A FORMER international runner has released a damning report on the state of athletics facilities in Winsford.
Cllr Brian Hall, who represented Great Britain at the Commonwealth Games, believes it could be just a matter of time before one of the town's youngsters is injured due to the 'woeful' state of sporting facilities in the town.
He believes the current running track at Knight's Grange is hampering the development of Vale Royal's most promising athletes.
Cllr Hall, who is also a coach at Vale Royal Athletics Club (VRAC), wants to see a synthetic track laid at Knight's Grange. His £1m campaign was revealed exclusively in the Chronicle in May.
In his report, which was presented to Vale Royal Borough Council's social review committee on Thursday, Cllr Hall said: 'There are serious health and safety issues with the track. The track is uneven, suffers from bad drainage and is too dangerous to coach events such as the hurdles.
'Due to the unevenness and hardness during dry weather, athletes are advised not to wear spikes due to the high risk of injury. In part, this is due to inadequate maintenance.
'There are no throwing facilities at the track, which severely limits the ability of VRAC to coach these events and develop the potential of local athletes.
'The jumping pits are in too poor a condition to be used for many coaching exercises and are limited to coaching beginners only. They need to be comprehensibly checked prior to every session for glass and other hazards.
'The track, even if converted to a synthetic one, is the wrong size to accommodate modern athletics as it has six lanes, not eight.
'The floodlighting provision is woefully inadequate. One third of the track is in darkness even when all the lights are illuminated. An additional problem with the lighting is constant vandalism.'
Cllr Hall said the poor facilities means VRAC has to use facilities in other areas.
He added: 'One coach clocks up more than 500 miles per month transporting a group of athletes to alternative training venues to access adequate facilities.'
Cllr Hall highlighted the benefits of investing in the athletics track to the community as a whole and pointed out the recent statistics regarding the growth in obesity throughout Britain.
The report will go to the borough council's executive committee in September and Cllr Hall is hopeful a decision will be made to invest in new facilities.
Speaking after the meeting, he said: 'The report went down very well, far better than I expected.
'At the moment we have all-party support and no one is upset, everyone has come along with it. Once the executive meets, hopefully it will blossom.'
A spokesman for Vale Royal said: 'The report has been received and will be considered by the executive group.'
Mr Hall estimated a new track and ancillary facilities would cost at least £1m.
He recently met officials from Winsford United, who said they would consider the sale of the Barton Stadium to fund a joint venture with athletics at Knight's Grange. The football club has asked for a meeting to discuss the idea with the Barton Stadium trustees, Winsford Town Council.