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March 24, 2019  

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History of Colwyn Bay Athletics Club

Colwyn Bay Athletic Club was founded in the early 1970's,the two main protagonists being Arthur Bebbington and Eileen Haskins MBE.

Arthur specialised in Middle and Long distance running while Eileen specialised in Sprinting and with the recruitment later of one or two Field event coaches formed the nucleus of what was to be and still today a very successful club

Arthur involved his whole family and with their suppport they took on nearly all of the duties involved in establishing the everyday running of an athletic club.
Initially as you can imagine this was an immense task with so few involved.

Arthur however had the vision and determination to succeed and undeterred whilst starting with just a handful of athletes, selected personally,mainly after visiting school sports days, he and his family began to grow the club to be one of the most successful in Wales.

In those early days the arena was composed of what we termed a cinder track.
The famous Roger Bannister was to make history by running a mile in under 4mins(3mins 59.4secs) on a similar surface.
Running spikes adapted in those days would be frequently 6mm long as against the permitted 3mm today.

Arthur was to ensure he had close links with Colwyn Borough Council and in 1989 he had secured the approval to have the track upgraded to an 8 lane all weather synthetic surface which although revamped since then is the same surface you see today.

Arthur had been successful in attracting the famous Lynn Davies for the opening ceremony
Lynn Davies, long jumper, nicknamed "Lynn The Leap" is the only Welsh Athlete to ever win an Olympic Gold in a Track & Field event todate. This was accomplished in the 1964 Tokyo Games with a leap of 8.07m later to be stunned by Bob Beamons freak jump of 8.90m in the 1968 Games in Mexico City.

Incredibly some 23yrs on at the Tokyo World Championships in 1991 Mike Powell jumped 8.95m and this remains the present record.

Lynn Davies the current UKA president was awarded the MBE and later the CBE(June 2006).
A plaque can be seen,commemorating the celebration of the opening of our track at the entrance to the stadium.

Arthurs retirement in 2002 was to leave a legacy of one of the most established, respected and hugely successful clubs within Welsh Athletics.

He was an inspirational character creating an environment of "Fun to Fulfillment" our UKA motto today.

The design of the club's colours orange and black with the seahorse logo were carried over many years with distinction by hundreds of successful athletes.

Our colours remain the same today of course and we are determined to ensure the success and hard work that Arthur epitomised is not lost in the present nor future custodians of our beloved club.