Work to improve trackside facilities and disabled access at Middlesbrough’s Clairville Stadium has been completed.
The upgrade work at the popular athletics venue included the installation of a trackside shelter for all athletes and spectators and improved access to the track from the main building for disabled people.
Outdated bench seating in the main stand has also been replaced as part of the project.
The interior of the stadium was refurbished in 2006 to improve accessibility but access to the track and grandstand remained limited for many disabled athletes and visitors. Funding from Middlesbrough Council was allocated this year as access for all was identified as a high priority.
The completed work was officially unveiled at a Tees Valley Sport athlete assessment day for disabled athletes as part of the national Playground to Podium (P2P) initiative.
P2P is designed to identify and nurture young disabled people with the potential to become elite athletes and performers.
The scheme is a collaboration between Youth Sport Trust, Sport England, Paralympics GB and UK Sport and is aimed at young disabled people aged between 12 and 18 years who have previously been identified as having talent by their schools
They are given the opportunity to test their skills and abilities in four sports - wheelchair basketball, football, table tennis and athletics – with the athletics session taking place at Clairville.
Those with the potential to become elite performers will be identified, while others will be referred to high quality coaching opportunities and community sport to ensure that they can reach their potential and continue to enjoy sport.
Jean Lordon, Executive Director of Tees Valley Sport, said: “This scheme improves access which then brings the facility up to the 21st century in terms of people being able to participate in athletics and as well as being spectators.
“It also enables more young people with disabilities to engage in sport.”
Councillor Brenda Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Public Health and Sport, added: “Clairville has been the home of athletics in Middlesbrough for many years, and I’m delighted that this work will see that continue for some time to come.
“The facilities are already excellent, and this can only improve the experience of those taking part in sport, and those who have come to watch.”