Resurface Tooting Bec Athletics Track (TBAT)

You will all be aware that work is well underway to resurface Tooting Bec Athletics Track (TBAT).

This is by way of a brief update report.

Much of the work so far has focussed on clearance of the old track and preparation for the laying of the new surface (which includes jump and throw run up areas).  There are various other works, which I come back to below, such as redoing the shot put area to improve drainage, which is also progressing well.  

Resurfacing materials are due to be delivered and, weather permitting, laying of the track will start around the 25th April, extending over a four to five week period, followed by line marking.

The most recent plans are working to a completion date of the first week of June.  

We have reported previously that various ancillary works are being undertaken alongside the main track resurfacing.  When a decision by Wandsworth Council was very much uncertain in the Autumn 2021 regarding Council financial backing for the resurface, the Club’s Executive took a decision to commit £30k of Club funds as an indication of our commitment.  This was reported to our November 2021 AGM.  This commitment was made, contingent on the Council earmarking capital funds for the track’s resurface, which they subsequently did (>£500k).  

The Executive has prioritised the following items against the £30k contribution, none of which are covered by the Council fund, but all are integral to this resurfacing phase.  First, the installation of watertight conduits with viewing chambers to facilitate electronic timing/photo finish.  Second, installation of irrigation and improvements to drainage in the shot put landing area, to minimise/eliminate the gathering of water.  Third, the installation of smart track devices at various points around the track to facilitate split timing.  

In addition to the above, we have negotiated some other improvements to the facility (funded by Enable).  A new tannoy system and mic has been installed.  Steeplechase barriers are being configured so that they accommodate the new third height.  A full service of pole vault stands and enhanced gym area/equipment and improvements to changing/toilet facilities are being implemented.  

LED lighting will be installed in due course by the Council, and we are engaging with Enable in forward discussions for further (and separately-funded) improvements.  No agreement on these yet, but they include items such as the potential for a Club House in place of the current green hut, and partial covering of the terrace in the home straight.  

We trust that this update is helpful and we are very much hoping that, with some decent weather, we will be back at TBAT by June.

Keith Newton, Convenor, Track Sub-Group