Delve into the archive…

…and discover inspiring stories and amazing objects from the history of athletics

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  • “Celebrating Shaun” (1961-2023) at the Pickering Memorial Throws International
    The inaugural Pickering Memorial Throws International, named in memory of Shaun Pickering who died last year aged 61, took place at Loughborough on 27 May 2024. While the shot, javelin, hammer and discus champions were decided on the field, in the pavilion, The Athletics Museum and the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund held a very special exhibition to celebrate and commemorate the life and legacy of athlete, coach, mentor and advocate for athletics Shaun Pickering.
  • Brian Shenton: the boy from nowhere
    Olympian, Commonwealth and European sprint medallist, trainer and celebrated Son of Doncaster, Brian Shenton. Caroline O’Keeffe shares her father’s story with The Athletics Museum
  • The miles of May: remembering two record breaking runs
    May 2024 has seen the 70th anniversary of not one, but two ground-breaking miles. Roger Bannister became the first male athlete to break the men’s four minute mile on 6th May 1954 – an achievement which brought him international recognition and created a renewed national interest in men’s middle distance […]
  • 70th Anniversary of Bannister’s Mile
    Roger Bannister’s famous sub-four minute was achieved at Oxford University’s Iffley Road track on 6th May 1954. A gifted middle-distance runner, Bannister represented Great Britain at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics over 1500m, narrowly missing out on a medal against an incredibly strong field, though setting a new British record in […]
  • Diane Leather: the other miracle mile
    May this year sees the 70th anniversary of not one, but two ground-breaking mile records. Roger Bannister became the first male athlete to break the men’s four minute mile barrier when he ran on 6th May 1954, but less well known is Dianne Leather, who broke the women’s five minute […]
  • Sportshall Athletics: from village hall to global phenomenon
    Chances are, if you went to primary school in the UK in the 90s, 00, or 2010s, you’ve had some engagement with Sportshall Athletics, either the equipment – foam javelins anyone? – the competition, or the legacy. Sportshall is a professional outfit, with the equipment and expertise to deliver athletics […]
  • Stained Glass Runners
    There’s a running shop in Canterbury UK on Burgate called The Running Outlet. They stock the running socks I like and out of the back window there’s a great view Canterbury Cathedral. It’s quite novel having your gait checked and being fitted for a pair of running shoes – all […]
  • Pioneers of Women’s Athletics in the North
    The theme of this years International Women’s Day is Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress. The Athletics Museum looks at how pioneering women in our sport have made this a reality
  • The history of the ‘National’ cross county
                                       By Eamonn Martin, English Cross Country Association. The amazement of the ‘National’ whether you have run in it or watched it will stay with you. The vision of the stampede at the start with the array of coloured club vests from all around the country, some more famous than […]
  • Rome 1960: unorthodox training method yields Olympic gold
    The 1960 Rome Olympics saw a lean haul of medals for the British team with only two golds across the whole Games. One was in the pool, Anita Lonsbrough winning the 200m breaststroke, the other was out on the roads with Don Thompson, seeking redemption, taking it to the line […]