswan and the under dog sam mickiben.

IRISH SCHOOLS / IRISH UNIS XC

Glen Willis took his good cross country form to Jordanstown where he finished 7th in 11:38 min in the 3500m Junior Boys race at the Irish Schools Championships, a spot high enough to give him a place on the Irish team at the Schools International on 28 March in Bangor, Wales.


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