AN ATHLETICS club is eyeing up the possibility of turning what started out as a temporary home for this summer into their own.

Rhymney Valley AC, originally based at Bargoed Park, was relaunched in May 2014 and made Blackwood Comprehensive School its training base.

However, with plans to install a state-of-the-art 3G pitch there during the 2018 outdoor season, the club needed to look for a new residence.

With the assistance of Caerphilly Council, that has become Britannia Fields in Cefn Fforest, and it is now the club’s intention to make it their permanent headquarters.

There are aspirations to work in partnership with other sports clubs in the area and develop a multi-use facility.

When the club did get going again four years ago they had a membership of just 24 – now they boast 260 children from the ages of four to 17, with a waiting list of more than 100.

And while they have had to deal with the upheaval of leaving familiar surroundings in Blackwood, the standard of performances on the track and in the field are just as high as normal.

There have been many individual success stories for the club’s athletes.

Long jump ace Oliver Watkins has been selected for the Celtic Games in Grangemouth, Scotland on August 4.

While high jumper Iwan Rees, who like his clubmate is coached by Martin Yemm, was chosen for the Schools International Athletic Board meeting, also in Grangemouth, earlier this month.

Club chair Ruth Powell said: “The summer challenge proves every year to be great fun for all.

“With Blackwood Comprehensive School closing for the summer and uncertainty over how the works are going to affect us, Caerphilly Council has been so supportive.

“The field looks great and we’re all very happy here.

“It’s fantastic to see so many children from the community engaged in a community club with a superb team of highly skilled volunteers.

“Oliver and Iwan are the start of many athletes to achieve Welsh representation and we are all very proud of them.”

A large number of athletes have achieved success in the regional championships and been selected to compete for East Wales at the inter-regional finals in Brecon on August 25.

The club also takes part in the Upper and Lower Youth Development Leagues, with the upper age group team – Team Gwent – featuring Newport Harriers and Blaenau Gwent AC athletes.

This team, in only its second season, has gone from strength to strength and finished fourth in the Welsh Junior League East promotional match on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the club recently held its Quad & Summer Challenge where children ran, jumped and threw in front of impressed local councillors Andrew Farina-Childs, Kevin Etheridge, Graham Summers, Ann Gair and Walter Williams, and Islwyn MP Chris Evans.

Club treasurer Lyn Cushing, who has been an integral part of Rhymney Valley AC before and after its relaunch, added: “It’s not a case of wanting to move from the school but having to move.

“3G isn’t an ideal surface for athletics, the only thing you can do on it is run.

“Caerphilly Council have moved heaven and earth to get Britannia Field ready for us for this season.

“We’re speaking to other clubs who use it with a view to getting together and developing the facilities.

“Whatever happens, it’s where we want our new home to be.”

The club would like to thank Ryan Spencer-Jones of Welsh Athletics for his support of the Quad & Summer Challenge and Mark Burton for organising this year’s sponsors (Hughes Jenkins Solicitors, Eden Centre, Little Blossom Childcare, Frontline Electrical, Jansans Wear Ltd, Yellow Days Couriers and Woosnam Dairies Ltd).

If you would like to find out more about Rhymney Valley AC, visit